2 Answers

  1. It is difficult to attribute Durden to any philosophical trend, his views are just a compilation of versatile theses. But the ideological position is obvious-nihilism. The closest thing to Durden's position in philosophy is Max Stirner's individualistic anarchism.

    It is generally accepted to refer Durden's views to existentialism, but this is not entirely true, because there are no real existentialist issues in Fight Club. Where, after criticizing the commonplace, existentialists move on to borderline situations and from them to the awakening of meaning, they find at least some positive program (Sartre: “Pretend that there is meaning”, Camus: “Everything is absurd, but joy and meaning arise in rebellion”). Durden rests on the ancient dream of mankind about a time when everything was better and more real.

    Durden is exactly the dead end that a significant part of projects to “improve” society uses. In this sense, Tyler Durden is Jean-Jacques Rousseau with his natural man and social contract theory, only reflected in a crooked mirror. And this clash of Rousseau's idealism with reality turns him into a proto-fascist and terrorist named Tyler Durden. The trick is that the simplicity and charm of the primitive society that Tyler wants to recreate is exactly the same simulacrum as what he is rebelling against. It was simply supported, it seems, by more intelligent and exalted people like Leo Tolstoy or Herbert Lawrence, with their longing for the”natural”.

    But if you try to go beyond the rather narrow world of “Fight Club”, then Garland's “The Beach” and Begbeder's “99 Francs” written in the same era as it (the last part about the island) they also debunk this myth of the beautiful old world. They also don't offer anything in return. What Durden suggests is more cowardice than heroism, more flight than rebellion, because he knows exactly what he doesn't want, but he doesn't have the faintest idea what he wants.

    “Nothing – that's what I built my business on” – the first and last phrase of Max Stirner's” The Only One and his Property”. In the end, this kind of denial leads to nothing. Instead of looking for reasons, a nihilist like Tyler builds his discworld on a tower of turtles (and all these turtles are denials of anything) that rest on the cold emptiness of the question that Søren Kierkegaard once asked: “What should we do with our lives?”.

  2. Romanticism, of course. This is an absolutely romantic, poetic character. His poetry is the poetry of struggle. The struggle with oneself, with the routine of things, with the awareness of one's own finiteness. All this, of course, is very sad, because any struggle is a manifestation of anxiety and anxiety. But this is our life. And only death will calm us down. In this strange, ghostly dream… In this strange dream.

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