Speaking of Buffy, at the moment I’m reading a book that my sister bought me for Christmas:
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale” (Edited by James B. South).
At first glance, this sounds like a cheesy look into the story of the TV series. However, don’t buy this book if you are a Buffy fan who only ever likes light reading – it’s a very deep book.
I was surprised when I actually started reading – it’s actually a book on philosophy, written by a collection of Professors of Philosophy and philosophy students (amongst others). It’s real stuff – discussing Nietzsche, Plato, greek mythology, and much more. Right from the first chapter, it launches into discussions of morality and contrasting the actions and thought processes of Buffy and her co-slayer, Faith. In fact the first section of the book is titled “Buffy, Faith and Feminism”.
I’m only about 50 pages into the book and already it has me thinking deeply about the issues they discuss. Although I do love a good philosophical debate, my reading time is usually spent with some light reading as an end-of-day stress relief and escapism. As I mentioned earlier, this book is definitely NOT light reading !!
The book is actually a real book about philosophy – and uses the characters and story of Buffy to provide examples of the concepts they want to discuss. This makes it extremely approachable for people who have watched a decent amount of Buffy and can remember what happened in the episodes that they mention. It’s a really good approach to the whole topic, and I feel it could help to bring the subject of philosophy to a whole new generation of people.
Interestingly, I just discovered that this book is but one of a series on “Popular Culture and Philosophy” whose general editor is William Irwin. Other books in the series are:
Volume 1: [i]Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing[/i] (2000)
Volume 2: [i]The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer[/i] (2001)
Volume 3: [i]The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real[/i] (2002)
Volume 4: [i]Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale[/i] (2003)
… and listed as in preparation:
[i]The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy[/i] (2003)
[i]Woody Allen and Philosophy[/i] (2004)
I think I might have to track down some of these books – some interesting topics there.
If you do come across these books and you enjoy a bit of deep thinking, I’d strongly recommend reading them – brings a light-hearted look at some very deep issues and makes it all very approachable and digestible.
I’ll write more about my experiences reading the book I’m reading now, and maybe even about some of the topics discussed as I get further into it.