Avalon and The Matrix: Ash and Neo’s search for authenticity in Plato’s cave

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Introduction

I will be exploring the idea that recent cinema seems obsessed with the paranoid notion that other ‘ontological’ reality exists hidden alongside or parallel to the one that we experience. Films such as The Matrix and Avalon portray, respectively, Neo and Ash - protagonists who, having discovered that they are living in inferior planes of reality attempt recourse to a superior world.

Haruki Murakami and the lone male modernist character in fiction

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Murakami and I were first introduced to one another through a mutual friend named Vera, an Italian I’d met while an undergrad. Neither of us had had personally met Murakami yet in reading his work we both had the feeling that Murakami was speaking directly to us. Like Hajime in South of the Border, West of the Sun – the novel that arrived one day in my letter box covered in Italian stamps and Par Avion stickers – Vera has no siblings and I assume that it is because of this parallel that the novel touched her so deeply, and she would send her own copy to the other side of the world. And while I grew up with two older brothers, like Shimamoto I was cool, self-possessed and precocious in the extreme and Izumi’s description of Hajime, could just as easily be applied to me now:

An Existential guide to traveling in Japan

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I intend to argue for a mutually complementary relationship between the philosophies of Existentialism and Phenomenology, and travel, through a study of Western authors and their attempts to represent themselves and their experiences in Japan.

Use of these philosophies in relation to the travel experience is neither new nor a stretch of the imagination. Jean-Paul Sartre holds that a relationship between individuals and the world is possible (Greene 21-2); William Spanos uses the analogy of travel to describe the Existential ‘journey’ (Spanos 9); and the writer Islam has also recognised the immense value of Heidegger in exploring notions of travel and the experience of inhabiting spaces and time.

The Forty-Seventh Ronin

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Chapter 1: Melbourne
Florian catches Frank’s attention — they meet at the base of the spiral staircase overlooking the Metro’s dance floor.
Florian tells him his decision.
“Let me tell you,” says Frank. “I really thought we were going to have a good sit down and beat this one out. Here you are, though, offering to climb out of whatever opening you weaselled through into my life.” Frank shakes his head, laughing bewilderedly through poorly shielded relief.