Tag: ontology

At home nowhere

At home nowhere

ADOXOBLOG

Dwygyfylchi

Nostalgic (and false) alternative*:

To put down roots, to rediscover or fashion your roots, to carve the place that will be yours out of space, and build, plant, appropriate, millimetre by millimetre, your ‘home’: to belong completely in your village, knowing you’re a true inhabitant of the Cévennes, or of Poitou.

Or else to own only the clothes you stand up in, to keep nothing, to live in hotels and change them frequently, and change towns, and change countries; to speak and read any one of four or five languages; to feel at home nowhere, but at ease almost everywhere.

Georges Perec, Species of Spaces (1974)

* To a previous section about the supposed utopian, idyllic lifestyle of living in a French village.

I’ve noted before that this blog now has so much content it’s able to keep on rolling along without me, and more or less regardless of whether…

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Doomed

Doomed

ADOXOBLOG

“Why worry so much about the future of a doomed world?”

Doomed

A delightfully nihilistic quote attributed to physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the main architects of the Manhattan Project and of the first atomic weapons, although it’s probably apocryphal. It seems to originate in French from Michel Houllebecq’s book H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life. The English translation of Houllebecq actually mentions in a footnote that the quote is untraceable.

Houllebecq is, shall we say, a not uncontroversial writer who may conceivably be projecting his own profound misanthropy and negativity onto Oppenheimer; Lovecraft’s, too. Even so, it’s in character for a man who made it possible for the human race to render itself and most other life on the planet totally extinct within a matter of minutes.

It’s also in character for Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “The first ten million…

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Ars Moriendi

Ars Moriendi

ADOXOBLOG

Ars Moriendi(The Art of Dying) was a book that appeared in many editions across medieval Europe. This image is from a block-book edition, i.e. the words and pictures were each carved on the same wooden blocks instead of the text being set in futuristic movable type.  The demons appear to be tempting the man with visions of a new 1465 model executive horse, a nice hat, a big house with glass in the windows, and a wine cellar… though surely they’re too late if he’s on his death bed already? Step into my office, imps of Satan; your efficiency and the timeliness of your communications are severely lacking.

Seven hundred years on, this is looking a bit Muppety to me and reminding me of Labyrinth, especially the profoundly unscary demons. If David Bowie’s Goblin King get up of tights, codpiece and joke shop wig were shown here, that

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