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Daniel McInerny

Joined: Apr. 23, 2012

Bio:

Daniel McInerny is an author, entrepreneur, and CEO of Trojan Tub Entertainment (kingdomofpatria.com). His most recent novel is the comic thriller, High Concepts: A Hollywood Nightmare, available at Amazon.com. 


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Re: What The Hunger Games miss

Apr. 26 at 9:05am | see this comment in context

Here, in slightly more polished form, is my take on The Hunger Games. I appreciate being part of this discussion, Katie.

Re: What The Hunger Games miss

Apr. 23 at 9:06pm | see this comment in context

Katie, I totally agree with your description of the relationship of Austen's fiction to transcendence in the second paragraph of your last comment. About the snobbish point...I'd like to talk about specific examples. Her comic contempt is never aimed at the unrefined and unintelligent except insofar as these are moral defects, rather than merely natural characteristics. I'm thinking of Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, for example, who is portrayed as stupid in a sense, but it's a moral stupidity that is being criticized, I believe, an intellectual and moral vanity that makes him oily and dense.  

Re: What The Hunger Games miss

Apr. 23 at 1:48pm | see this comment in context

I must respectfully disagree, however, with Katie's and Diotima's conclusions about Jane Austen. True, religion and faith are not among Austen's most prominent themes, though what it means to be a clergyman does play a significant role in Mansfield Park. And as for the class snobbery objection, I don't think such an objection can survive a consideration of the way in which Pride and Prejudice serves as an argument against the class prejudices of Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Mr. Collins. It is also worth saying that the existence of social classes does not necessarily entail the existence of snobbery. The finale of Emma leaves the social hierarchy in place, while also upholding benevolence to all one's neighbors and tenants, no matter how humble. 

Re: What The Hunger Games miss

Apr. 23 at 1:39pm | see this comment in context

"Can man get along without war?"

In bringing Percy into this discussion I am not claiming that Suzanne Collins is bringing Percy's incisive perceptiveness into our culture of death into The Hunger Games. But I think, almost despite herself, she hits upon one of the truths Percy mentions in the passage quoted: that what defines perhaps most of all a culture of death is that in it one often feels only truly, vividly alive when confronted by the sudden finality of horrific death.

Isn't this where Katniss Everdeen finds courage, friendship, loyalty, and love: when gruesome death approaches both for her and those she holds most dear? A death, moreover, that is dealt out by a Capitol that is grotesquely "life-affirming" in its pronouncements?

The Hunger Games then, I take it, is a twisted cry for life--a life that can only be vividly experienced, paradoxically, within the sick reality TV set of the Games. To this small but significant extent, The Hunger Games gropes desperately for the transcendent, for that which can survive the soul-annihilating existence of the Capitol. And I think this is the key to why kids are flocking to see it. 

 

Re: What The Hunger Games miss

Apr. 23 at 1:23pm | see this comment in context

"...even if the truth is a kind of upside-downness. And if it is the novelist's business to look and see what is there for everyone to see but is nonetheless not seen, and if the novelist is by his very nature a hopeful man--he HAS to be hopeful or he would not bother to write at all--he then sooner or later he must confront the great paradox of the twentieth century: that no other time has been more life-affirming in its pronouncements, self-fulfilling, creative, autonomous, and so on--and more death-dealing in its actions. It is the century of the love of death....

"Everyone admits the atrocities of the century, which we like to think of as horrifying, inexplicable, and occurring at a great remove from us. True, every century has its horrors, but what the novelist notices, peculiar fellow that he is, is that in these strange times people, himself included, seem to experience life most vividly, most immediately, remember places best, on the occasion of war, assassination, hurricanes, and other catastrophes. The real question is seldom asked. It is not: How do we prevent the final war? but: What do we do if we succed?...

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