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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgh View Post
    Jorge Luis Borges. Morrison has mentioned him as a major influence. As a bonus, he only wrote short stories so he's exactly what you're looking for.
    hahaha. i actually go nuts pointing the link between those two. Circular Ruins is pretty much the type that I'm looking for. The character awknowledges that he's not real. However, it's a bit more of a Gaiman sort of deconstruction. Aditionally both do that thing in which, if you lose focus in a blurry sort of sense, you start thinking "wait was that real or not?". I'm remembering also an animated story in which the citizens of a town realize that they are a dream and that they would cease to exist the moment their dreamer awakes, so the design a portal and a sleeping camera within the dream to keep him asleep forever. And of course, there is Inception.

    I intend to find out the sort of story in which a character realizes that he's fiction and fights to save his reality. So far I have:
    *The NeverEnding Story
    *Sophie's World
    *Animal Man
    *Duck Amuck
    *Stranger than Fiction
    *The Circular Ruins

    I was watching Loney Tunes the other day... I think postmodernism stole their act. People think Woody Allen breaking the fourth wall is a big thing, but Daffy and Bugs did it on a regular basis. It's no shock, the early postmodern generation grew up with those cartoons.
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  2. #92
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    Hard to say if anything is the "equivalent" of 'Animal Man' in its medium. The metafictional aspect of 'AM' is the character realizing he's a character and meeting his author, and we have already been pointed towards 'At Swim Two Birds', 'Breakfast of Champions' and 'Lanark' for that particular trick, but as you insist on short fiction...

    On a more general level, Donald Barthelme pretty much only wrote "deconstructive" "postmodernist" short fiction so anything you pick up by him is likely to fit the bill (one of his early stories even uses Batman); I'd recommend 'Sixty Stories'. Barthelme is one of my favorite writers ever, FYI. Along those lines, Robert Coover's 'Pricksongs and Descants' offers entertaining short deconstructions, as supposedly does John Barth's 'Lost in the Funhouse', though I haven't read that one. Keep in mind the "deconstruction" happening here is of literature, and not pulp literature either, so it looks a lot different from the comics version of same.

    Another of my all-time faves, Vladimir Nabokov liked himself some metafictional games, and his short stories are no exception ('The Stories of'... collects them all). Italo Calvino's 'Cosmicomics' comes to mind. Some of the later stories of Ballard's come close, and if you're a big Morrison fan you should be reading those already as I've mentioned. Barrington Bailey's 'Knights of the Limits' and other bits from the new worlds school can be rather Borgesian but not necessarily meta... William S. Burroughs' 'Exterminator!' has some stuff along the lines we're talking here.

    OK Rafas, there's like seven books of deconstructive short prose fiction for you to work your way through; if you do, I bet you'll find some things to add to your list. And in case anyone's become confused, I am NOT suggesting these as probable influences on Morrison, just recommendations of fellow travelers of sorts.

    PS- if you want to see the real Secret Origin of the postmodern writers, check out the wilder 'New Yorker' humor writings from the '30s and '40s, in particular SJ Perelman and EB White.
    Last edited by Atsab; 01-03-2013 at 10:35 PM.

  3. #93
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    Julio Cortazar I should add

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Hedge Coke View Post
    They actually draw from similar sources (hence the King of Tears and such, which both times comes from Euripedes and a pun), but Morrison has copped to not finishing a Dick novel until his career was already in swing. The alien satellite contact in The Invisibles owes as much to OMAC as it does Morrison's own Barbelith hallucination/vision from his hospital bed, but it doesn't derive from VALIS and the VALIS connections made in comics are backformations. I see no reason he'd lie about that.
    Hello. I was just reading VALIS and I noticed some amazing connections between it and The Invisibles. Namely, the spot of light (valis in VALIS, Barbelith in Invisibles) that gives information on the state of the universe (roughly the same information ,that time does not exist and "the universe is contracting into a unitary entry which is completing itself (VALIS)", is given in both), and that there was some sort of event in 1945 that did something (the bomb/roswell thing in Invisibles and the finding and reading of "The Gnostic Library" in VALIS). These seem like some extremely interesting correspondences, and it does seem like they would have to draw on some similar sources if Morrison did not read any Dick. Can you go into what you think those sources are? Thank you.

  5. #95
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobgadling View Post
    Hello. I was just reading VALIS and I noticed some amazing connections between it and The Invisibles. Namely, the spot of light (valis in VALIS, Barbelith in Invisibles) that gives information on the state of the universe (roughly the same information ,that time does not exist and "the universe is contracting into a unitary entry which is completing itself (VALIS)", is given in both), and that there was some sort of event in 1945 that did something (the bomb/roswell thing in Invisibles and the finding and reading of "The Gnostic Library" in VALIS). These seem like some extremely interesting correspondences, and it does seem like they would have to draw on some similar sources if Morrison did not read any Dick. Can you go into what you think those sources are? Thank you.
    The Roswell/A-Bomb thing has come through various religious/magicky organizations and conspiracy theories as well, as do other incidents in that time-frame. (Somebody or other pins that as the return year of Jesus, as well, but heck if I remember who.) Also, the idea of the universe reaching a finality or a significant point sometime in the future, when things will be all-good or all-over. Time being an illusion and the universe being story or information are old theories, old ideologies and cosmogonies that show up in many religious stories and myths around the world, as well as many fictional tales, going all the way back to the first tries at sympathetic magic.

    Both Dick and Morrison claim to have been contacted by an entity resembling the one they wrote about (or to have experienced hallucinations to that effect). But, a space satellite that plays Jesus and tells you important things while remaining hidden? That's also Brother Eye from OMAC. That's a lot of things, really, including, yes, simply gnostic versions of a hidden true Jesus or true God. The followup to VALIS, Divine Invasion is explicitly a riff on many parts of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, which does illuminate parts of VALIS as well. Parsifal and Grail myths seem to hold a strong attraction for both Dick and Morrison, and play prominently in The Invisibles and in VALIS, and of course, the grail is often represented as a font of wisdom, healing, etc that is in disguise and far away.

    But Morrison never claimed he didn't know of VALIS, just that he hadn't read it. When the Dick stuff shows up in The Invisibles, it's generalizations or famous quotes, not subtle or esoteric stuff, because Morrison's contact with the material was indirect, friends talking about something or a quote used elsewhere.

    I thought the christlike fish-spaceship in The Invisibles was a Dick and Joyce reference for years because I was ignoring the basic, everyday, simple Christ/fish conflation, that simple symbol. It's easy to forget or to stop seeing common roots.

  6. #96
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    That spot of light that represents Barbelith always reminded me of an episode of The Prisoner. I believe it was "The General." It involved information being allegedly beamed straight into the minds of the people watching this TV program. There was the appearance of an oval shaped light during the process. If I recall, it too varied between red and green, but it's been a while since I watched it.

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atsab View Post
    Hard to say if anything is the "equivalent" of 'Animal Man' in its medium. The metafictional aspect of 'AM' is the character realizing he's a character and meeting his author, and we have already been pointed towards 'At Swim Two Birds', 'Breakfast of Champions' and 'Lanark' for that particular trick, but as you insist on short fiction...

    On a more general level, Donald Barthelme pretty much only wrote "deconstructive" "postmodernist" short fiction so anything you pick up by him is likely to fit the bill (one of his early stories even uses Batman); I'd recommend 'Sixty Stories'. Barthelme is one of my favorite writers ever, FYI. Along those lines, Robert Coover's 'Pricksongs and Descants' offers entertaining short deconstructions, as supposedly does John Barth's 'Lost in the Funhouse', though I haven't read that one. Keep in mind the "deconstruction" happening here is of literature, and not pulp literature either, so it looks a lot different from the comics version of same.

    Another of my all-time faves, Vladimir Nabokov liked himself some metafictional games, and his short stories are no exception ('The Stories of'... collects them all). Italo Calvino's 'Cosmicomics' comes to mind. Some of the later stories of Ballard's come close, and if you're a big Morrison fan you should be reading those already as I've mentioned. Barrington Bailey's 'Knights of the Limits' and other bits from the new worlds school can be rather Borgesian but not necessarily meta... William S. Burroughs' 'Exterminator!' has some stuff along the lines we're talking here.

    OK Rafas, there's like seven books of deconstructive short prose fiction for you to work your way through; if you do, I bet you'll find some things to add to your list. And in case anyone's become confused, I am NOT suggesting these as probable influences on Morrison, just recommendations of fellow travelers of sorts.

    PS- if you want to see the real Secret Origin of the postmodern writers, check out the wilder 'New Yorker' humor writings from the '30s and '40s, in particular SJ Perelman and EB White.
    You are awesome!

    Let's do it with movies now!
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  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafa-Rivas-2099 View Post

    Let's do it with movies now!
    The only movie I can think of where the characters know they're characters is 'Weekend'. Movies that are "meta" in a more general way:

    8 1/2
    A Moment of Innocence
    Irma Vep
    New Nightmare
    Adaptation
    Stardust Memories
    Last Action Hero
    In the Mouth of Madness
    Rubber
    Contempt

    Not all of these are good, fyi. French New Wave movies are usually referential and form-focused enough to almost always be candidates, and other Woody Allen films play with art/life back & forths. Like in Loony Tunes, breaking the fourth wall is extremely common in comedies of the Spaceballs, Airplane or Monty Python variety probably going back to the birth of cinema. I feel like it almost doesn't "count" in a parody or a cartoon (animated or otherwise), because in those cases it's for the sake of a gag rather than some kinda thought-provocation, but that may be a pointless and unhelpful distinction on my part.

    This movie ended up being disappointing for me, but I wanted to share its awesome trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PFcOeM_Usk
    Last edited by Atsab; 01-06-2013 at 12:51 PM.

  9. #99
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    T Hedge, I was wondering if you'd elaborate on the king of tears sophocles/pun thing you mentioned earlier.

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atsab View Post
    Tike in Loony Tunes, breaking the fourth wall is extremely common in comedies of the Spaceballs, Airplane or Monty Python variety probably going back to the birth of cinema. I feel like it almost doesn't "count" in a parody or a cartoon (animated or otherwise), because in those cases it's for the sake of a gag rather than some kinda thought-provocation, but that may be a pointless and unhelpful distinction on my part.
    I figured that breaking the 4th wall didn't start with Looney Tunes, specially since they draw a lot of influence from the Marx Bros., the Three Stooges and the rest, all of them modern comedy.
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  11. #101
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atsab View Post
    T Hedge, I was wondering if you'd elaborate on the king of tears sophocles/pun thing you mentioned earlier.
    (Winging this, so be warned.) In The Bacchae, the human priest of Dionysus, who is also thus Dionysus, confronts King Penthus, and refers to him as King Pentheus, which is, as I understand, King of Tears. Penthus, there, is over-regulating and demanding to be in charge of everything not for the glory of power (I suppose), but to keep punishing himself (and everyone else). The arrest and subjugation of Dionysus isn't to have power over him as much as to deprive himself of Dionysus.

    Richard Crashaw uses this, much later, to represent Satan as that same sort of sulky, "I'll go sit in a corner and ignore all of you popular kids because wwaaaaah!"

    And in the 17th Century, John Ford's The Broken Heart uses it as a tertiary beat for his Penthea, who starves herself to death to get out of her unhappy life (at the same time an elderly failing king dies, and other echoes).

    You see some religious organizations, such as the late 19th Century mysticism cults and orders of Britain and the US using King of Tears to represent a sort of demiurge or false deity, which is the direction Dick takes it in, more or less.

  12. #102
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    Just an FYI...

    I've seen Philip K Dick mentioned a lot in this thread. I went to Morrisoncon and during one of the Q+A sessions there Grant said he wasn't a huge PKD fan and that he had only read a couple of his books. I believe he mentioned Ubik or Valis (don't remember which one) and said something about finding his work sort of dull.

  13. #103
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    I finally saw 2001 Space Odyssey.

    This movie screams Grant Morrison to me. Has to be a huge influence on his work.

  14. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Holmes View Post
    I finally saw 2001 Space Odyssey.

    This movie screams Grant Morrison to me. Has to be a huge influence on his work.
    Oh, sure it does. I think Final Crisis has a lot of that vibe going on.

    ...Now that I think about it, Stanley's pacing and use of imagery in general reminds me a lot of Morrison.
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  15. #105
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    From what I googled, Morrison used to watch it three times a month as a kid with his mom.

    Now I really want Morrison to get more involved films.

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