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Bloody Immortals

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May 5, 2008 - Posted by | books, other, REDIRECTED, tv | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Not that I disagree with your well-stated case Ray, but I wonder if this fascination with immortality has more to do with how these immortals pass their time. New Amsterdam is a case in point – the episodes always refer back to a previous time in his life when he was an artist, or a master furniture craftsman, or grifter or some other such thing. People always claim a desire to do something else – whether it be read, paint, draw, act, build, learn – but never seem to find the time. Being immortal gives you an endless supply of time to pursue everything you could ever want to – without angst or regret.

    Comment by DeeMack | May 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. I liked Mary Shelley’s idea of an immortal seeking isolation from the brief lived madding crowd.
    He immediately saw his dilemma and asked Dr Frankenfurter for a female.When rebuffed he set off for the North Pole (at the time of writing the Ultima Thule)as much to protect the lesser mortals as himself.
    Therein lies the problem of a credible/interesting Immortal – why would bother with hoi polloi? Hence no story line.
    A strange set of books appeared in the 1940s by George S Viereck & Paul Eldridge, “My First 2,000 Years”, “Salome” and a third (sans Viereck)”Invincible Adam”. I’ve often thought that they might have been a spoof because of the authors’ names – VIERECK is german for ‘square’ and Eldridge could be a play on ‘eldritch’. They dealt with a lot of themes rending the war torn europaeische psyche at the time but always had the supercilious feel of a hoax.
    PS Do you want to tidy up the typos? 1st, 8th & 11th paras.

    Comment by amphibious1 | May 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. Amphibious,

    I can always count on you to find my typos! Nah, I think I’ll leave them in: battle scars from the late night writing, etc.

    I agree with your analysis. A real immortal would not bother himself with petty human concerns. So often in more fragile media, like comic books, immortals are portrayed as villainous individuals scheming for world domination (e.g., Vandal Savage in DC Comics). Why? It’s like a human scheming for mastery of the world of mayflies.

    The world of literature, as you point out, deals with the topic in a much more mature fashion, which is why I limited my discussion mostly to TV shows. They’re an easier target 🙂

    Comment by raywat | May 6, 2008 | Reply

  4. Dee Mack,

    Excellent point. As a plot device, immortality allows a storyteller to plow through many eras of history lazily with the same character. Isn’t it odd, though, how he never seems to learn anything, beyond physical skills? He never evolves as a person, never gains true wisdom, never releases himself from the petty concerns and angsts of an adolescent.

    The one exception may have been some key episodes of Highlander The Series. Adrian Paul’s depiction of the immortal McCloud always had a touch of desperate wisdom about him.

    Comment by raywat | May 6, 2008 | Reply

  5. […] My latest Skiffy article is available here. […]

    Pingback by deonandia » Bloody Immortals | December 20, 2013 | Reply

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