Existentialism in parody
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One of the things that strikes (as a couple of deep admirers of Camus and lovers of his work) is how readily existentialism lends itself to parody. One of the earliest, and funniest, is by Paul Jennings (not the Aussie) reprinted in Dwight Macdonald's Parodies. The basic concept of his "Resistentialism" is Les choses sont contre nous. From its key figure Pierre-Marie Ventre he traces influence from Freidegg and Heidansiecker. A must read for cognoscenti.
edited for wonky touchstones
In terms of parody, I'm reminded of a line from Woody Allen's Hanna and Her Sisters, where he comments about Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence. He states, "Oh great, now I have to sit through the Ice Capades again."
". . . now I have to sit through the Ice Capades again." (3)
This reminds me of Woody Allenʻs reported answer to an interviewerʻs question
(Q.): What would you do differently, if you had your whole life to live over again?"
A. (version 1): Possibly I would pass up seeing (the movie, ca. 1962) The Magus.
A. (version 2) Possibly I wouldnʻt see The Magus
I didnʻt learn of version 2
until much later than version 1. I like version 1 better, but suspect that version 2 is what he really said.
The Magus is a paradoxical story about a young English teacher who goes to Greece and encounters a mysterious intellectual who participates in the "god game." The 25-year -old protagonist eventually cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. The story is left unfinished, at least in the novel, which can be an irritation to readers needing closure in a plot. (I can see why Allen would not wish to view the movie again on multiple occasions.)
Allen also commented in the movie that the greatest minds still have not figured out the meaning of life. No one really knows why we actually exist. His hypochondriac character muddles through the film, but eventually finds meaning when he marries one of Hannah's sisters, whom he initially thought was incompatible with his own personality. Does situational irony lead to meaning in life? Perhaps.
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