Kubrick's 2001

Overview

Acclaimed in an international critics poll as one of the ten best films ever made, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey has nonetheless baffled critics and filmgoers alike. Its reputation rests largely on its awesome special effects, yet the plot has been considered unfathomable. Critical consensus has been that Kubrick himself probably didn't know the answers. Leonard Wheat's Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory reveals that Kubrick did know the answers. Far from being what it seems to be—a chilling story about ...

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Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory

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Overview

Acclaimed in an international critics poll as one of the ten best films ever made, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey has nonetheless baffled critics and filmgoers alike. Its reputation rests largely on its awesome special effects, yet the plot has been considered unfathomable. Critical consensus has been that Kubrick himself probably didn't know the answers. Leonard Wheat's Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory reveals that Kubrick did know the answers. Far from being what it seems to be—a chilling story about space travel—2001 is actually an allegory, hidden by symbols. It is, in fact, a triple allegory, something unprecedented in film or literature. Three allegories—an Odysseus (Homer) allegory, a man-machine symbiosis (Arthur Clarke) allegory, and a Zarathustra (Nietzsche) allegory—are simultaneously concealed and revealed by well over 200 highly imaginative and sometimes devilishly clever symbols. Wheat "decodes" each allegory in rich detail, revealing the symbolism in numerous characters, sequences, and scenes. In bringing Kubrick's secrets to light, Wheat builds a powerful case for his assertion that 2001 is the "grandest motion picture ever filmed."

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Editorial Reviews

Science Fiction Studies
...his conclusions...ought to be pondered by everyone with a serious interest in the film...Indeed, part of the fun of reading his book is deciding whether, detail by detail, one agrees or disagrees with Wheat's specific reading...Wheat's readings of the Nietzschean allegory are perhaps even more compelling...a valuable contribution to our understanding of the best science fiction film ever.
Extrapolation
All of Wheat's correlations are well worth pondering. His writing is immediately accessible; he even directly addresses the reader, inviting forethought and additional speculation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810837966
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition number: 152
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard F. Wheat was an economist with the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce before retiring in 1997. He is the author or (in one case) co-author of four previous books, including one philosophical study and three economic studies. He is also author of two book-length government studies and several journal articles and is an associate editor of the Journal of Regional Science.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Where the Answers Lie Chapter 3 Allegory and Kubrick's Allegorical Symbols Chapter 4 A Preview of Coming Attractions Part 5 The Surface Story Chapter 6 The Basic Narrative Chapter 7 Fuzzy Areas of the Narrative Part 8 The Odysseus Allegory Chapter 9 Dave Bowman's Name Chapter 10 The African Monolith Chapter 11 The Judgment of Paris Chapter 12 Heywood R. Floyd's Name Chapter 13 Heywood Floyd as Paris Chapter 14 Heywood Floyd as Menelaus Chapter 15 The Trojan Horse and the Fall of Troy Chapter 16 The City of Ismarus and Lotus Land Chapter 17 The Cyclops Monster Chapter 18 The Laestrygonian Rock Attack Chapter 19 The Sirens Chapter 20 The Surf, Charybdis, and Scylla Chapter 21 Hyperion and Zeus Chapter 22 Seven Years with Calypso Chapter 23 Phaeacian Hospitality Chapter 24 Pallas Athene Chapter 25 Penelope, Her Suitors, and the Great Bow Chapter 26 Slaying the Suitors Chapter 27 Reunion with Penelope Part 28 The Man-Machine Symbiosis Allegory Chapter 29 Overview of the Allegory Chapter 30 The Dawn of Man Chapter 31 The Evolution of Humanoid Machines Chapter 32 Hal-Discovery as a Genuine Humanoid Chapter 33 The Death of Homo Machinus Chapter 34 The Evolution of Homo Futurus Chapter 35 What About Freud and Jung? Part 36 The Zarathustra Allegory: Background and Cast Chapter 37 Nietzsche's Characters and Themes Chapter 38 Interpretive Progress Chapter 39 The Monolith's as Human Attributes Chapter 40 Frank Poole as the Rope Dancer Chapter 41 Heywood Floyd as the Young Zarathustra Chapter 42 Dave Bowman as the Older Zarathustra and Overman Chapter 43 Hal-Discovery as God Part 44 The Zarathustra Allegory: The Action Chapter 45 The Death of God Chapter 46 The Immediate Aftermath Chapter 47 Man into Overman Chapter 48 Eternal Recurrence Chapter 49 Appendix A: Fallacies in Zarathustra's Eternal Recurrence Argument Chapter 50 Appendix B: List of the Zarathustra's Allegory's 160 Symbols Part 51 Evaluation Chapter 52 2001's Critical Stature in the Absence of Allegory Chapter 53 The Quality of the Allegory and Symbolism Chapter 54 One Man's Opinion

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