Double Secret Probation

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27 Dec 2004

It’s nice to suddenly get a pun or subtle reference you’ve missed all these years.
National Lampoon’s “Animal House” is set in the fictional Max Faber college. This is (as I now get) a direct reference to Max Frisch’s “Homo Faber”, or “Working Man” – a description of the 19th century conception that Man was put on the Earth for a specific purpose – embodied by his Work, regardless of its type, and personal goals or pleasure are merely byproducts, to be tolerated at best, or quashed as distractions. Consider Etgar Keret and Rutu Modan’s comic book “לא באנו להנות” (“We’re not here for fun”), a direct reference to this now-conservative view.
This is markedly different from the newer incarnation that has become prevalent in the 20th century, that of Homo Ludens, the Playing Man. Pleasure and self-fulfillment have become important, if not an all-encompassing goal. Delta House is Ludens Incarnate – dedicated to the fine art of the college toga party and all-night boozing.

Or am I reading too much into it?

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Double Secret Probation

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themoniker

29 בDecember, 2004 בשעה 01:32

Interesting you mention Etgar Keret, because he’s the first person I heard mention Max Frisch’s Homo Faber. I assume you both heard about it at Uni.

Therefore I don’t think you are reading too much into it, because obviously the people who made Animal House were exposed to a college education and therefore (I guess) were exposed to Frisch, the same way people who went through high school were exposed to the innovative ideas of Robert Frost or Bill Shakespeare. Or Chaim Nachman.
Bad examples, but you get my drift.

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