Here we are with another post. I’m happy to reveal that there was some progress made. It’s not much but I’m just glad that the week was not simply wasted.
Sadly, the two books that I mentioned in my previous post ended up being somewhat inconvenient for me. At least, one of them lacks the amount of contribution that I had expected while the other one has the potential but it may take a long time to decipher. The book, The Disordered Mind, apparently consists of issues relating to Autism or Schizophrenia. You might say, “Well, duh! That’s the title…” but I recall reading on the back of the book that it also touches on the consciousness of the mind, which directly relates to my thesis. Although it is true that the book indeed touches on that aspect, it is only the very last chapter of the book. So, it’s not much to go with. As for the other book, The Soul of an Octopus, it seems to be more in line with what I’m working on but the way the book is written, which is admittedly quite fascinating, makes it seem time consuming for me. The author, Sy Montgomery, seems to be using the octopus as a… what do you really call it? Like, a MacGuffin in a movie script. If you don’t know what that means, it’s simply “an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself” —thank you wikipedia. Of course, no offense to the poor octopus, but it’s only there to serve the study that is presented. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find the time to go over it at some point. Will it be before the semester ends? No promises there.
Interestingly, there was an article that got lost on me. I mentioned it in one of my previous blog posts but for some reason I’ve completely forgotten about it. Determining One’s Fate – A Delineation of Nietzsche’s Conception of Free Will by Nel Grillaert is the article in question. I say “in question” because I’m not convinced that the entirety of that article is necessarily useful for the thesis. I know it’s pretty much pick-and-choose when it comes to the research aspect of the thesis at this point; little bit of this, little bit of that… basically whatever works, but the literature review is something that I need to eventually complete and this “method” seems to be working for now. The mentioned article examines the difference between two distinct perspectives on the concept of fate: free will versus determinism. The author asks the question —which is clearly the thesis of the article— that goes: “Are humans endowed with a free will, which enables them to act according to their own choices and purposes, independently of any external factor, and are they therefore fully responsible for the acts they commit? Or are humans rather determined, implying that they do not bear ultimate responsibility for their actions?” It definitely sounds… deep —I don’t know what else to call it. The interesting factor that I’d like to highlight here is the responsibility of an individual. I do not believe that I have ever considered that particular aspect until now. I had always been too occupied with the versus of the two perspectives that the responsibility factor was almost nonexistent in my mind. It does make sense though. If you believe in an external intervention in one’s destiny, then the responsibility, or rather the consequence, of that person’s actions becomes forfeit. Of course, I’m not a philosopher. And, I do not intent on examining this “issue” from that point of view, but rather from a literary one. What makes it a more compelling story for the reader? If I were to create a story in which the characters are being “played” by a divine force or being, would that make those characters less impactful or relatable since they are free of the responsibility? Or, is it better to show that their choices, with free will, not only affect others but themselves with consequences to follow? My utterly “professional” response to that is simply: “Hmmm…”
Since we’re on the story, I’ve decided to ignore the Acts, and simply keep track of it with the chapter count instead. We’re in November now, and the deadline is fast approaching. The Acts were simply there for me to keep up with some semblance of a schedule so I wouldn’t feel lost but I figured that setting up an Act goal could unnecessarily prolong the progress at this point. If I can finish writing the story up to Chapter 30 by next weekend, then my final goal would be to reach Chapter 40 by mid-December. I think I’d be content with that, and it’s easy to follow. I do not know if I’m necessarily going to have time to do a thorough revision on some parts of the story, but at least I should have it “complete” in a presentable form by the due date. The end of the semester is really closing in on us. Is it time to panic yet? Perhaps later. Then again, a little bit of pressure could be the key ingredient that I need to force myself even more and get everything done on time.
Also, speaking of forgotten things for the lit review, I don’t know why but I’ve completely missed the book The Astrology of Fate by Liz Greene. I guess, I was focusing too much on one theme and unintentionally ignoring the other(s). Writing a chapter in the story that specifically inherits that theme probably brought me back to this one. I should also mention that I seem to be unlucky when it comes to getting books to read for research. They either end up being inconvenient, sold out (the case with The Soul of an Octopus), or discontinued for me to get my hands on. Perhaps “some external powers that be” do not wish me to have them? *wink wink* So, it’s not my responsibility, right? That’s actually a good way to end this blog post right here. I’ll do my best to look into that book by Liz Greene with hopes that a useful book will be there for me to study. And of course, I’ll continue to write my story —which I guess goes without saying… or typing?
Until next time.
Grillaert, N. (2006). Determining one’s fate: A delineation of Nietzsche’s conception of free will. Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 31, 42–60.