What did it feel like to be alive and culturally enmeshed in the 2010s? What were our values, our hopes, our insecurities and terrors? Only a few days of /lit/ are excerpted here, but even they give us a glimpse. April 25: And I thought, “This is the saddest thought I think I’ve ever had.” November 22: “…the second we touch down on Mars, people are going to realise how unfulfilling it is. Oh look, we moved over there. Fantastic. A few billion more planets to visit […] before entropy devours us all huehuehue.” More
Roberto Bolano I detecti e slevaggi
John Nerst of Everything Studies, whose essays include “Partial Derivatives and Partial Narratives,” “What is Erisology?” and a statistical analysis of Black Mirror, has contributed to this essay in Section II. His contribution here is especially authoritative, as the governing theme of Everything Studies is the self-coined “erisology” — the study of disagreement.More
Earlier this month, Tennis released “Modern Woman,” one of two lead singles for the forthcoming Yours Conditionally. The track, perhaps more than any I know, manages to evoke a sense of movement while staying still, of relative change in position as the world spins on its axis. There’s something powerful about this — about managing to stay in the same place while everything shifts around you. More
In the seventies, carpets were a way to signal a certain level of middle and upper-middle-class affluence. As such, they could be found almost everywhere.
“…art is suspended reason, a floating cathedral…”
— Subieré, 2016
“do the gods love it because it is holy… or is it holy because they love it?
— Arthur C. Danto paraphrasing Socrates
The smaller a town, the more powerfully poignant each of its locations in the ex-pat’s memory.
I understand that there are many varieties of town, even within America, and even within the Western coastal states. I can only make claim to truly speak for one of them, inasmuch as anyone can truly speak for anything at all. But this at least seems true:
Sarah Perry is a contributing editor at Ribbonfarm, and published Every Cradle is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide through Nine-Banded Books in 2014. Perry occupies a Gertrude Stein-esque role in the intellectual community of post-rationalism, bringing people together into a salon-like digital space while also producing vitally important work of her own. Perry’s writing has dealt with issues ranging from existentialist ethics and ritual practice to aesthetics, and has appeared (in addition to Ribbonfarm) in Carcinisation, The View From Hell, and Front Porch Republic.
Heteropia is a word which originates with Michel Foucault, derived from the Greek héteros (“other”) and tópos (“place”). Its meaning is most concretely delineated in his essay “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias” (from the French “Des Espace Autres,” March 1967), though the phrasing “concretely delineated”may be overly generous. Foucault’s own definition of the heterotopic varies from lecture to lecture, and the aforementioned paper contradicts itself both inter- and intra-paragraph. Yet the term’s formulation has touched some nerve in academia, leading to a wide range of scholarly implementations which somehow must be reconciled and dealt with.
“To pilgrims and many expats, it is a temple of techno, a consecrated space, a source of enchantment and wonder.”
Nick Paumgarten, “Berlin Nights”
Is ritual still possible in contemporary society? This essay is one in a series which will examine those spaces which facilitate ephemeral and loosely structured (rather than repeated, highly structured, and strictly observed) events. Such spaces are communal but not socially mandatory; they are spiritual but derive transcendence from ecstasy instead of trial or mundanity.
“He looked at the cattle, blurred in silver heat. Silvered powdered olive trees. Quiet long days: pruning ripening. Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews…
A cloud began to cover the sun wholly slowly wholly. Grey. Far. No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea… Brimstone they called it raining down: the cities of the plain.”
— Ulysses, 4.200-221
An introduction to this text can be found here.
The mobilization of Ulysses and Earnest is purposefully audacious and inevitably missteps. The overarching tone, and parts of the analysis, I would characterize as “understandably wrong.”