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Anime Stats
Days: 25.0
Mean Score: 5.84
  • Total Entries286
  • Rewatched1
  • Episodes1,425
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Boku no Kanojo ga Majimesugiru Sho-bitch na Ken
Boku no Kanojo ga Majimesugiru Sho-bitch na Ken
Jun 25, 4:59 PM
Dropped 2/10 · Scored 1
Jan 5, 9:45 PM
Dropped 1/13 · Scored 2
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!
Jan 5, 9:18 PM
Watching 1/12 · Scored -
Manga Stats
Days: 1.4
Mean Score: 6.75
  • Total Entries18
  • Reread0
  • Chapters253
  • Volumes18
Manga History Last Manga Updates
Ultra Heaven
Ultra Heaven
Apr 20, 2019 11:24 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Panorama of Hell
Panorama of Hell
Aug 15, 2018 9:02 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Aug 15, 2018 9:01 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -


All Comments (241) Comments

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AndyM8 Oct 10, 7:35 AM
Attack on Titan isn't bad you just want to hate it that's why you can't see it's positives
TheyCallMeTMoney Jul 16, 3:57 PM
Accurate and well-written Sakimichi no Apollon review. I appreciate you. 🙂 The high school melodrama was hard to watch, and I was super disappointed when I came in thinking I'd see some unique story around jazz. Love jazz. 🙁

Seeing Uzumaki on your Manga favorites list also reminds me that I've always wanted to read that since like 10 years ago! I need to get on that. 😂
Xillef Jun 1, 10:02 AM
Rukair Apr 23, 7:49 PM
phothewin Dec 7, 2019 6:52 PM
"But enough about Monogatari."

I didn't even need to read the rest of the review lmao, immediate thumbs up (aka, clicked "helpful"). Fucking W.
CodeBlazeFate Nov 15, 2019 2:32 PM
mfw that Bunny Girl review thumbnail is the best shot in the show and it's the ugliest bit of masking I can remember
Fleure Nov 3, 2019 9:54 AM
Not particularly. I'll respond next about Absence.
Fleure Nov 1, 2019 5:26 PM
I don't think your point necessarily conflicts with mine nor is even within the scope of really what I'm addressing. We both agreed on what the "artifice" was and the role that it played. I think the discussion on semiotics is interesting because its a way in which we can break down the artifice and understand it elementally, but the point about holistic understanding is a bit negligible since we both really agreed on that from the get-go. My point was more related to something specific that we can point to more downstream after the general paradigm you mentioned. It's much more confined to the structural decision and the paradox that then surfaces.

I don't think I disagree with him ultimately being a tragic character, but there are great moments of sympathy and humanity that's displayed in Svevo's works that feel more as a complementary force to the fundamental pessimistic ideas, rather than just always supporting them. I think the comedy, in transition- even if short term, speaks for that. There was actually a really good essay I read that kind of shared my thoughts on this. I'll share an excerpt from it (from the New Criterion, "The Good-Natured Pessimist":

As a young man, the Triestine novelist Italo Svevo’s favorite author was Schopenhauer. “The whole of Svevo’s life shows traces of the deep impression left on his mind by ‘the philosopher of pessimism,’” writes John Gatt-Rutter, in his recent, carefully researched, and richly detailed biography of Svevo, “but his application of Schopenhauer was not the usual one.” A good thing, too, for it was Schopenhauer who wrote that we must “regard man first and foremost as a being who exists only as a consequence of his culpability and whose life is an expiation of the crime of being born.” It was Schopenhauer, again, who set out the bleak terms under which, in his view, we all play the hopeless game of life:

[Schopenhauer quote]

Italo Svevo believed all this, but he also believed that embedded in the tragedy of existence there was comedy. Man may be tragic in the long view but in the short view he was more often ridiculous; and this ridiculousness, along with making him comical, made him, in the work of the mature Svevo, sympathetic. This general view makes Svevo himself what the Italians call a pessimista bonario, or good-natured pessimist.

So for me, it's less about a battle of ideologies and more about framing these ideologies a little bit more realistically or comprehensively (a notable trait of a lot of good literature). And in these contexts, contradiction and complements are almost always intuited naturally. Therefore, my perspective wasn't one of pitting pessimism against optimism or anything of that sort, nor framing the character with any kind of personal bias relating to good/bad/ignorant/wise. It's mostly just outlining that there was more here than gloom and doom because muh suffering and existing is a mistake. And I think the functional aspects of comedy are crucial in delineating that very important distinction.

At the end of the aforesaid article, the author mentions:

There is something heroic, inspiring even, about a writer who, without reducing life’s complexity or denying its terrors, never loses his delight in it. Italo Svevo, the good-natured pessimist and admirer of Schopenhauer, was such a writer. Simply because life is impossible, his writing implies, is no reason not to enjoy it. The good-natured pessimist laughs in the dark, and we, laughing with him, feel, however fleetingly, that we can glimpse the light.

And I know this is more directed to Svevo than the novel itself, but I believe this sentiment holds true very much even in Zeno's Confessions.

Hopefully, that makes sense.
Fleure Oct 31, 2019 5:48 PM
I didn't imply that you were admonishing either novel or their styles. All I was saying is that structurally they all use very specific mechanisms that don't really make one seem more inflexible than the other (whether that's specific iconography or a projection of the internal onto the external - in Hamsun's case, the jarring effect of the setting and modernity and the role that it plays in the unnamed prot.'s existential affairs). Either way, like you said, that's another conversation.

You don’t think him being conscious of the effects of lying was significant? I think the opposite.

Not on the philosophy or paradox/structure set up by Svevo. On his actual character and how that character grapples with the former is a different story and I pointed that out already. It's deterministic in that sense. There is no unpredictability in where his psychoanalysis is going or whether it's going to bear actual results. Even he knows this, let alone our ability to infer it. Just to clarify then, this point has no bearing on the ways in which his psychoanalysis fails, but rather just the simple fact that it does. That's what I mean. It's not really that consequential to that aspect. Of course, it's essential to his character which is an integral part of the story, and by extension to analyze why the psychoanalysis fails. My bad for any confusion there.

Well, I mean, I'm sure you can draw those parallels given Svevo's aversion to fascism and its ultimate rise in his area/country. I think it could be both, but I think it's more prominent in speaking for Zeno's character/nature.

I tried to explain the complementary aspect earlier in my previous comment(s). How Zeno essentially embraces and simultaneously combats that pessimism and futility. The novel isn't entirely just Zeno subscribing to his fate and the attached futility. He still lives onwards, albeit through the power of lies. That in itself and the power he can wield with language creates some kind of inherent meaning which complements the kind of void that the former philosophy innately posits, but doesn't absolutely conclude. Even with his frequent desires to laugh at him and his situations is also another way he combats that. He does that earnestly. That's not necessarily a bleak thing. Sometimes to survive, you have to find humor in things. And laugh at yourself. And so he does. Schopenhauer also had answers to this and lofty ones at that, but instead of turning genuinely to any of those, he did all the things we discussed and found solidarity in them.
Fleure Oct 29, 2019 12:14 PM
I feel like any of these narratives with such prominent psychological flavoring, it's hard to call one more idiosyncratic than the other especially in relation to how the structural decisions play out (well at least out of the well-known examples we gave). I'm still a little confused about the inflexibility aspect since the same can be argued for Dostoevsky or Hamsun, but the mechanisms they used are different. Anyways, that's neither here nor there.

My point about lying was more to highlight how his awareness of it didn't actually matter. That's what the bulk of my ramblings were about. Whether he was conscious of it or not played no significant result in the ultimate appeal or result. That's what made it appealing to some extent. That's what made the structure and paradox so compelling. He literally was just a pawn in his own story, which ironically, he set up to have more grand, personal effects but ended up proving his own realized futility even further (this is also one of the reasons psychology, specifically the Freudian lens is so powerful here because of how those goals get exploited with the utmost irony and acuity).

>Zeno is a performer in more ways than lingual, though

Did I imply that the performance was entirely lingual? Not sure if I somehow gave that impression.

What do you mean by the fascism comment? Elaborate a little more. I think I understand what you're asking but not 100% sure. I mean, more than just drawing out the age-old dichotomy of fact and fiction, I think it's a far more powerful commentary on subjectivity, which is where Schopenhauer really begins to enter the picture for me. This is also why I don't believe the sentiments portrayed in the novel are absolute in their pessimism and open to something a bit complementary. Though, yes, superficially I think the novel goes to far lengths to disprove objective limitations/perceptions (fact) in favor of the blatantly fabricated lifestyles/musings (power of lies) of Zeno (but ultimately as a way to reconcile the pessimism/futility that is recurring and in a way absolute).
Fleure Oct 23, 2019 7:23 AM
Whoops, I forgot to mention that I also really liked the novel. :D
Fleure Oct 22, 2019 8:26 PM
I’m not sure if I’d describe the structure as more inflexible. What makes you say that specifically? Knut Hamsun, or rather his novel Hunger tends to follow more in Dostoevskyian tradition, which is stylistically and substantially different than what Svevo is doing here, but there is a common theme of extrapolating and transposing the psyche in a way that is dominant. Though, I digress.

I’d agree that some chapters felt a little drawn out, but I think holistically, they felt fitting. It seems that as time went on, Zeno really starting drowning in his own paradox, or one that Svevo initially sets up and ultimately achieves throughout the thought experiment conducted via Zeno’s -somewhat ironical- psychoanalysis. The constant uphill battle of being the experimenter and subject was an interesting and unique way to tackle the various things this novel does. SO ultimately, even the drawn-out material really seemed to suit the guiding framework of the overarching work and honestly, some of it was downright comedic.

I think Zeno being a liar is the strongest point of his character; he very much acknowledges and even admires his tendencies to falsify/fabricate things. It’s something that’s constantly thrown in our faces and with such honesty that it feels like another ironical ploy. It essentially feels like some next level inversive trick in which, we know he’s unreliable, but his acknowledgment of the things he’s fabricating and justifying as a result (TO HIMSELF, which is key to my argument rather than to us/audience/doctor/whomever) and the events that transpire have some degree of ingenuity and truth to them. This is how we really begin to understand the nature of “Zeno”. But back to his fabrications, I think at some point in the marriage chapter (which I think is one of the more definitive “sessions” of the novel) he blatantly says something along the lines of everything coming out of his mouth misleading people or just being straight-up wrong, but with the added justification that without doing so, speaking/communicating is a pointless activity. Words had to be an event in and of themselves. I think this really speaks to what Svevo is doing here and who Zeno is.

So, then this thought experiment/façade/charade starts as a seemingly whimsical activity, but becomes a self-affirming activity for Zeno, and probably not in the traditional sense. I think we’ve touched on how a little so I won’t delve too much into that. But this is important primarily because it relates to my earlier point about how this whole exercise functions as a justification of Zeno’s futility in life to Zeno. The brilliance in Svevo doing this lies precisely because there is some universality in how this plays out. Zeno isn’t alone in what he’s doing here. We learn that much of his life has been a constant torrent of failures and mediocrity, but he’s “overcome” that sinkhole of meaningless through his own creations (his tendency to laugh at himself or at serious events, orate fantastical/fictional accounts and pass them off as truths, etc). Perhaps, he realizes his own hypocrisy and wrongness, being so self-aware of his tendencies, but he’s fine with them. And that’s what it comes down to for me, at least.

I have more to say about Schopenhauer since I think my view differs a bit from yours, but I’ll write more about that later. I think these responses are getting gigantic as it is, lol.
Fleure Oct 18, 2019 7:16 PM
Will respond tomorrow!
Fleure Oct 15, 2019 4:44 PM
I’m so glad we are overthonking to this degree, in which we are talking about everyone except Svevo, lmao. Nah, jk.
I’m not going to respond to all of this just because I think we are deviating way too much from the actual novel and going into philosophical overthonk, but I will address some major points that are still probably still ambiguous/reason for contention.

> I see it as two separate yet intrinsically connected systems,

Yes and I agreed with that. What I disagreed with was that one was required in order to understand the other. I fully understand/know the goals of Freud’s original studies/theories. That was never the contention. Obviously the novel is written with that SPECIFIC context in mind and will reflect that. But we also cannot conflate to this degree of acuity, the result of Svevo’s psychoanalysis in a fictional works and the goals of what Freud propagated in academia. We can only draw certain parallels, which I have no problem with doing.

>Why does this relate to various semiotic processes?...I think the parallels are realistic,

Again, I know why, how, etc etc this relates to semiotic processes and agreed that there was substance to looking into it in order to wax certain meanings about the various functions and objects of the confessions, and even to the relevant psychological ordering. I am only talking in context of this novel, not what philosophers and psychologists did after it was published and post-structuralism, and what came after Freud. It’s a very specific thing I mentioned that in no way negated the actual parallel you are proposing. I never denied or argued against that. There was also never any kind of rejection on my end regarding semiotics and psychology interacting. You are explaining things that I 1) already know, 2) never disagreed with.

The only thing I differed on was the extent that we needed to employ semiotics to understand the actual nature of Svevo’s novel, which I believe can be achieved by a basic understanding of early psychology and how that psychology functioned to explain the human mind. Really, that’s it. Of course that analysis can be done to get into the specific details that explain the overall “conclusion” or themes or even the psychology behind the psychology, but it’s more a functional tool at that point, which you yourself agreed on. MFW you’re giving an instruction manual on how to conduct semiotic process, artrill please. I think all those arguments with bern got your head in a daze, lmao.

Yes, Schopenhauer influenced Jung and a thousand other people. I brought up Schopenhauer to discuss something different than what you brought up Jung to discuss, so we can’t really equate the two as being anything alike in our goals, with the exception of what role individuation, or rather individualism plays in Schopenhauer’s philosophy which is basically one of deception to some extent. It doesn’t really exist. It’s illusory. And again, this is less psychology, and more of a synthesis of an entire worldview that I was alluding to that is attempted in the novel. Also, I don’t recall anything about Schopenhauer giving stock to symbolic experiences or making any psychological conclusions about such. His psychological contributions stemmed from his philosophy, about desires/unconscious/all that fun stuff and its relation to will and intellect (or rather lack of). I don’t know if I buy the pervasiveness with which you sell semiosis role in all this, but what I have agreed on still stands and the examples you gave relating to the book are still true, which were never in question in the first place, lmao.

But maybe we should talk about the actual book, lol
Fleure Oct 15, 2019 2:05 PM
I’m actually done with the novel, so I’ll try not to spoil. Sorry for the randomness of it all. I wrote this pretty sporadically right now at work, lol.

1. What is ‘psychological’ (in that arts) isn’t necessarily under or inhibited by any academic/scientific purview, or how it evolved/is recognized. People have grasped certain fundamental notions (about x,y,z) before academics needed to brand and release it as something “scientific”, or “quantifiable”, or “empirical”. This is one of the great benefits of fiction, and something that sci-fi really tends to embrace/build its frameworks around. Thus, the coinage of the term “psychology” or its establishment as a soft science and then an actual medical/scientific field is somewhat irrelevant to the arts, especially in how people/artists could infer certain patterns of the human psyche and specifically, the human condition and extrapolate a story rooted in the ‘psychological’. Plenty of writers were doing the same thing that you mentioned before people could even grasp the idea of psychology being a branch since philosophy (which often relied on psychological conjectures) was too busy meming around Cartesian/Hegelian/Kantian thought and the relationships they defined. Though here there is a direct connection, because we have Freud clearly leaving his mark on the world, and as much as Freud trolled, Svevo/Schmitz found something to bask in and utilize in his fiction, not just as something of utility, but also of substantive style. Ahh, psychoanalysis.

II. Surprisingly, his writings found very little success, initially (specifically in his own homeland). With the assistance of Joyce and his network of French powerhouses, Svevo was able to find some literary fame post-Zeno. But then he died almost immediately after it. The point is that none of his methodologies enticed the readers. They found his works to be listless and unglorified. Whereas Italians wanted romantic portrayals of machoism and heroism, Svevo was writing quixotic tales of the meek and undignified, in which irony, comedy, despair, overthonking, psychology, and an endless list of other subjects/devices were packaged in a very grounded, profound way that was anything but glorious/epic.

III. Onto the novel itself, I’m going to deviate away from the discussion on semiotics (will return to this) and say the single most important influence/reading lens here (besides Freud) is Schopenhauer. I want to recognize the importance that Schopenhauer played for Svevo in his overall development, and it really does reflect in Zeno, more than anything else really. Whether you want to look at this from how he approaches “confessions”, or his ultimate understanding/view of the world, or even how some of the language is constructed that (some of which you explained with Lacanian or other grand semiotic commentators) it reverberates with Schopenhauerian notes. I think the interesting thing to note is the addition of comedy. Among the great suffering of man and the tragedy of existing, man is also ridiculous. This is constantly reinforced by Zeno and every ‘confession’ follows this kind of structural output and tends to culminate to the same conclusion. I won’t ruminate on philosophical trends too much, but here are a few things to note regarding Schopenhauer:

1. The role of suffering. It is very pronounced and very internalized, a natural product of not just the main character, but the world. The cycle of wants/desires leading to an unending state of despair/suffering and for Zeno, many various forms of “deaths” or “losses”. Though this is explored constantly through comedy as he has a habit of “laughing at all matters” and ridiculing his own predicament. His father flamed him hard for this.

2. The role that the arts, specifically literary, plays in conjunction with the former. The kind of transcendence that aesthetics can lead to is also in tradition with Schopenhauer.

3. The reliance on the inconsequential and the irrational nature of the cosmos, and thuss, man. This should be evident. This is also why I believe psychoanalysis is such a strong/effective way to explore the kind of story/character that Svevo does. The futility that rests at the end of each endeavor or tragedy/comedy is a testament to that.

There’s a lot more, but these were some of the big ones.

IV. I’m not sure if I understand or agree with the notion that psychology relies on symbology or symbols. I agree that there is a definite relationship between the two, but it isn’t one of prerequisites, at least in my opinion. Perhaps, I’m misunderstanding something. I don’t know if the lingual/semiotic reading of it overwhelmed the purely psychological (and I do want to make the distinction even if there are clear relationships). One example of this is the ironic nature of the confession. Zeno’s analyzes himself to correct a view or even justify his views on himself under the farce of “doctor’s order’s” while being clearly in the wrong. Whether he recognizes this or not is not the point because the unreliable narrator will tell us so and we must always be in the position to reject any kind of point-blank truth being adorned by the narrator. One expects some kind of resolution or a cure/ “end” to the kind of ailments that Zeno talks about, but then we discover the natural state of things and life. And the way that gets resolved is what I think speaks the most volume. So then what ends up mattering more than the symbology behind the psychology, is the psychology itself – one that is no-frills, yet full of deception and farce. I think this farce is where we can employ the kind of semiotic analysis you’re talking about.

V. Returning to semiotics then - it is merely a tool that we can use to wax certain meanings and their importance. I don’t think it can really be used to conclude anything about the grander ideations of Svevo. We can hearken back to some of the ideas I mentioned before for that. The analysis of these objects, their semiotic outputs, and how that compounds over the duration of the novel, to bring us the ultimate result (rather than conclusion) about Zeno’s Confessions. You will see by the end that this bleak-yet-comedic account has some rather optimistic things to say, even they are well hidden and even shunned for the most part. TFW the moral of the story is to learn to laugh at yourself. That is the only way to get through life :D

Yes, I enjoyed it a lot. :D