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In The Dust of This Planet

by Eugene Thacker

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274777,451 (3.72)1
#1 Amazon Best Seller in Philosophy Criticism The world is increasingly unthinkable, a world of planetary disasters, emerging pandemics, and the looming threat of extinction. In this book Eugene Thacker suggests that we look to the genre of horror as offering a way of thinking about the unthinkable world. To confront this idea is to confront the limit of our ability to understand the world in which we live - a central motif of the horror genre. In the Dust of This Planet explores these relationships between philosophy and horror. In Thacker's hands, philosophy is not academic logic-chopping; instead, it is the thought of the limit of all thought, especially as it dovetails into occultism, demonology, and mysticism. Likewise, Thacker takes horror to mean something beyond the focus on gore and scare tactics, but as the under-appreciated genre of supernatural horror in fiction, film, comics, and music. This relationship between philosophy and horror does not mean the philosophy of horror, if anything, it means the reverse, the horror of philosophy: those moments when philosophical thinking enigmatically confronts the horizon of its own existence. For Thacker, the genre of supernatural horror is the key site in which this paradoxical thought of the unthinkable takes place. The cover of In the Dust of this Planet can be seen in a New York gallery, on a banner at the 2014 Climate Change march in New York and on Jay-Z's back promoting Run. The book influenced the writers of the US TV series True Detective and has been lambasted by ex-Fox News broadcaster, Glenn Beck in this podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch'v=2IW8OK4_1gQ Other writing by Eugene Thacker Two more in the series Horror of Philosophy - April 2015: *[ Zero Books ] Starry Speculative Corpse Horror of Philosophy vol. 2 Eugene Thacker Paperback: 978-1-78279-891-0 eBook: 978-1-78279-890-3 *[ Zero Books ] Tentacles Longer Than Night Horror of Philosophy vol. 3 Eugene Thacker Paperback: 978-1-78279-889-7 eBook: 978-1-78279-888-0… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Queste le coordinate: Sistema Solare, Terra, proprio all'inizio di un'era geologica che abbiamo ribattezzato "Antropocene", riconoscendo l'uomo e le sue attività come la causa principale dei profondi cambiamenti che stanno affliggendo il pianeta.
Mano a mano che la conosciamo meglio, la natura sembra piegarsi al dominio dell'uomo, perché conoscere è anche possedere. Eppure nonostante questa continua e trionfale conquista abbiamo l'impressione che qualcosa ancora ci sfugga- Più ci addentriamo nei segreti della natura, più il mondo reale ci appare alieno, inquietante e "impensabile".
EugeneTacker parte proprio da qui, da questa dimensione inaccessibile al pensiero umano, per illustrarci l'unica chiave filosofica in grado di interpretarla: l'orrore.
Per l'autore esistono tre gradi di esistenza del mondo in relazione all'uomo, il "mondo per noi", cioè il mondo che abbiamo già piegato al nostro dominio, il "mondo in se", quella parte del mondo che ancora non conosciamo ma che, grazie ai nostri strumenti cognitivi, potremo presto trasformare in "mondo per noi" e poi, per ultimo, il "mondo senza di noi", quella parte che sappiamo essere eternamente sfuggente all'intelletto umano, che sappiamo essere li per ricordarci che l'universo è un posto immenso, completamente indifferente alla nostra esistenza e per la gran parte impossibile da capire... solo l'orrore ci permette di realizzare l'apparente paradosso di capire qualcosa senza capirla. Il Black Metal, la demonologia, l'Orrore Cosmico lovercraftiano e l'occultismo diventano tutti strumenti di interpretazione per decodificare qualcosa a cui la razionalità, per quanto si sforzi, non potrà mai accedere.
Ho letto questo libro con grande interesse, ma mi rendo conto che per molti possa essere un'opera molto complessa da affrontare... probabilmente lo sarebbe stato anche per me se prima, per fortuna, non avessi letto alcuni libri che sono solo tangenti agli argomenti affrontati in "Tra le Ceneri di questo Pianeta" ma che hanno reso molto più chiari alcuni concetti espressi nel libro.
Il Primo è "[b:The Weird and the Eerie. Lo strano e l'inquietante nel mondo contemporaneo|41563228|The Weird and the Eerie. Lo strano e l'inquietante nel mondo contemporaneo|Mark Fisher|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1535830247s/41563228.jpg|50205156]" di Mark Fisher, pubblicato da Minimun Fax in cui l'autore affronta i concetti di Strano e Inquietante a partire dalla cultura Pop come chiave interpretative del mondo moderno, e poi "[b:Iperoggetti|40237448|Iperoggetti|Timothy Morton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1527633020s/40237448.jpg|24903561]" di Timothy Morton edito sempre da nella collana Not, opera imponente in cui l'autore spiega il concetto di iperoggetti, ovvero oggetti così estesi nel tempo e nello spazio da essere difficilmente concepibili e pensabili da parte di un essere umano dalla vita e dalla capacità cognitiva limitata. ( )
  JoeProtagoras | Jan 28, 2021 |
I wanted to love this, but only just liked it sometimes.

Fully owning that I don’t have much experience with many of the philosophers he cites so maybe my own ignorance affected my reading, but at times (really more often than not) it felt like Thacker was running in circles and even he didn’t quite know what point he was trying to make. The different frameworks in which he presents each section left the book poorly organized and created a disjointed feeling in the text.

This book reminded me of a paper you would write in college where you forgot your thesis halfway through and threw in as many convoluted sentences as possible with some made up words that describe your non-point in an effort to hide the fact that you don’t totally know what you’re trying to say.

That being said, there were some far out moments that were worthwhile, if you’re willing to work to get to them. ( )
  darsaster | Aug 20, 2020 |
Starts out incredible with the history of philosophy about the darkness, the void, the mysterious. Gets a little tedious when he starts talking about monster movies, but he brings it back together. It's almost poetic in parts, and very overly-academical philosophy-dry in parts. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
As if prose and complexly justaposed words were a substitute for coherent thought. ( )
1 vote monkity | Jul 9, 2019 |
This book came to my attention after it was featured on a strong pair of linked episodes of two excellent WNYC podcasts I listen to, Radiolab and On the Media. (It also inspired True Detective, a show I have never seen.) Eugene Thacker's monograph explores the way horror fiction confronts the unknowable as a source of terror, taking in texts that include black metal, James Blish's The Devil's Day, M. P. Shiel's The Purple Cloud, an episode of The Outer Limits, and an anonymous Internet poem.

Thacker writes in an accessible style for a philosopher, and the best part of the book is definitely the introduction, that lays out the difference between what Thacker calls the World (the world-for-us, that which we experience as human beings), the Earth (the world-in-itself, what we do not know but are constantly seeking, especially through science), and the Planet (the world-without-us, the impersonal and horrific part of the universe that we cannot access, that which is not defined by human experience). In The Dust of This Planet essentially traces various manifestations of the Planet/world-without-us across these various texts, arguing that they reveal "the horror of philosophy: the isolation of those moments in which philosophy reveals its own limitations and constraints, moments in which thinking enigmatically confronts the horizon of its own possibility - the thought of the unthinkable that philosophy cannot pronounce but via a non-philosophical language" (2).

The introduction, alas, is the best part of the book. The rest consists of twenty mini-essays on various topics and texts; with seven pages per essay (and many essays covering multiple texts), I found that Thacker could not probe very deeply into any one subject, and that it felt like he was mostly identifying engagements with the idea of the world-without-us in horror fiction again and again, without clearly articulating what each new example brought to the concept. I guess I expected more from this based on what I had read/heard about it beforehand, but little about the book surprised or excited me. Still, if I bump into the other two volumes of the trilogy, I'll probably pick them up and give them a read.
  Stevil2001 | Dec 19, 2015 |
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#1 Amazon Best Seller in Philosophy Criticism The world is increasingly unthinkable, a world of planetary disasters, emerging pandemics, and the looming threat of extinction. In this book Eugene Thacker suggests that we look to the genre of horror as offering a way of thinking about the unthinkable world. To confront this idea is to confront the limit of our ability to understand the world in which we live - a central motif of the horror genre. In the Dust of This Planet explores these relationships between philosophy and horror. In Thacker's hands, philosophy is not academic logic-chopping; instead, it is the thought of the limit of all thought, especially as it dovetails into occultism, demonology, and mysticism. Likewise, Thacker takes horror to mean something beyond the focus on gore and scare tactics, but as the under-appreciated genre of supernatural horror in fiction, film, comics, and music. This relationship between philosophy and horror does not mean the philosophy of horror, if anything, it means the reverse, the horror of philosophy: those moments when philosophical thinking enigmatically confronts the horizon of its own existence. For Thacker, the genre of supernatural horror is the key site in which this paradoxical thought of the unthinkable takes place. The cover of In the Dust of this Planet can be seen in a New York gallery, on a banner at the 2014 Climate Change march in New York and on Jay-Z's back promoting Run. The book influenced the writers of the US TV series True Detective and has been lambasted by ex-Fox News broadcaster, Glenn Beck in this podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch'v=2IW8OK4_1gQ Other writing by Eugene Thacker Two more in the series Horror of Philosophy - April 2015: *[ Zero Books ] Starry Speculative Corpse Horror of Philosophy vol. 2 Eugene Thacker Paperback: 978-1-78279-891-0 eBook: 978-1-78279-890-3 *[ Zero Books ] Tentacles Longer Than Night Horror of Philosophy vol. 3 Eugene Thacker Paperback: 978-1-78279-889-7 eBook: 978-1-78279-888-0

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