Tuesday, July 22, 2003
HulkFinding Nemo

Finding Hulko

Secondary Colors

It looks like little-finned Nemo is a small orange version of the big bad green Hulk. It’s a story about trying to survive in a capitalist empire.



These fleeting mentions of Freudian theory, are you trying to connote that Freud’s vision of the triangulation that is ‘the family’ is invalidated by a ‘bigger game’, or are you simply promoting an seemingly alternative thread akin to ideological assessment which would be subsumed by the Freudian thesis anyway?

The mid-ground here was already trodden by Lacan, Alain-Miller, Kristeva and Cixous - the application of Freudian theory to civilisation itself.

I think you raise some excellent points about the similarities in the structure, and the elements of this structure itself, but I wonder if your suppression of the Freudian thesis was little more than an act of ‘kidding yourself’. I find that whatever Freud did have to say (particulary in his later texts) about things like the family and sexuality would add to this analysis where the ideological point of view tends to ‘settle’. Settle for what? It’s hard to say anything other than power. And the higher they are, the harder they fall.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 23 Jul 03 at 11:58 AM

I suppressed the Freudian view because I see Freudianism as a dysfunctional, irrelevant (because unscientific) mythology that occasionally makes some good observations (or repeats the same old observations in another language).  At the same time, though, psychoanalytic theory still offers compelling paradigms for literary analysis as any mythic structure does, no matter how twisted.  I think commentary on power structures, though, are always relevant. 


Posted by Jim Rovira on 23 Jul 03 at 02:17 PM

Good answer on Freud, and nice article. Do you have a Girardian angle?

Posted by Dan Knauss on 23 Jul 03 at 03:28 PM

A Girardian angle…honestly, that was hovering out there on the horizon.  I think one more step and I’d have to make reference to Girard.  The Hulk and Nemo, as described, were starting to sound a lot like scapegoats.  Once I identified them as scapegoats, though, I’m not quite sure where to go with it.

I’d probably look at commodification as a form of scapegoating.  We no longer scapegoat the untouchables or the King, but we scapegoat the human commodity—the media icon, the image, the Kobe Bryants or the Clintons or the Monroes or the Kennedys for our sins.  The market is our sacrificial structure now—rather than funding a priesthood or even just throwing rocks, we buy mags with gossip columns. 

Thanks for reading.  The way I feel, just seeing that morph image of hulk/nemo in the center of the page made the whole thing worthwhile :)


Posted by Jim Rovira on 23 Jul 03 at 04:02 PM

Green was randomly chosen for the hulk by his creator because grey did not print consistently.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 25 Jul 03 at 03:29 PM

Sounds good.  I don’t think most of what I said was dependent upon any intentionality on the part of the authors, especially the juxtaposition of the colors between two independently created films.  I’m more describing what the the colors signify in our cultural context, and even more than that having a lot of fun :)

Thanks for the response,


Posted by Jim Rovira on 25 Jul 03 at 03:40 PM

Ha!  I remember watching “Kimbaa the White Lion” when I was a kid in the 70s.  Thanks for the reminder.

I’d like to respond to this and the MacBeth post, though:

What I’m arguing for is really nothing more than similarity of plot—in other words, if you compare the story of Hamlet, beginning to end, with the story of Lion King, beginning to end, they’re essentially the same story, with a significant, telling difference in the ending of Lion King.  This really doesn’t have anything to do with characterization or specific plot devices. 

So I won’t argue that the Lion King shares a lot in common with some of the plot devices in MacBeth or the charaterization of Kimbaa (which may also have been influenced by Hamlet, but I don’t recall the story of Kimbaa), but the story of the Lion King is the story of Hamlet.  That’s all.  There are other meaningful comparisons to make with other works, though—not arguing with that.  Kimbaa is a good one :).  Thanks again for the reminder.


Posted by Jim Rovira on 08 Mar 04 at 02:07 PM
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