Transgression in Theory: The Idea of a Fight Club

Not very much has been written, on even a basic theoretical level, about this weird thing we call transgressive fiction. I call it weird because the very idea of lumping together some twisted and “dangerous” novels and seeing them as part of a “group” — or worse, a genre — feels, to me, like a bad move. Certainly, as I’ll happily concede, novels like American Psycho and Fight Club have thematic similarities, as well as stylistic ones. Still, considering them in terms of a genre, which apparently we have come to do, means softening them, cushioning their blows, and attributing (in hindsight) a pattern to their development.

It doesn’t, in the end, matter very much, because as the popularity of the transgressive genre rises, so will its impact diminish. Not to say the texts themselves will lose their power: it’s trickier than that. I think, rather, that whatever is genuinely transgressive about these novels — assuming they are transgressive in any real sense — will be overlooked.

Transgression is a very difficult concept. I’ve found that in conversations about Bret Easton Ellis or Chuck Palahniuk, it’s rarely made clear what exactly is being transgressed. Beyond that, it’s hard to explain why the transgressions are needed in the first place. And since so little theoretical discussion exists that deals directly with this kind of text (notwithstanding some excellent film criticism), I’m going to try my hand at starting a conversation.

I must take certain things for granted, at least at first. For instance, I think that the idea of jouissance, an irrational, exuberant enjoyment without any purpose except itself, is a fantastically useful one. It was developed by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, and more recently by the Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, to explain many apparently unreasonable kinds of behavior in people. This enjoyment has to be understood as extremely desirable: it’s a thrill, it’s the kick we get out of things even though we probably wouldn’t if we operated on cold logic. A football team wins and your friends start screaming with joy; or you hear someone say something arousing to you that nobody else can hear, and you feel those “butterflies” in your stomach; or you’re about to have an orgasm. That generic, almost boundless feeling of “being alive” — let’s call that jouissance.

I’m going to maintain that much of “transgressive” fiction relies on the manipulation of this enjoyment. How else to explain it? What sense can we make of the popularity of this new genre, if we don’t take into account the serious and irrational thrill that comes with seeing Patrick Bateman acting like a lunatic, doing the crazy things he does (or doesn’t actually do)? If transgression means anything in these novels, it means seeking a way out of the boredom we’re immersed in. It means, basically, seeing people break out of the mold in which they’ve been placed. Very often, this amounts to saying that there is an ambivalent attitude to capitalism in these books, too. The capitalist system is not necessarily rejected outright, but its dangers are highlighted. I will operate on the unpolished assumption that transgressive fiction offers a critique of some of the worst parts of capitalism. I particularly invite disagreement on this, because very often this is the most important aspect of “transgressive” fiction that gets overlooked.

It seems appropriate to launch these reflections with the great unholy text of transgressive fiction: Fight Club. In particular, the titular club: I consider the least rewarding part of Fight Club to be the fight club itself. Not that the idea is valueless — it is, in fact, a great idea — but it is also the easiest aspect of the novel to appropriate and, ultimately, to deflate.

A fight club has rules: you don’t talk about it, and you only fight one other person at any given time, and you can’t wear a shirt or shoes, and the fight lasts however long it needs to last. It is a ceremonial event. You can beat someone else to a pulp, but you must follow the rules. You mustn't talk about fight club, but it can change your life.

Fight club is, at its core, another form of castration. It promises a thrill found nowhere else in the blandness of this boring society: real violence, a true struggle. That struggle, sadly, turns out to be staged. The rules of fight club ensure the functioning of a precisely delineated system, and the system cannot contain its own potential: fight club, of course, becomes Project Mayhem, where the goal is to experience violence without the regulations of fight club.

What begins as a cathartic exercise in beating the hell out of someone turns, by an easy but twisted logic, into an impotent attack on the social order.

It’s valid, and pleasantly banal, to say that the appeal of fight club lies in its vindication of the masculine, the phallic, the imposition of the will. Whoever wins in a fight can only have won because of his strength, his virility. The loser tries again. The winner also tries again. The point is the fight and its delicious brutality. The power of the novel, however, lies in the contradiction at the heart of the fight club. What begins as a cathartic exercise in beating the hell out of someone turns, by an easy but twisted logic, into an impotent attack on the social order.

As gratifying as it may feel to break someone’s nose without suffering any legal consequences, it is more gratifying still when the legal consequences are there. In a brawl, breaking the rules is as important as breaking a nose: and that is why fight club fails. The system of the club grants every participant a certain respectability, a place in the order. Fight club is a brotherhood: it is a social activity, undeniably erotic, acceptably juvenile, deluded in its aims, and finally doomed to repeat the mistakes of the system to which it opposes itself.

A fight club amounts to little more than an explosion of confusion and aggression inside a padded room: the rules of fight club are there to ensure that the jouissance of the fight lasts as long as possible, but at the same time these rules prohibit a totally unrestricted access to jouissance. You can only enjoy so much — even in a fight club there are limits. That is the problem, and it’s not surprising that fight club becomes Project Mayhem.

The ambiguously democratic aspects of fight club disappear in Project Mayhem. Instead of a brotherhood, it is a hierarchy. Instead of fighting each other, members must fight the outside world. Project Mayhem is unpredictable, uncontrollable and unassimilable. It no longer promises much: not jouissance, at any rate. Without any regulatory functions in place except the word of Tyler Durden, the Project stands for nothing except a spirit of opposition. Ordered society, on which the very life of Project Mayhem depends, and through which Project Mayhem manifests itself exclusively, cannot afford to accommodate this opposition. The transgression goes too far. In this, it seems truly radical.

Fight club was a self-contained spectacle, easy to overlook and in fact highly helpful to the system — after all, it only takes a nice bloody fight to work through the stress of a bad workweek. Project Mayhem, by contrast, refuses absolutely to cooperate with the system that sustains it. Instead of fighting with your fists, you now get to construct bombs. Rather than unwind after a hard week of bureaucratic bullshit, you target the bureaucracy itself: Project Mayhem was born, not out of a primal urge to dominate, but out of the instability of the system. It is a total rejection of, rather than a solution to, the problem of a totalizing capitalism. Fight club helped you cope, while Project Mayhem unshackles you completely, places you in a void where the only golden rule is that you cannot align yourself with the establishment. Your very freedom depends on reacting against the stories that the system tells itself.

This radicality is not, in the end, an obvious step toward universal emancipation. Project Mayhem eats away at the social sphere: it is purely parasitical. It lives because society lives. It reduces its agents to nameless things — expendable, stupid, mechanical. When one of the more developed minor characters, Big Bob, dies because of Project Mayhem, the group’s response is genuinely grotesque: chants of “His name was Robert Paulson!” fill the page, along with idiotic and meaningless little facts: “He is forty-eight year years old, and he was part of fight club. He is forty-eight years old, and he was part of Project Mayhem.”

“And the crowds yell, ‘Robert Paulson.'”

The maddening repetition turns him into a symbol, a martyr, the first official casualty. His name was Robert Paulson, but so what? His name stands for nothing except the legitimation of Project Mayhem. The police have murdered a member of the Project, and now the battle against society is a real thing. Robert Paulson, through a necessary sacrificial logic, has inaugurated the Project. From there, it’s all downhill: Tyler Durden has ceased to exist anywhere except through the narrator, who repudiates that identity. The violence proliferates, but lacks focus. By virtue of its newfound reality, Project Mayhem becomes political. The world disintegrates, as far as our hapless narrator is concerned.

Are we right to detect something profoundly conservative about all of this? Fight Club is not as left-wing a novel as it can superficially be taken to be. And yet it is not a reactionary novel, either. If a fight club is just a carefully administered supplement to the proper functioning of society, Project Mayhem is a violent and mindless efflorescence, a manifestation of the dangerous potential of that same society. The questions the novel raises are crucial. How does transgression work? How far must we go to become truly radical, and at what point does that radicality become reactionary all over again?

Of course, a discussion of Fight Club doesn’t make much sense without an effort at discussing Tyler Durden. So that will be next month’s point of departure.

Image of Fight Club: A Novel
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Price: $13.45
Publisher: W. W. Norton (2005)
Binding: Paperback, 224 pages

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Comments

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 29, 2012 - 9:55am

If your desire is to "be radical" and not to actually do whatever it is which might at some point be considered radical, you might as well be a reactionary.  (assuming you mean "radical" as in a drastic change) 

Moonfinger.

(Goldraker.)

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books February 29, 2012 - 10:06am

Very, very interesting take on this. Husband and I were discussing what the aims of transgressive literature might be just last night. Someone once said something along the lines of "transgressive fiction features a main character(s) that break out of monotony in extreme and unexpected ways", and I will concede that is true of almost every book I have heard called transgressive. Going off of that statement and this:

Transgression is a very difficult concept. I’ve found that in conversations about Bret Easton Ellis or Chuck Palahniuk, it’s rarely made clear what exactly is being transgressed. Beyond that, it’s hard to explain why the transgressions are needed in the first place.

I'm going to take a stab at it myself (in general terms, it has been too long since I have read Fight Club to get into the details of that one specifically). I think the genre is based around this idea of disillusionment we see so often--that now, unlike any other time in history, life is boring, it lacks meaning, we've stripped it of the adventure, the challenge, the meaning--and in transgressive fiction we often see that stated outright, or at least heavily implied. So these characters lack meaning, they lack a challenge, they lack excitement, they can't just go big game hunting and feel what it is to be primitive, so they break out in absolutely insane ways. They get their thrill, their challenge, their adventure, but it almost always goes too far.

I think that bit is the bit that means the most. It goes too far, they don't get the satisfaction they were seeking, or if they do it is fleeting. My take on it after discussion with Husband, and while I roll it around in my head is that the message is simple--transgression isn't needed. I postulated that the overarching message was that you aren't chained down by the monotony of life, capitalism, etc--you have to allow that to happen to you. I think the large scale transgressions we see the characters take is more of a metaphor. They are looking for meaning, but often in the wrong places. 

I think I am rambling so I will try to break this down into a simple thesis: A transgressive character realizes they have gotten bogged down, chained, by the meaninglessness of modern life. They then break out of that monotony in search for fulfillment or meaning. It goes too far, and the main thing they get from it is the opportunity to "start over". It becomes clear that they are their own oppressor. They allowed themselves to get caught up in capitalism, or monotony, etc. and they failed to find fulfillment when they went for it. Now they start over with a little enlightenment.

I'm ready to hear all the reasons I am wrong, if any one could get my points out of that rambling post, but I'm going to stand here firmly until I see something that speaks to me in the same way. And maybe that's the beauty of it--I got some deep message about self-oppression and true fulfillment from transgressive literature, and someone else got something completely different.

miraculousmeaningless's picture
miraculousmeani... from Washburn, WI is reading your mind February 29, 2012 - 10:08am

Interesting stuff, Phil.

What you think of as jouissance, I sort of like to tie to Edgar Allen Poe's Imp of the Perverse. The idea that anyone standing on a precipice has the desire somewhere inside them to leap. Fight Club offers desensitized, numb people living precipiceless lives a precipice to step up to and look down. The sublime. And Jack's "Rock Bottom" below. 

Tool guitarist Adam Jones once described the sound he was going for as something like this: You go outside and you're walking down an alley and you see this old guy bending over putting his garbage in a trash can. You can see the sweat gleaming on his hairy ass-crack and it is repulsive, but for some reason, you look ANYWAY.

That's all part of it, I think. Transgressive stories aren't merely about acts of transgression, but they risk telling a story that the reader might be too afraid, too proud, too whatever to risk telling. Even if the events and choices aren't wholly transgressive, the narrative or narrator  his or herself may show some measure of transgressive by way of their narration/perspective itself. I consider any diversion from accepted tradition and 'normal' social order to be somewhat transgressive.

The point, the main effect I believe 'transgressive' fiction should aim for, is simply to give the reader an opportunity to become uncomfortable and vulnerable, feelings that tend to humble us and open our minds. I believe that this strengthens reader imaginations, enhancing the dream-spell of story, and potentially makes the reader more open to suggestion as well. Done well, it can establish authority. Think of Edgar Poe's splendid disengenuous murder narrators! I'd gladly spend another two hundred pages with my homey Montresor! 

The thing about this sensation is, it's strong medicine. You get desensitized to it if you read tons of it, I think. So if you like reading this kind of fiction... mix it up! Eat your veggies, too.

As far as writing transgressive stuff goes, it's a lot of fun. By its nature, genuine transgressive fiction should make you a little uncomfortable to write, I think. You get all the same things the reader gets, kind of. You take a risk, write from a vulnerable place, open your mind a little. It's good for you.

And if you really write a story that makes you uncomfortable... if you dare to write the story you are terrified to show to, say, your mother or something... That's a huge step towards shattering any inhibitions that are blocking your creativity. Or it was for me, anyway.

 

Tim's picture
Tim from Philadelphia is reading approximately eight different books. Most unsuccessfully. February 29, 2012 - 10:19am

Does a discussion of Fight Club make much sense without a discussion of Manalive by G.K. Chesterton?

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies February 29, 2012 - 10:42am

Great article, Phil.

I started here, when I first heard the term "transgressive fiction."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgressive_fiction

This definition is what I think of, and what I assign to my own work, when I call it transgressive:

Transgressive fiction is a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways. Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressional fiction may seem mentally ill, anti-social, or nihilistic. The genre deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sex, violence, incest, pedophilia, and crime.

stu_bradley's picture
stu_bradley February 29, 2012 - 11:02am

Figure this would be a good place to post my 2009 dissertation -

http://notsolonelylondoners.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/queerness-masculinity-fight-club-american-psycho-frisk/

In my third year of University, I wrote about how Dennis Cooper's novels, Fight Club and American Psycho can be read as queer texts about the innate subversive power of homosexuality. So yeah, check it out if you're into this kind of stuff!

drinkingfiction's picture
drinkingfiction from Massachusetts is reading Happy Birthday Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut February 29, 2012 - 11:28am

I think you're best point, and the one most commentators seem to be missing, is that classify these types of novels as a seperate genre seems to dillute their message in the same way people claim explicit television desensitizes violence or sex.

Chard's picture
Chard February 29, 2012 - 11:46am

Once again I think you've over analysed this, I believeIt's just another case of male acceptance and pushing yourself to find the so called "Alfa" male which we all do to an extent.
I know I've done a lot of dumb shit just to fit in and be "part of something" Chuck has just takin this idea to the next level, as with project Mayhem once you've lifted the bar all else seems meh and you need to push it to the next level.
Just a person opinion it's an awesome book and deserves its props and is extremely well written as is is all of Chucks books but in the end it's just a REAL messed up version of a boys club.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 29, 2012 - 12:39pm

I don't think it is fair to say it's an attack on capitalism, because it seems just as determined to tear down the infrastructure needed to support modern socialism and hybrid nations.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 29, 2012 - 2:47pm

The point, the main effect I believe 'transgressive' fiction should aim for, is simply to give the reader an opportunity to become uncomfortable and vulnerable, feelings that tend to humble us and open our minds  --  miraculousmeaningless

Like when Daily Show fans watch Fox News? 

No?

miraculousmeaningless's picture
miraculousmeani... from Washburn, WI is reading your mind February 29, 2012 - 3:45pm

I am not sure what you mean by that. I'm talking about fiction, not politics. 

xxbrianxx's picture
xxbrianxx February 29, 2012 - 3:56pm

I'm excited to find transgressive fiction being talked about in this way.  Its always a treat when one finds out that other people are wondering about simliar things. 

I wonder if the idea of jouisssance doesn't quite go far enough.  There may be a certain joy in experiencing personal freedom in a non-socially sanctioned way, i.e, ways that aren't profitable (and therefore coded unethical?  Sorry, too cynical.)  That by itself doesn't seem to completely describe the phenomenon where talking about.  Its not enough that there is a joy in doing something dangerous, I think we need to also think about the experience in doing something dangerous to yourself. The transgressive protagonist not only revels in being outside of the norm, they also (sometimes at least, - in an archetypal case that I might just be making up) revel in being the bringers of their own destruction- the jubilant choosers of death. 

Also, because what I've written so far makes transgressive fiction sound much antagonistic that I think it actually is, there seems to be a trope in which the protangonist finds honest human connetion only available between those who have managed to find an outside of the late capitalist (or whatever you want to call it) status quo and are able to look starkly at another person who doesn't hold back their fatal flaw.  This is far from new -Raskalonikov finds Sopia in Crime and Punishment- but in some ways that seems to be on the big deal themes of transgressive fiction, how do find authentic human connection, community, love, and so on when everything has become a market or an advertisement -reduced to an inhuman standing reserve?  Perhaps the transgressive protangonist has to make themselves unloveable because loving the lovely is easy. 

Smellslikeoldfear's picture
Smellslikeoldfear February 29, 2012 - 4:21pm

About the article:

I can´t pasionally understand this rules idea cause i really never cared about it (this "the rules of fight club are there to ensure that the jouissance of the fight lasts as long as possible, but at the same time these rules prohibit a totally unrestricted access to jouissance"). But it can be true that is not a "full release from rules" fight club. what i really consider is that there´s something wrong with the idea of "not being perfect", but being "free" ("losing hope was freedom" and "it´s only after you lose everything can you do anything" are examples in the novel that talk about this)... being free is an ideal concept... and an ideal concept is related in some way to this idea of being "perfect". the correct way maybe should be "don´t be perfect the way others think you are perfect... but be perfectly free"... maybe in some part the idea of the novel is to make you understand that even freedom can be unnecessary... but i really can´t remember the novel taking this step. instead there´s some kind of will to be superior is in the novel... maybe in other kind of way, but it´s there. in fact i would think that these "male power" novels (what i mean is that you can "smell" that the novel wants to transmit something you really like before you really understand it, something like "a valiant army convinces others of the cause for which it fights") need this strenght of being superior in some way to be able to convince a group that follows the main character (or people who follows the novel)... you can make someone want to lose their social status... but only if you give them a plan that changes what is "perfect" till now or if you give them more freedom while having status. I mean that the novel can atract but it doesn´t have to really be a true rational plan (the base is not rational, what i mean is that the plan or rational "mask" that "covers" what is irrational maybe does´t make a complete rational sense).

the other goal of mayhem seems to be abolishing the status rankig asociated to money. if you have the idea that someone with status has more restrictions, is probable that if you want to have more status, what you would like to do will be restricted by what you think will mantain that status (being "good" acording to others maybe is not being you). Something I don´t agree with the writer of the critic is that from my point of view, mayhem promisses jouissance at the point that the system will be a more jouissance designed system ("Imagine," Tyler said, "stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you'll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you'll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles."). Another wrong point is what he sais of "The police have murdered a member of the Project, and now the battle against society is a real thing.". I think Project Mayhem is real from the start... maybe before fight club. I also don´t agree with "system of the club grants every participant a certain respectability"... i don´t understand fight club as something that shouts "we are all equal" (at least till the system is broken).

I think the idea of the novel of proyect mayhem is to help people to "reset" what they are doing... if they are going to win money and not the things they really want. if they lose their money, they can lose their hope completely (they won´t be able to reach the status they want), then they can choose what really fullfills them. i think THAT is the idea behind all this concepts. the only problem with this can be that not everybody wants to change their life. what mayhem takes into account is... "anyone who has become acquainted with vice in connection with pleasure, such as someone who has a lascivious youth behind him, imagines that virtue must be connected with displeasure.", but it doesn´t take into account this... "In contrast, anyone who has been greatly plagued by his passions and vices yearns toward virtue as the source of spiritual peace and happiness. hence, it is possible that two virtuous persons may not understand each other". what i mean is that mayhem makes a better world for people who wants to be free, but not for those who want to relax. but tyler seems not to care about a perfect world for everyone... tyler seems to care about a perfect world for him... and the ones like him.

 

About some comments:

"One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear."

About other comments:

"And if you really write a story that makes you uncomfortable... if you dare to write the story you are terrified to show to, say, your mother or something... That's a huge step towards shattering any inhibitions that are blocking your creativity. Or it was for me, anyway." I agree

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 29, 2012 - 7:58pm

I am not sure what you mean by that. I'm talking about fiction, not politics.

I mean some people actually choose not to look at the asscrack (or whatever the asscrack symbolizes.)

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch February 29, 2012 - 8:54pm

It's a complicated question! Too often people think transgression is the opposite of what is being transgressed. Easy examples are capitalism/communism. In both capitalist and communist societies, it's "cool" to be wearing the opposite team's t-shirt. But this only replaces a system (with its many restrictive rules) with another system who, to its people, is equally restrictive (or more so in its own way). Since Phil started with Lacan, I'll make use of those concepts too. Of course, whoever perceives a lack in self-identity will seek something to fill that lack, and that's why we have desire. In a social system, transgression is the expression of that desire for what the system is lacking. As with sexual desire, we look for something we think we don't have, and which we think could make us whole. If the dissatisfaction with a system comes from complacency, law, consumerism, money, routine, political correctness, then people look for what they think is lacking, which they place at the opposite end: chaos, violence, disruption. But it's also Lacan who said that desire will never end, because you can't actually fill that lack and you will always chase another desire, to the death.

Well that's only to say that transgression as desire for what is lacking is doomed to fail. So maybe Fight Club is not exactly transgressive, but shows why transgression is doomed to fail, though there is a lot of enjoyment of the act of transgression. It's just not a solution. The solution seems to be the return to society from chaos. Ellis does that, I think, less than Palahniuk (I mean, return the characters to the "home" they left in their transgressive act). I think the truly transgressive novel doesn't really exist, because I don't see the answer being in the opposite of the status quo, which is an easy answer some writers seem to think they found. At least, it's not an answer that satisfies, because it leaves you empty handed, as a reader. So I tend to appreciate the transgressive writing that finds a way back to humanity, even if only by implication. Maybe the return that satisfies is a return not to the same place where the transgression started, but at a place of post-traumatic wisdom, maybe. I don't know how to define that, but I think the ending, some form of resolution is important to transgressive novels, because I always ask of the character: have you found something as you wandered away from the world? What is it? Has transgression given you a glimpse at something we don't see?

 

 

 

Vonnegut Check's picture
Vonnegut Check from Baltimore February 29, 2012 - 9:42pm

Underneath all transgressive novels, as I see it, is one common thread: Man (not to be confused with lowercase "m" man) is the creator of values and those values must evolve.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 29, 2012 - 10:24pm

have you found something as you wandered away from the world? What is it? Has transgression given you a glimpse at something we don't see?  --  Liana

Right.  Why open your mind if there's nothing to find?  It'd just be a waste of time. 

Not that I don't enjoy wasting a little time...

Man (not to be confused with lowercase "m" man) is the creator of values and those values must evolve.  --  r m schappell

It's yet unclear whether the awareness of our evolution will turn out to be a boon to the process.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 2, 2012 - 9:47pm

CENSORED BY GOD.

miraculousmeaningless's picture
miraculousmeani... from Washburn, WI is reading your mind March 2, 2012 - 8:31am

aliensoul77:

Go troll about politics somewhere else, you shit-swallower. We're trying to talk about fiction here!

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like March 2, 2012 - 10:23am

@alien -- I compared one act of exposing oneself to things you might not be comfortable with to another.  None of that other stuff you said has any bearing on my statements.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like March 2, 2012 - 11:09am

*inserts gif of Donald Sutherland as Oddball moaning about "negative waves"*

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. March 2, 2012 - 9:47pm

@miraculousasshole

"shit swallower"?  wtf are you talking about?  More importantly, who the fuck are you?  Go crawl back in your hole, dumbass.

Jim Mccready's picture
Jim Mccready March 5, 2012 - 6:19pm

you say the least important part of "fight club" is the FIGHT CLUB. isn't the whole point people reaching out for human contact and emotion, that's dissappeared in a society where everyone blogs and texts each other, but can't make eye contact when they walk down the street? if the fight club wasn't the main point of concern, what was?...... as for "transgressive fiction", when nothing is taboo, what will we write or read about then? i feel, as an open practicing pessimist, we are reaching the end of our rope in every sense of the term, I've read a book about a third world asian child trained to be a terrorist from birth, I've played video games were i can cut down an entire airport full of innocent people, i've seen so many bizzare sexual acts on the internet I don't think anything would surprise me, and i feel like all of this is leading to a nation of sociopaths, or a world of patrick bateman's.......... or mabe it will lead to an age of enlightenment were we no longer fear what we don't know. As for literature, people will continue to try to write what sells, get their books published, and have their name remembered. take it as it comes, and be thankful when it's done.