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February 22, 2005



right now, am smitten with mr kaufman's scripts. surely you have visited beingcharliekaufman.com. just spent an entire afternoon transfixed upon the first draft of 'being john malkovich'. is there any relation between this kaufman and andy kaufman?


Isn't the velveteen rabbit bit a variation of the 'inner beauty' stuff? And isn't that a variation of the metaphysical 'real me' stuff? And isn't the style bit a temporary fix for the contemporary human incapable of amor fati--isn't style in that passage artful lying and/or looking away from what is ugly? And isn't a successful affirmation of the eternal recurrence precisely not needing to stylize or to interpret ugliness as beauty but to look ugliness square in the eye and say, "damn you're ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly! Hooray ugliness!"

I don't recall Nietzsche ever stylizing the small man into something beautiful.

Sunshine, is like all deeply loved movies these days, a big ol' nihilist bath.


That's Zarathustra's 'abysmal thought', Yan. Everything recurs. Even 'the small man'. Ergo it isn't until you can affirm the small man as beautiful - even the poorest fisherman rowing with golden oars - that you can affirm Eternal Recurrence. This is what I've been trying to work out, because it doesn't really sound like what we think Nietzsche is on about, does it? I freely admit that the Velveteen Rabbit is clearly over the line.

William S

I think the movie is somewhat like Million Dollar Baby in that all questions of judgement are folded into and smothered by love. The poem in the movie clearly invokes a connection of memory to judgement, which Nietzsche answers perhaps by placing judgement in the will and portrayal of forgetting as necessary for the compositions of a certain kind of will. I think it is of the utmost significance that they are made to forget, and then remember, and only then choose love. They are not affirming the value of what they had directly, but rather coming to some recognition of the value of love specifically. They are made a demonstration of the connection of memory to love, rather than memory to judgement, without any treatment of love and judgement. I think when you introduce Nietzsche it is perhaps here that it would apply? That they affirm their love not for the sake of love or in recognition of its value, but as an assertion of their will. It seems you are equating love, in the context of this film, with fate? This has to be done for their desire to love and be loved to be truly a confrontation with themselves. But then the poem doesn't make sense in that it seems to mean that by forgetting one is trying to escape something important in a selfish, almost solipsistic way (forgetting by the world forgot, forget me not) and that the blameslessness is a motive of sorts. I see the connection between this blamelessness and Nietzsche, but not how in the film it is a sort of overcoming. I just do not see how one can discuss this film without talking about love. As they choose to repeat their love because it is love.

William S

And I think when you look at the velveteen rabbit, it is clear that the rabbit becomes real when someone else recognizes its true value. Simultaneously in fact. Love is a both a creation and recognition of value here. It is perhaps more theological, in that love makes you real.


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