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Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory Hardcover – June 21, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0810837966 ISBN-10: 081083796X Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (June 21, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081083796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810837966
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,294,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...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. (Science Fiction Studies)

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. (Extrapolation)

From the Inside Flap

Acclaimed as one of the ten best films of all time, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY has nonetheless baffled critics and filmgoers alike. Surrealism, intense symbolism, and mystifying ambiguity have created confusion and led many to doubt that even Kubrick had the answers. Leonard Wheat shows that Kubrick did have the answers--answers grounded in allegory. But whereas a normal allegory is a surface story that symbolically tells a hidden story, 2001's surface story does something unprecedent in film or literature. It tells three hidden stories: Homer's THE ODYSSEY; a spoofy tale based on science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke's idea of man-machine symbiosis; and Nietzsche's magnum opus, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA.

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Customer Reviews

The author's guess is as good as anyone else's.
The Peripatetic Reader
Comparing the Voyage of the crewman on Discovery to Jupiter to the Odyssey, or comparing Dave Bowman name Odysseus (who was an archer) is not new.
Barry Pearl
Wheat's however, is more than merely bizarre and obviously wrong.
Faye Kane Homeless Brain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Barry Pearl on April 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest, wondrous movies ever made. Part of its attraction is in its visuals: It advancing the story without taking the time to explain it. Many people left confused, others were dumbfounded.
Leonard's Wheat's, Kubrick's 2001 A Triple Allegory attempts to explain Kubrick masterpiece by suggesting that it really three allegories, three stories that are based on other stories: · Homer's The Odyssey · The Man Machine Symbiosis · Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra
By its title and its music, it first seems clear that Mr. Wheat has a point. Comparing the Voyage of the crewman on Discovery to Jupiter to the Odyssey, or comparing Dave Bowman name Odysseus (who was an archer) is not new. But Mr. Wheat brought in new insight. He compares Hal, to the Cyclops who also had just one eye. He then points out that when moon Watcher kills with the first made weapon and throws it into the sky, the next shot is of an orbiting bomb, a point I never realized.
But then Mr. Wheat loses me. He contents that the monolith, known as TMA-One is a version of the Trojan House. Fine. But his reasoning is a stretch. He claims this is true because if you mix up the letters to TMA-One it comes out to "NO MEAT" a reference to the Trojan Horse being made out of wood. (Can't you see Mr. Kubrick and Mr. Clark staying up nights mixing up these letters.)? Of course when you mix up the letters to TMA ONE you can get No MATE, which may mean the Monolith represented Ernest Borg nine in the movie "Marty," or you can get NO TEAM which could represent Brooklyn after the Dodgers left.
Mr. Wheat contends that Kubrick put the three bombs in orbit to represent Aphrodite, Hear and Athena. That a bomb represents the goddess of Love is interesting, but out of place.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Faye Kane Homeless Brain on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I wrote a long, detailed review of this book, but it was rejected by Amazon, presumably for being too negative. Now, three years later, I'll retry with a shorter, nicer one.

Okay, first of all, due to the nature of my criticism of Wheat, I want you to understand that I know what I'm talking about. I have studied this film for just short of a lifetime. I have a first-printing of the novel signed by Clarke, as well as two letters of correspondence with him from Sri Lanka, and I stopped counting theater viewings at my 52nd screening in 1977.

In an attempt to understand Kubrick's masterpiece, I have read The Odyssey, Nietzsche's Zarathustra (which is *extremely* relevant), and literally, every analysis ever published, including not just on the web, but also printed analyses not on the web which were exceedingly difficult to find. I also watched the entire stargate sequence one frame at a time (which took all day), captured dozens of them, and deconvoluted them with an image processor.

BTW, if you are interested in 2001, you MUST read Kubrick's interview with Playboy. There he explains that there are several deep, DEEP levels of meaning and metaphor, and they're designed to "disturb you at a subconscious level, like a dream".

Clarke said that "MGM doesn't know it, but they just made the first 12 million-dollar religious movie". For me, the film does indeed represent what in other people is called "religion". But Wheat is having none of that.

I write the following seriously. I do not intend to ridicule Wheat, and I'm trying hard to avoid appearing that I am. Wheat obviously cares as much as I do about the meaning of this film and has watched it many times.

Okay...
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wheat clearly adores _2001_. His rapture at the complexities and nuances of the film are manifest.
But his analyses are a very unfortunate combination of the inaccurate, the simplistic and the unsupportable.
He claims that "chapter 21 in _The Odyssey_ is titled 'The Great Bow." The Odyssey doesn't have chapters or titles above them. He bases his conclusion that the octahedrons floating in the stargate are alien life forms (a reasonable claim, to be sure) on an interview of Steven Wolfram by David Stork. Stork says "Actually, the octahedra were Kubrick and Clarke's extraterrestials - sort of escorts bringing Dave through the stargate." Wheat, then writes "The crucial point here is that Stork refers to the aliens as _escorts_. Here we have the plural of the very word Homer put in Odysseus's mouth when Odysseus said to the Phaeacians, 'I have secured your _escort_." Last I checked, Homer wrote in archaic Greek. Wheat bases his interpretation on the choices of the translator rather than the text of the ostensible allegorical source.
He writes, "We see, then, that 'the infinite' is God. And 'beyond the infinite' means beyond God - after God, after God's death. Kubrick is alluding to the death of God. And who is it that has just died? Hal. Conclusion: Hal... is God."
He writes, "it is indeed plausible that HEYWOOD R. FLOYD encodes Helen as HE, wooden worse as WOOD, and Troy as OY. But what about that Y between HE and WOOD. And what about the R, F, L, and D? Consider these answers. Y is Spanish for 'and.' R, F, and L, in turn, are in ReFLect. And D could stand for downfall, demise, death, doom, or destruction, of which the first - downfall - best fits 'the fall of Troy.' When you put all the pieces together, Heywood R.
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