Write freely about the main character of Denis Johnson’s “Dundun.” What are his motivations? How does he react? What exhibited behaviors allow us to understand him? How would you characterize him?
Critical Analysis of Denis Johnson’s “Dundun.”
In a new Google Drive document [title: Dundun (Name)]:
Create a thesis that makes a claim/argument about the intention of Denis Johnson’s short story “Dundun.” What is the author trying to tell us (not the plot of the story)? Is the author asking us to acknowledge something within ourselves? Use ethics (consider yolo or Nietzsche’s eternal return) as a way to discuss the main character and the author’s final note to the reader. Use specific moments from the text (whether quoted directly or summarized) to prove your claim.
What kind of ethic does “you only live once” (yolo) imply? That is: how does yolo say how we should live? What does “you only live once” say about regret and guilt? What sense of morality does it imply? That is: how do conceptions of right and wrong work with a system that claims ‘I only live once?’
Read with a pen and underline anything that seems important or confusing. Write notes in the margins that help you to understand the text. Try to create notes which help explain the ideas present in the sections.
When things, signs or actions are freed from their respective ideas, concepts, essences, values, points of reference, origins and aims, they embark upon an endless process of self-reproduction. Yet things continue to function long after their ideas have disappeared, and they do so in total indifference to their own content. The paradoxical fact is that they function even better under these circumstances.
Baudrillard, Jean. The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena. 1993. Trans. James Benedict. London: Verso, 2009. Print.