Reading Suggestions

(Marco V Morelli) #1

litgeeks! This is an open thread for sharing books you’d love to read with a group here…books you’ve come across serendipitously that intrigue…or books you’ve already read and loved, and feel moved to recommend.

All genres welcome. If possible, include a brief note indicating what about the book interests or compels you.

For example: here’s one that looks like it could very interesting as part of a collective inquiry into the experience of digital time, tying it into Jean Gebser’s notion of 4th-dimensional aperspectival consciousness.

The Four-Dimensional Human
by Laurence Scott

Welcome to the Readers Underground
(Marco V Morelli) #2

(Marco V Morelli) #3

While Jean Gebser describes a transition from mental-rational “spatial” thinking to a aperspectival temporality or “temporics” (time-consciousness, time-integration, and ultimately, time-freedom), Peter Sloterdijk takes the spatial aspect further to articulate—I love this phrase—an “archaeology of the intimate.”

An epic project in both size and purview, Peter Sloterdijk’s three-volume, 2,500-page Spheres is the late-twentieth-century bookend to Heidegger’s Being and Time. Rejecting the century’s predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, a self-described “student of the air,” reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial and immunological project, from the discovery of self (bubble) to the exploration of world (globe) to the poetics of plurality (foam). Exploring macro- and micro-space from the Greek agora to the contemporary urban apartment, Sloterdijk is able to synthesize, with immense erudition, the spatial theories of Aristotle, René Descartes, Gaston Bachelard, Walter Benjamin, and Georges Bataille into a morphology of shared, or multipolar, dwelling—identifying the question of being as one bound up with the aerial technology of architectonics and anthropogenesis.Sloterdijk describes Bubbles, the first volume of Spheres, as a general theory of the structures that allow couplings—or as the book’s original intended subtitle put it,an “archeology of the intimate.” Bubbles includes a wide array of images,not to illustrate Sloterdijk’s discourse, but to offer a spatial and visual “parallel narrative” to his exploration of bubbles.Written over the course of a decade, the Spheres trilogy has waited another decade for its much-anticipated English translation from Semiotext(e). Volumes II, Globes, and III, Foam, will be published in the coming seasons.

I’ve had Sloterdijk on my radar for a while. Would love to read one of his major works with a #litgeeks study group in the next couple years.

(Oliver Rabinovitch) #4

I just remembered a wonderful book I can’t really suggest we read together, but maybe that’s just my insecurity speaking. Further to the cryptic of that, I can’t remember the title, or author, but I would know it immediately if I saw the cover. Anyway, It’s about the spiritual aspects of Funk music. I’ll come back here once I’ve done a thorough search for it to nail it down, but just want to drop this here as placemarker.

(Oliver Rabinovitch) #5

well, that was a quick research session: here it is:

(Marco V Morelli) #6

Here’s another one I think we might want to consider for this Spring:

Been on my radar for a while and might be a great way to kick off a wider outreach for #litgeeks (in conjunction w/ Metapsychosis beta)—including maybe more of a curated weekly newsletter and book reviews from our community and more general book discussion.

There’d be quite the thematic tie-in w/ our whole enterprise, obviously. :chicken:

(Marco V Morelli) #7

Here’s another that looks interesting…for later.

Was shared by a friend in my old (Misfits) Facebook group.

(Jeremy) #8

Just wanted to comment quickly here; Sloterdijk has also been on my radar since John David Ebert brought him to my attention. I think this is a perfect candidate for a more mentally “hardcore” reading that’d benefit from being read as a group.

Planning a reading of (/from) Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres trilogy
(Marco V Morelli) #9

I’m just going to keep posting interesting books here and invite everyone to do the same. We’ll never be able to read them all, but we could die trying, eh? :skull:

(Marco V Morelli) #10

With a recent movie adaptation, this looks like it would be a delectable combo read/watch:

I’ve been wanting to learn more about J.G. Ballard’s work.

Movie looks fantastic too. (Includes a new Portishead cut; cover of an ABBA song.)

(Marco V Morelli) #11

Official warning: Anyone joining #litgeeks will be forced to read this book with me.

As well, unwilling participants will be subject to the Clockwork Orange treatment for at least the first episode of the FX series based on the novel.

(All this, of course, is only preparatory to a mega-reading of Underworld at some later date.)

(Marco V Morelli) #12

Another (more in depth) review of Zero K, which also includes a bit of an overview/introduction to DeLillo’s broader themes and oeuvre.

(Oliver Rabinovitch) #13

I’ve mentioned this one to @madrush before. It’s a quick, fun, quirky read. And the author is a cool dude who may be willing to guest appear on a hangout.

there’s a large excerpt from the book in that link.

“This is a singularity, something else entirely, and I just don’t get it.
Everyone in town is laughing and dancing like there’s no tomorrow (and
that cliché may well be a literality), and I’m left counting my fingers
like some bewildered bumpkin. Consequently, it would be premature of me
to assert what exactly this is, and so, borrowing an irritating habit
from a very good friend of mine, I must leave this temporarily

(Kelly Yamamoto) #14

It’s not released yet, but for down the line I’d like to read Being a Beast by Charles Foster with others when it comes out… I find the premise of attempting to experience the world very viscerally through other (non-human) perspectives fascinating, and I think it could produce some interesting discussion on being human as well as on other topics

(Marco V Morelli) #15

That sounds like an intriguing choice. Reminds me a little of a couple other books I’ve been hearing about lately, including H is for Hawk (mentioned above) and The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, which is a classic in the “getting deep into the consciousness of animals” genre.

Not to mention, Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, which @Jeremy lent me…though I suppose this latter is more primarily about a non-human getting into human consciousness, the other way around.

Edit: H for Hawk wasn’t mentioned above but in another conversation. Here is a good podcast with the author:

(Oliver Rabinovitch) #16

Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love.

I was recommended this book by a wild genius living in the wilds of a foreign land. It’s about a rag-tag family of upsetters. I think we have something in common here.

The geek is a buffoon. She’s a freaky version of the King. The geek is a test for Him. If He can withstand her mockery, we will see how to be a great King.

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

(Taylor Hallett) #17

Hey All,

Here is a book which I think would be great for litgeeks: The Mushroom at the end of the world

This is a book by Anna Tsing. I haven’t actually read it yet but my professor is reviewing it and said it is really good. It is basically a meditation on post-capitalism and a specific kind of mushroom called matsutake. Sort of along the lines of Deleuze and Guattari’s musings on the rhizome.

I think it would be a good option given that we just read something fictional and might return us to something more academic and philosophical. Post-capitalism is a growing field of study and I think there are a lot of dots we could connect between it and integral theory.


(Marco V Morelli) #18

Looks really interesting, Taylor. I note as well the back-cover blurb from Ursula K. LeGuin, so there’s a connection there too. As a group (via other conversations) we seem to be split pretty evenly between fiction and non-fiction/philosophy. We might need to do both! Eventually, anyway…

Post-capitalism is going to be a big theme around here; so there’s that as well.

(Brad Sayers) #19

This looks interesting - it’s a brand new book out.

Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes

(Oliver Rabinovitch) #20