By Paul Auster
From the writer of "The long island Trilogy", "Moon Palace" and "The ebook of Illusions", comes a hugely own number of essays, prefaces and coffee items written for magazines and newspapers. Ranging in topic from Walter Raleigh to Kafka; Hawthorne to high-wire artist Philippe Petit; conceptual artist Sophie Calle to his personal typewriter; and the realm alternate heart disaster to his liked ny urban itself, Auster screens his normal aptitude, wit and perception.
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Extra resources for Collected Prose
Facing the Challenge Alone For Camus, to live and die with honesty is the central challenge of being human. The task of being human involves asking oneself what one’s life is about and being honest about the answer, even if there is no answer at all. But regardless of how one answers this question (whether in the hope of something one does not understand, or with the acceptance of life’s meaninglessness), Kubrick’s Fear and Desire shows us the importance of facing these issues alone. I cannot die for someone else’s cause.
In Dr. Strangelove, the procedures of international diplomacy are set up so that individuals represent their institutions, and those institutions are designed to engineer bad faith. Individuals are no longer free but are merely representations of their institutions. And the more an individual represents an institution, the less of an individual he is. This is exactly Camus’ own fear (for philosophy): that ideas take on a life of their own (as in Hegel), Understanding the Enemy 29 and people follow them as if they, as individuals, were not in control.
To illustrate this point about contingent sides, Kubrick makes the enemy general a sympathetic doppelganger to the lieutenant and even has him played by the same actor (Kenneth Harp); likewise, the captain, the general’s assistant, is played by the same actor who plays Fletcher (Stephen Coit). Kubrick was probably low on funds, making versatile actors a practical resource. But there are other key elements in the film that suggest we are to view the general and the captain as mirror images of the lieutenant and Fletcher.