Fight Club


Yeah, I know I'm breaking the rules, let's talk about Fight Club, by Chuck Palanhniuk.

Before getting into the contents of the novel—like always—I'd like to give some backstory as to why I'm reading this now. Turn back the clock to 2016, Grade 11 English. For my "independent novel study" I decided that I would read Fight Club. These were the days where I had completely given up on reading and English class in general, and thus I didn't actually read this book at all. But that didn't stop me from giving a completely uninformed thirty minute presentation on it. I've actually tried to read Fight Club multiple times and hadn't succeeded until now. Why did I keep coming back to it? I hate having loose ends.

About the actual book: there's a lot I could talk about, but what seems most important are the motifs of perfection and perspective.

A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection

Perfection is fleeting. Perfection is a performance. Perfection is infinite and then emptiness. You only get one moment.

I resonate with this because I've come across perfection once in my life. In the aftermath I was left wondering why everything else seemed to lose it's meaning and why I felt the polar opposite of how I thought I was supposed to feel. I chased after the perfection I had once felt. I thought I could stretch the moment out, like cellophane wrap over tonight's dinner, so that I could have it tomorrow for leftovers. I thought I could make it into more than it was supposed to be. I was wrong.

It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything

Meditation is an extremely beneficial practice. I've dabbled with it in the past and I should really do more of it. The reason it's so powerful is because it forces you to step back from everything. Internal perspective. You are not your thoughts. You are not your job. You are not your emotions. These are the teachings of meditation.

The main characters of Fight Club attend support groups for people with terminal cancer, brain parasites, and other terrible diseases. External perspective. The fact that the people at these meetings are dying invokes the feeling of being completely alive. This is dangerous.