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Read another existential book today.

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by Aphorism, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Aphorism

    Aphorism Well-Known Member

    Nothing by Janne Teller

    It's a young adult novel about a small town, where a boy named Pierre Anthon discovers one day that "life means nothing". So he quits school and spends his time up in a plum tree, staring at the sky and accepting his nothingness. But whilst the kids from his class walk by, he yells at them that it's pointless and nothing matters. It riles up the group, so they create a plan to make a pile of "meaningful" things. Each item added to the pile is more grotesque the last. It's very Lord of the Flies in nature, but with simpler language.

    There was something especially triggering about reading this book, because while I'm used to the ideas of existentialism and absurdism these days (been studying them for English class), it was the fact that these were seventh grade kids trying so desperately to prove that life meant something. Their age and the setting that they live in, namely a small rural town with almost every kid living on the same block, was a nostalgic image. The characters were all vaguely unlikable, but that to me felt very real.

    I guess to say, the novel doesn't make me want to kill myself. But the pointless violence it depicts, for the sake of proving that life doesn't mean just nothing, makes me feel very desolate...I'm not sure why. It is amazing to me when literature can have such a profound affect on the human mind.
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Have you read Sartre?

    The Age of Reason (a trilogy) almost had me screaming, didn't know anyone could write that much about a bead of sweat! :laugh:
  3. Moat

    Moat Banned Member

    It sounds like an interesting that and I will definitely check it out, after I awaken from my nap that I will take in a few minutes.
    Just know though, that what you said of the book was what you got from it, and I am far from being able to say if you are right or wrong about the book's meaning, but everyone always gets something different out of a book they have read or a movie they have watched or a song, and while that is what you think of it, does not necessarily mean that ten other people walk away from it will also think. Personally, I find the idea of 7th graders actually take time out of their life to ponder the meaning of existence to be no real different than Socrates or Plato and the violence you say they try in order to prove that it depicts is nothing short or using every angle they have at their disposal in order to bring out the best result they can to either prove or disprove their beliefs. It is much better to use positive acts in addition with negative for the greatest results they can learn from.