The film consists of several episodes linked by the eponymous creature, a forlorn dachshund shuffled from one tenuous situation to the next. First, the dog lives with a shy little boy and his self-involved parents, then with an awkward and lonely veterinary assistant, followed by a bitter screenwriting teacher and an elderly woman dying of cancer. When Remi Keaton Nigel Cooke plays his flute to the crated dog, you sense that the kid is the more trapped of the two.
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In Wiener-Dog , Solondz does what he does best: pulling great performances out of an ensemble cast including Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Zosia Mamet, and Julie Delpy to tell interwoven micro-stories that vacillate between abjection and absurdity. DeVito is one of the highlights of the film, playing curmudgeonly film teacher Dave Schmerz with all of his salty vulnerability. As Zoe, Mamet shows real comic chops as the prodigal granddaughter of a wealthy elderly cancer patient Ellen Burstyn.
Zoe arrives at her Nana's house with her African-American conceptual-artist boyfriend, Fantasy played brilliantly by Michael Shaw , to ask for ten thousand dollars to fund his career. What lifts Wiener-Dog above mere parody are its surreal little interludes. Since explanation is impossible, absurd art is restricted to a description of the myriad experiences in the world.
All these works start from the absurd position, and the first two explore the theme of philosophical suicide. However, both The Diary and his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov , ultimately find a path to hope and faith and thus fail as truly absurd creations. In the last chapter, Camus outlines the legend of Sisyphus who defied the gods and put Death in chains so that no human needed to die.
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When Death was eventually liberated and it came time for Sisyphus himself to die, he concocted a deceit which let him escape from the underworld. After finally capturing Sisyphus, the gods decided that his punishment would last for all eternity. He would have to push a rock up a mountain; upon reaching the top, the rock would roll down again, leaving Sisyphus to start over. Camus sees Sisyphus as the absurd hero who lives life to the fullest, hates death, and is condemned to a meaningless task.
Camus presents Sisyphus's ceaseless and pointless toil as a metaphor for modern lives spent working at futile jobs in factories and offices. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Camus is interested in Sisyphus' thoughts when marching down the mountain, to start anew. After the stone falls back down the mountain Camus states that "It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end.
He does not have hope, but "there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. Camus claims that when Sisyphus acknowledges the futility of his task and the certainty of his fate, he is freed to realize the absurdity of his situation and to reach a state of contented acceptance. With a nod to the similarly cursed Greek hero Oedipus , Camus concludes that "all is well," indeed, that "one must imagine Sisyphus happy.
The essay contains an appendix titled "Hope and the Absurd in the work of Franz Kafka ". While Camus acknowledges that Kafka's work represents an exquisite description of the absurd condition, he maintains that Kafka fails as an absurd writer because his work retains a glimmer of hope. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For mythology regarding the Greek character Sisyphus, see Sisyphus. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
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