Marla Singer: Your Love and Hate

I was re-reading Fight Club (yes, its a novel) by Chuck Palahniuk. I had previously made a few articles that had been influenced by or had featured subject matter from the book.

The more that I read it, the more that I get troubled. I notice things that I had not previously noticed. Things that make me question the idea that Tyler Durden was some type of “RP inspirational figure head”.

My “troubling” first notice of the conceptual conflict was Cornelius/Narrator’s mention that “I know all of this: the gun, the anarchy, the explosion is really about Marla Singer” during Project Mayhem’s action at the Parker Morris Building. I always took to the idea of Project Mayhem being a cultural reset and the beginnings of a societal rebirth. But I miss the small signs.

” Without Marla, Tyler would have nothing”.

Cornelius/Narrator finds his way to cope with his insomnia through embracing the support groups. He mentions focusing on the way that these people talk and look but fail to make these people seem like three dimensional entities. (I took it like these people were extras in a story and not worth remembering. Or they were dying off and disappearing?). The irony was that he fixated on Marla when he easily could have ignored her every time he ran into her. I wanted to think that he was the one that let her get to him. (I feel like this was backed up by the fact that he acted out in his head about confronting her about her imposter behavior and his need for release).

“Last night, I called Marla. We’ve worked out a system so if I want to go to a support group, I can call Marla and see if she’s planning to go”.

Calling a woman to see if she was going to a meeting to avoid her doesn’t make you very manly. The manly idea would be to go and not give a f*ck about her.

(Without acknowledging the fact that Cornelius/Narrator is mentally ill and Tyler Durden is most likely a disassociative personality…folks; I noticed throughout the book that not only does Cornelius focus on Marla’s life, she is always on his mind when he should be focused on Project Mayhem’s goals. He attends to her whims and stokes her fire with a bizarre level of attention. He dreams of her often.).

I could crow on and on. I would hope that the RP elements in our lives secretly don’t have a backward muse like Marla Singer. The purpose to our lives need not be driven by a personified “love and hate” but by a desire to be better men for our own sakes.


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