PREVIEW: ‘Prince’s People’ Original Pilot Screenplay by Yuki Iwama

Link to PDF: Prince’s People-(Pilot)

Premise: In the near future, in a different dimension, humans are used for meat, material goods, hunting, pets, and slave labour – these people are the Stockans. Theodore Prince is the only son and heir to the Prince fortune and business in the Stockan trade. He lives in ambivalence until he meets Na’in, a beautiful Stockan rights activist. The fight between the corporate dogs fueling the Stockan trade and the activists struggling to free the oppressed peoples turns into a personal war for Theodore Prince after tragedy strikes, and he decides to go up against his father and his father’s biggest rival in the Stockan trade – Kurosawa. But in the midst of a social revolution, the looming Third World War threatens the existence of the entire human race.

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Photography: ‘Melbourne Nightlife’ & ‘From The Mouth Of Bukowski’

About Me/My Work

Please come visit my new site! 

https://yukiiwama92.wixsite.com/yukiiwama

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Yuki Iwama

Melbourne, Australia

Email:
yukiiwama92@gmail.com
Twitter:
@YukiIwama92

 



CV

 

FORTHCOMING

Debut independent play ‘Mercury Boy/F*ggot Girl’ – Writer & Director (2017)


 

2017

-Playwright-in-resident, Lonely Company (2017)
Lonely Company


2016

SnatchesMelbourne Fringe Festival – Creative Director (2016)

-Short story ‘this is to be human/thrive, burn, thrive’ – Published in Needle in the Hay anthology Burn, Thrive, Burn (2016)
iBooks
Smashwords

-Panelist on  ‘(Re)writing Gender’& ‘Censorship & Political Correctness’ at the National Young Writers’ Festival (2016)

-Short story ‘I don’t know what it is but it keeps screaming’ – Featured in The NoSleep Podcast, season 7 episode 17 (2016)
The NoSleep Podcast Episode link

-Short story ‘The Oriental Slut with the Sideways Slit’ – Published in the Others anthology, RMIT (2016)
OTHERS_An-Anthology-of-Creative-Writing_RMIT University

-Short story ‘six oh oh: junkyard race war’ – Published in Voiceworks magazine, Issue #103 BANG (2016)

-Performance/Installation piece ‘Junkyard Race War’ – Writer & Director – as part of Lost For Words – La Mama Theatre, Melbourne (2016)
junkyard race war (video)



2015

-Short play ‘The Last Meal of the Literary Diners’ – Writer & Co-Director – Performed for RMIT’s Sideshow: On Trial, Melbourne (2015)
The Last Meal of the Literary Diners Video

-Performance piece ‘Kafka’s Daughter’ – Writer – Performed for RMIT’s Sideshow: On Trial, Melbourne (2015)

-Performance piece/play ‘Cunt’ – Writer & Director – Performed at Mudfest, Melbourne (2015) Cunt full play youtube

-Performance piece/play ‘Half-Dog, All Hate’ – Writer & Director – Performed at Mudfest, Melbourne (2015)

-Radio/performance piece ‘Mermaid’ – Writer & Performer – ‘Mermaid’ written and performed by Yuki Iwama – showcased at RMITs Snatches, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne (2015)

-Short story ‘2N5E’ – Shortlisted – Needle in the Hay (2015)
2N5E Short Story

-NATIONAL STUDIO 2015 PARTICIPANT – Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP)
Participants 2015

-Short play ‘The Allegory of the Happy Women’ – RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne (2015)
The Allegory of Happy Women play

-Short play ‘A Chair Called Amadeus’ – RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne (2015)
A Chair Called Amadeus play

-Performance piece/monologue ‘God’s Gramophone’ – RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne (2015)
God’s Gramophone 8 minute monologue

-Short story ‘sun spit tastes like…’ – Published in Alien She Zine, Melbourne (Issue 1, 2015)
sun spit tastes like…



2014

-Short story ‘Guilty’ – Published in Literati magazine, Melbourne (Issue 2, 2014)

-Short play ‘Like Daddy, Like Sonny’ – Writer – Performed for RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne (2014)

-Performance piece ‘Noise’ – Writer – Performed for RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne (2014)

-Short play ‘Sunrise’ – Writer & Director – Performed for RMIT’s Snatches, Melbourne (2014)



Previous

-Short film ‘Stickfigures’ – Finalist in Cut!, New Zealand (2008)

-Poem ‘True Happiness’ – Published in Teen Ink magazine, USA (November 2011)

-Painting ‘My Mask’ – Acquired by Teen Ink magazine, USA (2011)

 

 

Nietzsche’s Ubermensch by Yuki Iwama

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ubermensch (directly translated as ‘Overman’) is a theory that rejects the sedentary, cushioned modern man, and encourages us to overcome our current state of being to something immeasurably higher. First publicly appearing in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche, speaking through the titular character, introduces to us the Ubermensch – the future of humanity. The Ubermensch is not within us, waiting for us to ‘find’ our inner superman; rather, it is something that must be attained (Safranski 2003, p.259). In this essay I will attempt (to the best of my abilities as a cushioned modern man) to uncover how to become Nietzsche’s Ubermensch; what this superman is; and the consequences of becoming.

From the ashes of inherent and transcendent morality, Nietzsche birthed the Ubermensch. His critique and rejection of the categorical imperative asserted his position on the life-affirming, “yes”-saying superman who the modern man should be striving to become. We are, at the moment, between ape and the Ubermensch – it is up to us whether we enforce our will to power and transcend from our current state of being.

So how do we do this? First, we must try and understand Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. The eternal recurrence theory was not unfamiliar to Nietzsche during his life, beginning from his early roots reading Schopenhauer to rediscovering it in his later writings (Safranski 2003, p.225). To Nietzsche, “the world of forces” could not possibly run by a linear existence, since it would have already reached the end; therefore, “the world of forces” is eternal, running not in a linear direction but circular, constantly ending then starting and so on and forth until existence is a seamless repetition throughout eternity (Safranski 2003, p.228). This terrifying revelation presents to us a dilemma of epic proportions: if everything we do and say and think in our lives is already predetermined and doomed to be repeated on an endless loop, then what is the point? How are we to live a life with no meaning (like those hopeless, manic-depressive nihilists)? From this dilemma, Nietzsche gives us the anti-nihilistic nihilism; the new, optimistic nihilism; the philosophy of the future. The eternal recurrence theory is not supposed to be presented as a truth (the possible despair and destruction stemming from this theory was something that Nietzsche found amusing) but as a “pragmatic, autosuggestive aid in structuring our lives” (Safranski 2003, pp.230-231).

Religion, mainly Christianity, has us living our afterlives; however, with the prospect of an eternally recurring life, shouldn’t we be concentrating on this life now? (Safranski 2003, p.231). Instead of focusing on the afterlife, we should be focusing on the nowlife – embrace the life that was given to us! Amor fati! Rejoice and revel in this life; embrace your fate; relish the darkness and the brightness of the life we have now! Only the weak willed are struck down by Christian morality and guilt; the denial of self and will; the constant “no”-saying. Nietzsche demands that we must have courage and strength; that we should not deny truth and reality; and that “knowledge, saying ‘yes’ to reality, is…a necessity for the strong…” (Nietzsche 2009, pp.46-47). Once we learn to do this, will we be that much closer to the Ubermensch.

Nietzsche distinguishes those of us who are perhaps blinded or herded by this slave-like morality. We are essentially slaves to our guilt and masochistic psyches (guilt is really just like self-flagellation) which, argues Nietzsche, is something that must be overcome and rejected. We are led by the delusions (or perhaps manipulations) of ‘priests’ who encourages herd-like mentality and conformity; who stresses the importance of selflessness and denying ourselves of certain desires and pleasures; who teaches us what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil; and who offers us ‘soothing balms’ to helps us ‘tolerate’ life – these priests, these enforcers of slave morality, must be unheeded (Bornedal 2010, pp. 414-417). We must enforce the life affirming, absolute amor fati, and the joyful embrace of both the suffering and pleasurable aspects of our lives – to the point, as Bornedal so puts it, “where [we] could want…eternal recurrence” (2010, p.418). The Ubermensch is not slave to superimposed values and morals – he scoffs at the categorical imperative – but the master of his own values and morals. He is both the “destroyer and creator of values…who needs no illusory fictions about an afterlife…but instead imbues this world with the affirmative values of his own making” (Daniels 2013, p.194).

Once we have thrown off the superimposed slave morality and adopted the life affirming ‘yes’-saying and noble morality, can we start to harness the will to power and the will to the Ubermensch. The will to power is essentially the shared characteristic of all living beings –in this case, the will to become, rather than existing as static beings; surviving and not living (Heidegger 1979, pp.18-19). To clarify, Heidegger emphasises the distinction of the semantics of the word. He posits that the word ‘will’ does not convey the concept of ‘want’ or ‘wish’, but rather “the submission of ourselves to our own command, and the resoluteness of such self-command…” (1979, p.40). When we say the phrase ‘will to power’, we assume that Nietzsche suggests a will with a goal or an end. However, as Heidegger points out, the ‘will’ itself is “as mastery out beyond itself…will is a willing beyond itself…it is the strength that is able to bring itself power” (1979, p.42). Will itself is power.

To Nietzsche life is a vibrating, humming, tautened elastic band of will to power. It is a matter of whether or not we release the elastic band and harness the will to power to really live our lives and, ultimately, overcome ourselves. To reiterate, we are sedentary and cushioned, too comfortable in our current state of being (and too weak willed) to change, to evolve. Nietzsche wants us to overcome this; to overcome ourselves. We must harness the will to power – the will to the Ubermensch – to overcome, change, and become what is destined for us.

In summary, Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, the Dionysian ideal, is something that we must strive for (even if it is unattainable); since the simple of act of striving is in the spirit of the Ubermensch. With the eternal recurrence theory, instead of being horrified by the prospect of an eternity of the same life, we must learn to live life to the full; embracing everything, even the suffering and the pain. Nietzsche demands that we do not be satisfied with purely surviving – our main goal in life simply being happy, and cushioned and fattened by modernity – but we should (and must) want more from life and ourselves. We must throw off the trepidation and guilt of slave morality and we must become masters of our own values and morals. To yell and scream “yes!” to everything in life; to love the life given to us (amor fati!); and to actually want to live the same life over and over again for eternity – this truly is the most precious gift we could possibly ever hope to attain. However, we must first gaze upon ourselves, the modern man, and realise that to hope to simply be happy in life is not enough. We must want more; aim higher; and struggle to overcome ourselves. The future is in this overcoming.

©Yuki Iwama, 2015

Reference List

Bornedal, P 2010, The Surface and the Abyss: Nietzsche as philosopher of mind and knowledge, De Gruyter, Berlin & NY.

Daniels, PR 2013, Nietzsche and The Birth of Tragedy, Acumen, Durham.

Heidegger, M 1979, Nietzsche Volume I: the will to power as art, Harper & Row, NY.

Nietzsche, F 2009, Ecce Homo: a new translation by Duncan Large, Oxford University Press, NY.

Safranski, R 2003, Nietzsche: a philosophical biography, Granta Books, London.

Bibliography

White, A 1990, Within Nietzsche’s Labyrinth, Routledge, New York & London.

Review: Michelle de Kretser’s ‘Questions of Travel’ by Yuki Iwama

To travel is to say goodbye. To travel is to isolate. To travel is to connect. To travel is to escape. Michelle de Kretser’s fourth novel, Questions of Travel (published in 2012 by Allen and Unwin) is aptly named, as it attempts to answer the questions and poses concepts that readers would otherwise not associate with travelling. The author herself has lived parallel to her characters, having her roots in the east and living in the west. One can see how this novel can be seen as a bipolar reflection on the author’s own experiences with travel.

The story encompasses over forty years and is told by two characters: Laura, a Sydney woman who travels the world after gaining an inheritance; and Ravi, a Sri Lankan man who becomes a tourist in his own country before seeking asylum in Sydney. We see here two parallel lives, though from opposite ends of the socio-political spectrum. David Callahan writes in Transnational Literature, that this blatant polarity is obvious in the “economic ability of [Laura] to travel out of desire, and [Ravi’s] constraints of travel structured by politicised violence” in his home country (2013, p. 6). At face value, it may appear that de Kretser is postulating that travel is only for the wealthy, however travel can come in any form: from Ravi’s journey of asylum in Australia to Laura’s cyber travelling while she works for a travel guide publishers.

These different forms of travelling are explored at great length within the novel. De Kretser pens the beginning at 1970, at the first hesitant steps of the technological boom, to 2004, when technology is an organic part of humanity – for example, as Ravi has sex with his wife, he cannot stop thinking about the internet and “things [flowing] together on his mind’s screen” (de Kretser 2012, p. 88). Deborah Rice of the ABC quotes de Kretser, who says: “Travel of different kinds is central to the book and people are interested in that…I hope they perhaps have their ideas of travel shaken up a bit or perhaps affirmed” (2014). But, while travel is the foremost theme of the novel, the author also attempts to explore technology, human interactivity and connection, politics and war, wealth and poverty, cultural relativity and race.

The title itself is based on Elizabeth Bishop’s poem by the same name, which also attempts to answer the questions of travel; questions that de Kretser also asks in her novel. Bishop writes: “Is it lack of imagination that makes us come/to imagined places, not just stay at home?…Should we have stayed at home,/wherever that may be?” (Poem Hunter 2003, para. 4-5). We meet a plethora of characters through Ravi and Laura on their travels who all have a strong relationship with the concept of home – whether they are yearning and searching for one or buried deep in the roots of the land. From Theo, who seems to be constantly misplaced, especially in himself; and Hazel, who has a deep connection with her house and her family; to Hana, an Ethiopian woman trying her best to find a home in Australia. Then there is, of course, Laura and Ravi, who both feel displaced in their home countries, for different reasons. Questions of Travel then, argues Evelyn Juers of the Sydney Review of Books, poses to us questions not only about travel but also about “authenticity: of consanguinity and camouflage, of mimesis and alterity” (2013, para. 10).

Though the book has won a number of awards and recognition – in particular, the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, and the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for fiction – it is not however, well received by those outside the academic and literary circles. De Kretser’s use of language is the most debated and striking aspect of the novel. It is one of the leading reasons why most readers feel disconnected to the story, since it is tacit and difficult to swallow.  De Kretser has a roundabout way of describing things, which can be seen quite perfectly when Ravi comments on a picture of Freda’s father (or some other relative), saying that “he filled the frame, a squared-off man. Ravi thought of good English butter. He thought of all the red roast beef the man contained” (de Kretser 2012, p.119). Just by association, we know that the man is stocky and well-built. It is a technique de Kretser uses almost constantly throughout the novel, and reading even one page is a cerebral quest – turning it into a puzzle one needs to solve before moving on in the narrative. Kim Forrester of Reading Matters, while giving the novel a positive review, admitted that she had trouble deciphering the language in some parts. She states that: “the author’s prose style…felt convoluted and “showy”…”; however, she continues on to say that once she familiarised herself with the language, it became easier to understand (Forrester 2013, para. 9).

There are, however, those who appreciate the beauty and complexity of the language. While Forrester is valid in her argument about the inaccessibility of the language in some parts of the novel, she also praises de Kretser and her mastery of description. “[The author’s] descriptions,” she says, “particularly of objects and places…were evocative and often quite beautiful” (Forrester 2013, para. 9). One can get a feel for the heady and almost drunk-like qualities of the novel, which offers a sensual mobility that parallels the book’s core theme. The book is one of fierce living (which can be seen in Laura’s character) and the inertia of death (Ravi here, serves as the metaphorical vehicle for this concept). It is hard not to find yourself breathless while reading Laura’s story, as the descriptions here are a smear of colours. Passages like: “It was lush with overgrown oranges, loquats, figs…The leaves of the orange trees were as glossy and distinct as if cut from green tin…on the station platform, surrounded by shouts, clanking, an aria oozing from the tannoy, the squeak of sneakered feet…” (de Kretser 2012, p.99). De Kretser indulges in the sensual like Laura indulges in the pleasures of living. Jenny Ackland writes on her blog that Questions “is lyrical yet compact yet wide and stuffed with detail” (2013, para. 15). Like the language, the story itself is tacit and both too macro and too micro.

Though quite beautiful, the book is not without its’ flaws. The structure of the novel was something that I had trouble grappling, as did many other readers. Randy Boyagoda of The New York Times describes the structure as a “huge game of Ping-Pong” and that de Kretser makes “too many minor plot excursions and secondary character profiles” (2013, para. 7). I did indeed have a difficult time tracking all the new characters that were being introduced in every chapter, some of whom did not appear again for the rest of the book, or were mentioned briefly five chapters later. It felt at times that these characters were pointless and only there for convenience. Names like Cassie and Phil (Laura’s roommates mentioned early in the novel) and Helmut Becker (Laura’s colleague at Ramsay’s) would only draw blank faces – these are characters who served little to no service whatsoever. It makes me wonder why de Kretser created them in the first place.

Boyagoda’s description of the chapters being like a game of Ping-Pong is also quite accurate – going from Ravi to Laura every chapter around a hundred times, with barely room to breathe, seems overwhelming and confusing at times. Boyagoda argues that this structure leaves the reader no time to reflect on “the emergence of distinctive patterns and juxtaposed meanings”, being “undermined by the sheer number and frequency of these switches” (2013, para. 7). It is perhaps too much to ask of the reader – plunging us deep into two parallel lives with stories riddled with implicit juxtaposition, only to pull us out head first before we can decipher any meaning from them.

Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel is a dizzy drunk epic. Whilst reading, I found that her language seeped into my brain chemistry, leaving me with the feeling that I had smoked too much weed in the Botanical Gardens – the colours and the Pollack descriptions is the main (if not only) reason why I admire this book. Questions did have structural flaws that were hard to overcome, and the sheer number of minor (and seemingly pointless) characters lost de Kretser many readers. The political aspects of the novel were something I, as an Australian living in a multicultural society, understood and had been exposed to before – so there wasn’t anything new from the literary shores that I had been searching for. However, the philosophy of travel presented by de Kretser caught my attention and challenged my idea of the concept. Though the novel did have its’ flaws, if it can change or impact a reader’s perception, no matter how small of an influence, it is a book worth reading.

©Yuki Iwama, 2015

Reference List


Ackland, J <jmay100@iinet.net.au> 2013, ‘Book Review: Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser’, blog post, 26 July, Seraglio: not a pizza place, viewed 18 October 2014, <http://jennyackland.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/book-review-questions-of-travel-by-michelle-de-kretser/&gt;.

Boyagoda, R 2013, ‘When Two Paths Meet: ‘Questions of Travel,’ by Michelle de Kretser’, The New York Times, 21 June, viewed 19 October 2014, <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/books/review/questions-of-travel-by-michelle-de-kretser.html?_r=0&gt;.

Callahan, D 2013, ‘Review of Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser’, Transnational Literature, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 6-7.

Forrester, K <readingmatters@gmail.com> 2013, “Questions of Travel’ by Michelle de Kretser’, blog post, June 18, Reading Matters: Book reviews of mainly modern and contemporary fiction, viewed 17 October 2014, <http://kimbofo.typepad.com/readingmatters/2013/06/questions-of-travel-by-michelle-de-krester.html&gt;.

Juers, E 2013, Tripper Up, Tripped Out, Sydney Review of Books, 17 October 2014, <http://www.sydneyreviewofbooks.com/tripped-up-tripped-out/&gt;.

Poem Hunter 2003, Questions of Travel, Poem Hunter, viewed 17 October 2014, <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/questions-of-travel/&gt;.

Rice, D 2014, ‘Michelle de Kretser’s Questions Of Travel wins Book of the Year at NSW Premier’s Literary Awards’, ABC News, 19 May, viewed 17 October 2014, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-19/michelle-de-kretser-wins-nsw-premiers-literary-award/5462540&gt;.