Isle of the Dead English ver

Isle of the Dead Arnold Böcklin

 Death is the end of human life, the “Sein zum Tod”, Heidegger’s way of saying that we are on our way to death. What constitutes death has been debated for centuries, and science has decided that it begins with brain death. In Japan, the first indication of brain death began on 28 February 1999. In Japan, this is limited to cases where a legal determination of brain death has been made for organ donation. A person is not legally brain dead if they are considered clinically brain dead but do not donate their organs. While we are conscious, we can only dream about the reality of death. In “La Mori”, Maeterlinck violates the realm of the occult and leaves us with a reflection on our own near-death experience and death, which cannot be measured by the consciousness of death. The literary world actually deals more with death than with love. The most common combination is probably that of ‘love’ and ‘death’.

The story centres on a love triangle in which the protagonist of Takehiko Fukunaga’s “Isle of the Dead“, an aspiring writer, falls in love with two women, Ayako Aimi and Motoko Moegi, and cannot choose between them.

The story is structured around the atomic bomb, the idea of death and the idealism of the artist. Their story lives fantastically as a literary world, with the fact that life has gone mad. Fukunaga’s world on the ”Isle of the Dead” is like the dissociative symptoms of trauma in our time. Motoko has lived her inner time as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Epoché or Abstraction her very existence in a phenomenological way. What she touches is always unfeeling. Ayako has eloped with a lover in the past, but was abandoned and attempted suicide. She lives her inner time trapped by the end of her love. However, in the chapter of the monologue “K”, the man who abandoned her lover, the author really writes about a parallel phenomenon, that is, the fact that he really loved Ayako and left her, and that they could not overlap.

In this story, it is necessary to arrange the structure of the story: the time of Kronos (Saturn), which proceeds linearly with the main character, the chapter of Kronos’ remembrance, the characters told by Kronos, Motoko’s monologue, and a man’s monologue. There, the sorrow of being left behind as people change from post-war to high economic growth is depicted. Kronos is the God of Time, and in Greek mythology, the parent of Zeus. There are two kinds of time, the weight of Kronos and the opportunity of Kairos.

While the living have much to think and say, the dead are silent in the face of the mystery of the soul.

This story is an intersection of objective tense and inner world. And the atomic bomb is represented as “Saturn” (a coterminous setting in the story). Kronos is the Greek word for Saturn. I don’t know if the author intended it, but it also has an astrological meaning (Saturn in transit brings death to many). The narrative, which has told us so much and has been winding down, comes to an end with the suicides of Motoko and Ayako. In the face of death, the living are transformed into thought forms. Despite this, the illusion of the living is still present in the life of the aspiring writer Iiba, who becomes a proxy for the wounds left by the atomic bombing on the Japanese people, and for the two women whose souls are wasting away, no matter how high the economic growth of the Japan. It seems as if the only way for the illusion of the living to have any substance is to write about it. We are living in the face of death. The moment we are alive is constantly disappearing and being renewed. Mortality was previously an illusion, a dream. But to witness the death of a loved one gives such grief that it makes the living illusory. The glory and shadow of death are so strong. Without love, the living – yes, the writer Takehiko Fukunaga’s ‘attempts at love’, Agape and Eros (Christian interpretations of the Greek) – are eclipsed by the cruelty of the world if love is lost.

Well, then,"  "what about me? "What am I then, he mutters to himself. We are alienated from the dead, and he stands there now, futile.  Is it true that life is nothing but a vain effort? Is it all just an empty void? As he reflects on this, the thick emptiness that covers the canopy gradually fades away, just as the clouds that have burned out on the distant horizon fade away (just as in a dream).

Then his consciousness is completely and noiselessly swallowed up by it.

(Takehiko Fukunaga, Isle of the Dead )

He (the protagonist) then ends up discovering through the novel the “actuation of death”, the materialisation of the living through the speaking of the living as thought bodies. Each time this happens, Japan decides to keep alive the “death” that has been left behind. As a sign that even after such misfortunes, people can still live with love knocking against love.

A ray of light shone out of the dark window in which he was standing, like an awakening, drawing a clear glow.

A ray of light shone in.


(Takehiko Fukunaga, Isle of the Dead)

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