Hyperobjects May Be Nearer Than They Appear


Dick Fassino, an excellent and perceptive patron of The Community Library, offered this interesting commentary on a recent addition to our stacks, Hyperobjects:  Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World by Timothy Morton.  The review is cautionary and thoughtful, and an interesting counterpoint to the publisher’s description.

“Not often I get flummoxed by a book, but this one “did me in”! Timothy Morton’s “Hyperobjects: philosophy and ecology after the end of the world”. Even my three years in a Benedictine Monastery did not equip me to handle this.

If that is what the end of the world is going to be like, I shall concentrate even more on living every second to the hilt!

Recommend you sample it – worth just seeing what it is. Here is just one paragraph as an example – p22:

“Humans have entered an age of hypocrisy, weakness, and lameness, terms that have a specific valence and definition that I elucidate in part 2. The overall aesthetic “feel” of the time of hyperobjects is a sense of asymmetry between the infinite poser of cognition and the infinite being of things. There occurs a crazy arms race between what we know and what is, in which the technology of what we know is turned against itself. The arms race sets new parameters for aesthetic experience and action, which I take in the widest possible sense to mean the ways in which relations between beings play out. Very significant consequences for art emerge, and the book ends by outlining some of them. “

It gets even better. Perhaps you know someone who cannot sleep – perhaps this would help!
Would be interested to know why this one got picked for the Library.”

In all transparency, I picked the book on the strength of an indie review and the publisher’s description–it still sounds fascinating, but I have not yet read it.  Also, I like to sneak some modern philosophy books into the stacks every few months when no one is looking.  It adds fiber.  When I communicated this to our guest reviewer, he responded, just as thoughtfully:

“I felt the same way just by looking at the cover and reviews. The reality upon reading it (or trying to), was a bit different. Will be interesting to see if other readers find it very interesting.  Keep up the great work. This one definitely “stretched my mind” in some ways it hadn’t done before. Perhaps I’ll try it in the future and see if it grows on me!”

If you are interested in reading further observations about Hyperobjects, the LA Times put forth a review that was almost as flummoxy.  Or take the measure of your philosophical fiber and check out the book @The Community Library.

Published in: on July 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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