22 October 2012 @ 05:00 pm
 


  Charles Yu's Third Class Superhero is a collection of interesting short stories written in a abstract, pondering style. This stories in this book deal with questions of existence, regret, and ideas about life that we hardly ever think about. 
One of the most intriguing stories in the book is Realism. I personally found the idea presented in this story quite fascinating. The character who also narrates the story perceives reality as a fixed, linear thing.  We travel forward in time on this fixed line. If this is true then the line we travel on can not be changed and every point on this line has been created already therefore everything we are and will be has already been determined and depending on where you look on this line has already happened. Like ghosts we can both exist and not exist depending on where you look on this line of reality. The character says, "My mother is going to die, my mother is dying, my mother is already dead." In his view of reality all three of these statements can always be true at any point on the line. The linear representation of reality is independent of anything else and cannot be changed. The character cares for his mother as she is suffering from a terminal illness. She wants to grasp the concept of realism, to feel all feelings, she wants her son to tell her a story that will make her feel the concept of realism. The son knows that he can't come up with a story that will capture the essence of his mother's existence.  His mother tells him a story about an insect which transforms into a man who now has to deal with the horrors of human consciousness. In the end she dies but since realism entails the idea that time is an illusion and reality is just a line, they keep reliving the same moments of her dying and him trying to tell her a story. He tells her that not all stories have endings.  Yu presents this philosophical idea in such an interesting way; through the relationship between the mother and son. 

  Another notable story was Problems for Self Study, where you describes the relationship between a husband and wife through only mathematical and scientific contexts. I find the works in Third Class Superhero very impressive and Yu writes stories in a way I have never seen before.      
 
 
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Secret Asian American Man: gee-rapp-uhsa_am on October 24th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
thanks for the review!!!
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