K-PAX

Infobox Book
name = K-PAX


image_caption =
author = Gene Brewer
country = USA
language = English
genre = Science fiction
publisher = St. Martin's Press
release_date = 1995
pages =
isbn = ISBN 0312977026

"K-PAX" is the name of the first novel in the K-PAX series by Gene Brewer and a film based on the series:
*"K-PAX" (1995)
**"K-PAX" (2001)— film
*"" (2001)
*"" (2002)
*"" (2007)

The books deal with the wacky and carefully panned-out experiences on Earth of a man named "prot" (rhymes with "goat", and is not capitalised). prot claims to be from a far away planet called K-PAX, where sex is considered unpleasant, raw veganism or fruitarianism is preferred, eating meat is never considered, and there are no laws, governments, or schools (see anarchism).

Although fictional, the story is presented as based on real events. It is written in the first person from the point of view of prot's psychiatrist, who shares his name with the author; the psychiatrist's wife is Karen, the name of the author's wife.

The 2001 film "K-PAX" was directed by Iain Softley and is based on the first book in this series. Kevin Spacey portrays prot, and Jeff Bridges plays the psychiatrist. There are some very significant differences between the film and the book, however, not merely in detail but also in terms of prot's overall "message".

K-PAX has also been made into a Stage Play, also written by Gene Brewer, and has been performed at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre) [cite web|url=http://www.actprovocateur.net/newwritings.html|title=Act Provocatuer New Writings|accessdate=2008-07-07] . It was directed by Victor Sobchak) [cite web|url=http://www.actprovocateur.net/kpaxreviews.html|title=Ham & High reviews|accessdate=2008-07-07] , whilst Hugh Allison took care of the technical side [cite web|url=http://www.t-y-p-e.net/theatrical.html|title=The Yellowchair Performance Experience|accessdate=2008-07-07] .

The plot

A white male is picked up by the New York Police after being found bending over the victim of a mugging at Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan. Having responded to the police questions with somewhat strange answers, he is transferred to Bellevue Hospital for evaluation. Although not physically ill, he is found to harbour a strange delusion: that he is from a planet called K-PAX in the constellation of Lyra. The patient, who calls himself "prot", is eventually transferred to the Manhattan Psychiatric Institute (MPI), where he becomes the patient of Dr. Gene Brewer.

Dr. Brewer, with the help of a journalist Giselle, discovers that prot may simply be an alter ego (the result of Multiple Personality Disorder) of Robert Porter, whose life has been devastated by the murder of his wife and child and his subsequent killing of the perpetrator.

When prot returns to his own planet, Robert Porter is left in a catatonic state. However, Bess (another patient prot had promised to take with him) disappears along with a box of souvenirs prot has been collecting.

Prot promises to return in "about five of your years".

Between the main story about Brewer, Giselle, the patients, and Robert/prot, Gene Brewer has several discussions about K-PAX and the society of K-PAX as the doctor/psychiatrist thinks Robert just imagined this near-perfect world.The novel has a foundation from the ideas and information of science (Albert Einstein), green politics, the five people Gandhi, Goodall, Lennon, Schweitzer, Thoreau and the spiritual teachers Buddha, Jesus Christ and philosophers such as Schopenhauer.

K-PAXians

K-PAXians are a fictional community of beings from Gene Brewer's novels K-PAX, K-PAX II, K-PAX III and .

prot sees himself as a (living) being, "I'm a being", not as a person, "I'm not a person".

The K-PAXians are a seemingly infinitely advanced community on the planet K-PAX. All knowledge of K-PAX and its attendant species came from the individual known as prot (rhymes with goat; K-PAXians only capitalize the names of planets and stars and other celestial bodies). prot was interviewed extensively by psychologist Gene Brewer who was of the opinion that prot was simply an "alter"; a second personality of the human Robert Porter.

prot notes for doctor Brewer and Giselle that Jane Goodall, John Lennon, Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) and Albert Schweitzer are the most K-PAXian-like human beings of the Earth. The planet is much older with its big variety of life and species inhabiting it. The age of the planet's life (K-PAX) consists of 2 billion and squashed years after prot sayings, whereas humanity only reached twenty thousand and some squashed years yet. K-PAX is similar in size to Neptune, being several times larger than Earth.K-PAXians' forefathers were something like worms and lived in the ground, whereas humans' forefathers were fishes and other aquatic beings. Prot pointed out that palaeontology has to do with upbringing everything.

Physiology

The conditions on the planet K-PAX explain a number of prot's oddities.

K-PAX is seated far from the two stars it orbits: K-MON and K-RIL. Thus, K-PAXians experience an eternal dusk as K-PAX orbits in a helix around the two celestial bodies. These stars are also not like our Sun because they are not main sequence stars. From the descriptions in the novel it is assumed that they are protostars nearing their inevitable collapse. The constant phase shift of light on K-PAX and the lack of light made it necessary to evolve the ability to detect lower frequencies of electromagnetic radiation i.e. infrared. This explains prot's refusal to ever remove his sunglasses. In the book where prot is assumed real he is questioned as to why a dremer appears human on Earth, prot responds, "Why is a soap bubble round?", meaning K-PAXians appear human because the humanoid form is the most efficient shape to explore the planet. The K-PAXian method of reproduction, unlike the human one, is considered extremely unpleasant, due to intense feelings of pain and horrible smells, amongst other unpleasant sensations. prot is completely uninterested in flirtation. prot can age to a thousand years like his parents which are in their late six-hundreds while prot is 337 years old in the first novel. prot's age contributes to his knowledge base and on earth prot is considered a savant, although it is never specified whether dremer intelligence is inherent or a result of K-PAXian society. prot makes it clear that dremers make every attempt to improve and disseminate their understanding of truth. prot ultimately communicates that sentient beings on K-PAX have such a universal awareness of life that it would seem a majority of human endeavor is benign, but he is excited for us because our race has a bright future if only we disregard our primitive misconceptions of our surroundings.

ociety

In K-PAXian society sex is considered unpleasant, raw veganism or fruitarianism is preferred, eating meat is never considered and there are no laws, governments, or schools (in other words - anarchy). The anarchy on K-PAX is a non-destructive, non-violent and peaceful one, it's a self-harmonizing, ordered anarchy. The beings reason out with the being(s) which go too far with destructive or wrong behaviour. All living beings from worm-beings to the more humanoid dremers (prot's exact species) are regarded as civilized part of the planet's community. Some readers view this as a more advanced society, or utopia/eutopia, with individuals living in peace and harmony with each other without the need for law. K-PAXians have no fixed abode and instead live a sort of nomadic life drifting between certain settlements/villages where food, clothing, and other things are stored. The work of cleaning, infrastructure maintenance, harvesting food, etc. is performed by all K-PAXians when it needs to be done; K-PAXians do not have a set occupation. Children may or may not know their parents, but this is unimportant as they are raised by their society as a whole. K-PAXians do not develop strong interpersonal bonds but rather consider all beings with compassion. Despite a lack of major cities, K-PAX does feature a number of large library type structures for the dissemination of knowledge; K-PAXians are far more technologically advanced than humans. K-PAXian society seems very similar to that described by Sir Thomas More in his novel "Utopia". It seems that truth, with its absolute nature, is very desirable for prot. Readers can suggest that truth has something like a divine state for the K-PAXian society, when the readers consider prot's vast knowledge, scientific aptitude and admiration for the arts. In this light truth becomes as important to prot as it was for Mohandas Gandhi. Besides truth's honourated state in K-PAXian society, the notion of God or gods is seen as illusive and false conformity. K-PAX society doesn't have a need for jokes or games, because life on K-PAX is considered to be fun and interesting.

prot even says that humans don't have a (good) sense of humor; games and jokes are seen as obsolete on K-PAX and even as mindless by prot. K-PAXian enjoy time with meditative walks in the woods, community needs, the arts (sculpturing, painting, music, henceforth), scientific observations, conservation about ideas and information and journeys to other planets. The whole civilization of K-PAX despises and doesn't use any kind of punishment or ostracism, as prot stated that the mystery of life contains non-violence.K-PAXians don't domesticate each other (for example dremers domesticating ruli or amps domesticating the worm beings, etc.).

Technology

Despite living a fairly agrarian lifestyle K-PAXians are highly technologically advanced. Most notable is their ability to travel faster than the speed of light both around a planet and between planets. K-PAXians have developed computers with complete holography. These computers generate events of history (of K-PAX or other inhabited planets like Earth) which occupy all senses. K-PAXian villages contain laboratories in which the different ingredients of herbs and other plants are analyzed for medicine for cure of every ailment which ever occurred. K-PAXian usually don't synthesize different elements to new things as they have mastered chemistry to gain directly any needed substance from the plants. They don't have the need to create something new with genetics (like blue trees). K-PAXian use two types of solar energy for the libraries. In the past they used bacterial decay, gravitational energy and muscle force as energy. Prot warned Gene Brewer about nuclear fission as it would create too much dangerous garbage to handle.

ee also

*K-PAX (film)
*Anarchism
*Utopia

References

External links

* [http://www.genebrewer.com/ Gene Brewer Official Site]


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