The Lunar New Year: (1) We murder to dissect
While Iâ€™m still unsure as to whether I can pull this feat off, I donâ€™t back down on things that Iâ€™ve said: so here I go. Iâ€™m not going to write 3000-word posts everyday, but Iâ€™ll try to write morsels of thought that would hopefully bring you guys to vote for me. I tried searching for a good category for 15 posts, and I found that my ancestors celebrated their Lunar New Year in 15 days. So I decided simply to call it my Lunar New Year. I hope you like the title. 🙂
We murder to dissect.
This is a line from William Wordsworthâ€™s poem The Tables Turned. I have not culled it directly from his poem, however, but from So Human an Animal by Rene Dubos (as far as I know, no, heâ€™s not related to Andre Dubus III). The choice of book was a departure from normality: I usually read classic novels or critically-acclaimed contemporary ones, and the book was neither. All the book had going for it was a Pulitzer Prize (it won in 1969 for General Non-fiction) and a cheap price-tag. I bought it anyway as it was cheap (I bought it months ago, and only picked up the book because I was being attacked by boredom, sickness and an inability to sleep). But like most books Iâ€™ve bought in the past, I tried finishing it.
Since I only read timeless novels for the most part (thatâ€™s why theyâ€™re called classics!), I was surprised at how badly the book aged with time. Although it had grains of knowledge, I found the book to be an indictment of society without offering any real solutions. Iâ€™m glad, however, because it referred to a lot of writers, and introduced me to that wonderful line.
Smiling in the face of death
Guncannon, in one of the rare times we chatted directly with one another on IRC, told me he had only contempt for those who over-analyzed things (and I admit, I am a victim of that sometimes). Having grown and delighted in literary analysis, I tend to look too much into things at times. When I discovered this line, however, I was delighted. Wordsworth was indeed a genius.
We murder to dissect. Has anyone noticed that in their attempt to peg meaning into the anime that they watch, they have also disfigured it and murdered its content in some way? Daniel posted regarding Code Geass and its tension with colonialism, and it was incisive. However, one does not know if that was the message the writers truly wanted to deliver. In his interpretation of Geassâ€™s message, he may have transformed the anime into something that it wasnâ€™t. Somehow, he has intellectually murdered what it was for perhaps the writers as well as most people so that he could offer insight on it. But isnâ€™t that alright? While Iâ€™m not a fan of murder (as anyone sane isnâ€™t), all of us as anime watchers intentionally or unintentionally transform, disfigure, or mutilate the series that we are watching through our own interpretations. But if that fosters discussion, promotes knowledge, and in the end develops wisdom, what is a little murder of concepts? After all, in its murder, the phoenix of intelligence is allowed to rise once more.