A few of us have discussed the idea of reading one (or more?) of the books from Sloterdjik’s SPHERES trilogy, as a sequel to our reading of Jean Gebser’s The Ever-Present Origin last year and kick-off to a new season of cooperative reading.
<strong>A few background posts</strong>
And Jeremy back in April…
The purpose of this topic is develop this proposal, and clarify details such as timing, structure, costs, and individual participation.
My initial ideas would be read either Volume 1 or 2 (or both) in a format that’s a bit more relaxed than the Gebser reading last year, which met 2x/week for 3 months and worked through the entire book rather intensively.
I would prefer to meet something more like once every 2 weeks, and give six months to the book, so it could be something we absorb more slowly without taking all the energy from other things that also want and need to happen in the co-op as a whole.
As with Gebser, each section or chapter could also have it’s own dedicated thread on the forum for asynchronous dialogue.
@johnnydavis54 has said he’d like to help, and John David Ebert said he’d like to participate as well; and I think if we put out the word, we’d easily find a few more contributors.
As well, John (Davis) has expressed a preference for reading Volume 2, which I am fine with and the see the relevance of in our contemporary political moment, where “globalization” is such a crux (though I currently own Volume 1, drats!), but would like to hear how others feel about it.
We’ll need to work with the asymmetry of respective differences in familiarity with the material. I could imagine alternating, for example, between Q/A type sessions with JDE and other scholars, who already knows the material well, and more open, community-led discussions with John, me, and I hope others holding the space. That said, I think the reading will go best as a collaborative effort overall. Incorporating in a few comparative or aesthetic excursuses—open to ideas on this—might also be fun.
I’ll also mention that last year we asked for donations and received just over $700 from participants and well-wishers. So I would like to consider the economic dimension of our effort, and what will make it feasible for us individually to help organize the reading; not to profit and get rich, but to acknowledge the time, care, and conscientiousness that’s required to create the conditions where participants can have a good experience.
Last note: I’ve heard from a couple others interested in reading Teilhard de Chardin’s The Human Phenomenon; and personally, I would like to read some fiction too with a group in the coming months.
I don’t mind having a few books going at once. I think it will be a strength of the co-op if there’s a diversity of reading groups for people to choose from. So just keep in mind the ecosystem we’re simultaneously creating and what else we might have going on in the bigger bubble.
I’d like to add some specific objectives to this topic to ensure that we answer the logistical questions before delving into the theory and vision. I’d prefer to do this first, then open to dreaming about the space more generally, if our aim is to act.
In fact, the reading itself will entail a meditation on the space and provide rich ground all kinds of explorations. But let’s make sure we answer these questions so we can craft our commitments of time and attention accordingly.
- Which book are we reading?
- When will we begin?
- How much time will we give it? What will be our pace and reading schedule?
- How will we engage and interact with readers? How often?
- Who will we invite to participate and how?
- What will we ask of them?
As we come to decisions I will collect them for summary (or any of you can). This will provide a framework for the public invitation we create and our execution plan.
Thank you! And I apologize for not being clearer on this earlier.