The Philosophy of Time Travel – A fictional book created by a fictional character

   The “Philosophy of Time Travel” is a fictional book written by character Roberta Sparrow, or more commonly referred to as “Grandma Death”. Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff gives this book to Donnie during one of their conversations about time travel. Since Roberta Sparrow is a fictional character in the movie Donnie Darko, it is not clear who has written this book, but it was most likely the director, Richard Kelly or his staff. It was included on the Official DVD to help viewers understand the plot of the movie and to help explain many of the occurring events. The book has chapters missing from it, most likely on purpose to give it more of an authentic feel, since if such a book existed, it would probably contain large amounts of extraneous information which is not needed to understand the plot. Below is a copy of “The Philosophy of Time Travel” with comments and examples I have added to help show the relationship between the book and the movie ( * denotes a comment).

The fact that Roberta Sparrow has written this book, and overnight completely switched from being a nun to a science teacher, leads us to believe that she has gone through what Donnie is going through in this movie. There is no actual proof that she has gone through this since there would be no evidence of it ever occurring.

The Philosophy of Time Travel
By Roberta Sparrow

I would like to thank the sisters of the Saint John Chapel in Alexandria, Virginia for their support in my decision.

8133985By the grace of God, they are:

Sister Eleanor Lewis
Sister Francesca Godiani
Sister Helen Davis
Sister Catherine Arnold
Sister Mary Lee Pond
Sister Virginia Wessex

This intent of this short book is for it to be used as a simple and direct guide in a time of great danger.

I pray that this is merely a work of fiction.

If it is not, then I pray for you, the reader of this book.

If I am still alive when the events foretold in these pages occur, then I hope that you will find me before it is too late.

Roberta Ann Sparrow
October, 1944

Chapter One
The Tangent Universe

5473381The Primary Universe is fraught with great peril. War, plague, famine and natural disaster are common. Death comes to us all.

The Fourth Dimension of Time is a stable construct, though it is not impenetrable.

Incidents when the fabric of the fourth dimension becomes corrupted are incredibly rare.

If a Tangent Universe occurs, it will be highly unstable, sustaining itself for no longer than several weeks.
*On October 2nd at midnight, the Tangent Universe occurs when the jet engine falls from the sky. Frank tells Donnie the world will end in exactly 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.*

Eventually it will collapse upon itself, forming a black hole within the Primary Universe capable of destroying all existence.
*It is unsure if this means that the Tangent Universe will physically destroy the Primary Universe, or if the world will get stuck in a time-loop and constantly replay the same 28 days over and over forever. More is discussed on the explanation page.*

Chapter Two
Water And Metal

Water and Metal are the key elements of Time Travel.

Water is the barrier element for the construction of Time Portals used as gateways between Universes as the Tangent Vortex.
*This is seen in the bathroom when Donnie and Frank are conversing with a water barrier between them.*

Metal is the transitional element for the construction of Artifact Vessels.
*The jet engine is made of metal.*

Chapter Four
The Artifact And The Living

the-philosophy-of-time-travel-5-638When a Tangent Universe occurs, those living nearest to the Vortex, will find themselves at the epicenter of a dangerous new world.

Artifacts provide the first sign that a Tangent Universe has occurred.

If an Artifact occurs, the Living will retrieve it with great interest and curiosity.
*People had great interest in the jet engine since it had a matching serial number to one that was already in existence.*

Artifacts are formed from metal, such as an Arrowhead from an ancient Mayan civilization, or a Metal Sword from Medieval Europe.

Artifacts returned to the Primary Universe are often linked to religious Iconography, as their appearance on Earth seems to defy logical explanation.

Divine intervention is deemed the only logical conclusion for the appearance of the Artifact.

Chapter Six
The Living Receiver

The Living Receiver is chosen to guide the Artifact into position for its journey back to the Primary Universe.
*Donnie is the living receiver and is responsible for guiding the artifact back to the Primary Universe.*

No one knows how or why a Receiver will be chosen.
*This may be because Donnie was the closest one to the jet engine, since it fell in his room.*
The Living Receiver is often blessed with a Fourth Dimensional Powers. These include increased strength, telekinesis, mind control, and the ability to conjure fire and water.
*Donnie uses strength to break the water pipe at his school and slam the axe into a bronze statue. He uses fire to burn down Jim Cunningham’s house. At the end of the movie he used telekinesis to tear the jet engine off the airplane and send it through the time-portal.*

The Living Receiver is often tormented by terrifying dreams, visions and auditory hallucinations during his time within the Tangent Universe.
*Donnie is “haunted” by Frank.*

These surrounding the Living Receiver, known as the Manipulated, will fear him and try to destroy him.

Chapter Seven
The Manipulated Living

The Manipulated Living are often the close friends and neighbors of the Living Receiver.

They are prone to irrational, bizarre, and often violent behavior. This is the unfortunate result of their task, which is to assist the Living Receiver in returning the Artifact to the Primary Universe.
*Certain small actions can be picked up such as when Frank leaves the Halloween party to get beer, when the party already has a keg.*

The Manipulated Living will do anything to save themselves from Oblivion.

Chapter Ten
The Manipulated Dead

The Manipulated Dead are more powerful than the Living Receiver. If a person dies within the Tangent Dimension, they are able to contact the Living Receiver through the Fourth Dimensional Construct.

The Fourth Dimensional Construct is made of Water.

The Manipulated Dead will manipulate the Living Receiver using the Fourth Dimensional Construct.
*These are the water spears that Donnie sees coming out of people.*

The Manipulated Dead will often set an Ensurance Trap for the Living Receiver to ensure that the Artifact is returned safely to the Primary Universe.
*The movie shows the entire Ensurance Trap as Frank and Gretchen have set it up.*

If the Ensurance Trap is successful, the Living Receiver is left with no choice but to use his Fourth Dimensional Power to send the Artifact back in time into the Primary Universe before the Black hole collapses upon itself.
*Donnie can be seen doing this at the end of the movie when he is sitting on the hill. This may be hard to pick up since it just shows Donnie sitting on his car, watching the storm. We never see him actively do anything.*

Chapter Twelve

2445152225_8ffe54bd06When the Manipulated awaken from their Journey into the Tangent Universe, they are often haunted by the experience in their dreams.

Many of them will not remember.
*Donnie himself included. When he was laughing at the end of the movie in his bed, he possibly vaguely remembers how he saved the world and is content. He most likely doesn’t know about the jet engine about to fall on his room.*

Those who do remember the Journey are often overcome with profound remorse for the regretful actions buried within their Dreams, the only physical evidence buried within the Artifact itself, all that remains from the lost world.
*At the end of the movie, it shows many of the main characters and the reactions of them after they wake up. Subtle things such as Jim Cunningham crying or Frank touching his eye show us that most of them have some recollection of the events.*

Ancient myth tells us of the Mayan Warrior killed by an Arrowhead that had fallen from a cliff, where there was no Army, no enemy to be found.

We are told of the Medieval Knight mysteriously impaled by sword he had not yet built.

We are told that these things occur for a reason.

The Philosophy of Time Travel is available on the Official DVD,, and scribd.

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