itself, with a void called the Planet that is poised between the. World and the Earth. It is for this reason that this book treats genre horror as a mode of philosophy

13 KB – 179 Pages

PAGE – 4 ============
We operate a distinctive and ethical publishing philosophy in all areas of our business, from our global network of authors toproduction and worldwide distribution.For distributor details and how to order please visit the ‘Ordering’ section on our website. Text copyright: Eugene Thacker 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84694 676 9 All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical articles or reviews, no part ofthis book may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission fromthe publishers. The rights of Eugene Thacker as author have been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Design: Stuart DaviesPrinted in the UK by CPI Antony Rowe Printed in the USA by Offset Paperback Mfrs, Inc First published by Zero Books, 2011 Zero Books is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd., Laurel House, Station Approach, Alresford, Hants, SO24 9JH, UK 9781846946769Inthedustofthisplanettxt:Layout11/4/20113:31AMPageiv

PAGE – 5 ============
CONTENTSPreface ~ Clouds of Unknowing1 I. Three Quæstioon Demonology10 II. Six Lectioon Occult Philosophy49 III. Nine Disputatioon the Horror of Theology98 “The Subharmonic Murmur of Black Tentacular Voids”133 Notes160 9781846946769Inthedustofthisplanettxt:Layout11/4/20113:31AMPagev

PAGE – 9 ============
Preface Clouds of UnknowingThe life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general,and when only its most significant features are emphasized, is really a tragedy; but gone through in detail it has the character of a comedy. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer…when you are “nowhere” physically, you are “everywhere” spiritually…Never mind if you cannot fathom this nothing, for I love it surely so much the better. ~ The Cloud of UnknowingThe world is increasingly unthinkable – a world of planetary disasters, emerging pandemics, tectonic shifts, strange weather, oil-drenched seascapes, and the furtive, always-looming threat of extinction. In spite of our daily concerns, wants, and desires, it is increasingly difficult to comprehend the world in which we live and of which we are a part. To confront this idea is to confront an absolute limit to our ability to adequately under- stand the world at all – an idea that has been a central motif of the horror genre for some time.The aim of this book is to explore the relationship between philosophy and horror, through this motif of the “unthinkable world.” More specifically, we will explore the relation between philosophy as it overlaps with a number of adjacent fields (demonology, occultism, and mysticism), and the genre of supernatural horror, as it is manifest in fiction, film, comics, music, and other media. However, this relationship between philosophy and horror should not be taken to mean “the19781846946769Inthedustofthisplanettxt:Layout11/4/20113:31AMPage1

PAGE – 10 ============
philosophy of horror,” in which horror as a literary or film genre is presented as a rigorous formal system. If anything, it means the reverse, the horror of philosophy : the isolation of thosemoments 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. The genre of supernatural horror is a privileged site in which this paradoxical thought of the unthinkable takes place. What an earlier era would have described through the language of darkness mysticism or negative theology, our contemporary era thinks of in terms of supernatural horror. In this book, the means by which philosophy and horror arerelated to each other is the idea of the “world.” But the world can mean many things, from a subjective experience of living in the world, to the objective, scientific study of geological conditions. The world is human and non-human, anthropocentric and non- anthropomorphic, sometimes even misanthropic. Arguably, one of the greatest challenges that philosophy faces today lies in comprehending the world in which we live as both a human anda non-human world – and of comprehending this politically. On the one hand, we are increasingly more and more aware of the world in which we live as a non-human world, a world outside, one that is manifest is the effects of global climate change, natural disasters, the energy crisis, and the progressive extinction of species world-wide. On the other hand, all these effects are linked, directly and indirectly, to our living in and living as a part of this non-human world. Hence contradiction is built into this challenge – we cannot help but to think of the world as a human world, by virtue of the fact that it is we human beings that think it. However, this dilemma is not necessarily new. Philosophy has repeatedly returned to this problem of the non-human2In The Dust of This Planet 9781846946769Inthedustofthisplanettxt:Layout11/4/20113:31AMPage2

PAGE – 11 ============
world. While in philosophy circles today it may be called “corre- lationism,” “accelerationism,” or “atmospheric politics,” for earlier philosophers this same dilemma was expressed in different terminology: the problem of “being-in-the-world,” the dichotomy between “active” or “passive” nihilism, or the limits of human thought in the “antinomies of reason.”When the world as such cataclysmically manifests itself in the form of a disaster, how do we interpret or give meaning to the world? There are precedents in Western culture for this kind of thinking. In classical Greece the interpretation is primarily mythological– Greek tragedy, for instance, not only deals with the questions of fate and destiny, but in so doing it also evokes a world at once familiar and unfamiliar, a world within our control or a world as a plaything of the gods. By contrast, the response of Medieval and early modern Christianity is primarily theological– the long tradition of apocalyptic liter-ature, as well as the Scholastic commentaries on the nature of evil, cast the non-human world within a moral framework of salvation. In modernity, in the intersection of scientific hegemony, industrial capitalism, and what Nietzsche famously prophesied as the death of God, the non-human world gains a different value. In modernity, the response is primarily existential– a questioning of the role of human individuals andhuman groups in light of modern science, high technology, industrial and post-industrial capitalism, and world wars. The contemporary cynic – which on many days describesmyself – might respond that we still live by all of these inter- pretive frameworks, and that only their outer shell has changed – the mythological has become the stuff of the culture indus- tries, spinning out big-budget, computer-generated films and merchandise; the theological has diffused into political ideology and the fanaticism of religious conflict; and the existential has been re-purposed into self-help and the therapeutics of consumerism. While there may be some truth in this, what isClouds of Unknowing 39781846946769Inthedustofthisplanettxt:Layout11/4/20113:31AMPage3

13 KB – 179 Pages