Monday, 17 January 2011

What goes around...

... I might have guessed that this would happen, but Graham Harman has apparently heard that I might unsubscribe from his blog! I've actually seen him lecture before, at Goldsmiths a number of years ago, where he spoke about Latour and De Landa, which I remember partially for being a fascinating, if somewhat mechanically delivered paper, and partially for the fact that he was the first (and only) person I ever heard say the word 'catalysis'. I was even at dinner afterwards, but never spoke with Graham, and now probably never will...

Of course, this being the internet, nothing is actually private. So if you're reading this Graham, I'm sorry I was rude. I find your philosophy compelling, and I have frequently encouraged others to read it because I think it's some of the most important work that's going on in philosophy right now.

That said, I don't care much for the pretentions towards iconoclasm that you and others of your milieu often indulge in, and I often find your writing style to be a little exasperating, my 'favourite' example being;

"Having been deeply perturbed by a personal visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I mean no disrespect to the victims and ruined objects of Japan if I say that the same list of objects is destroyed in a different way by the various philosophies of human access. Human-centered philosophy is a Hiroshima of metaphysics"

-Prince of Networks, p.103

But I do agree that with you that style is important even in philosophical writing.

But anyway, you're right of course, you should be able to write whatever you want about whatever you want, as often as you want, and for whatever reason you want, even if an 'icy cynical, black jacketed poseur' (he's right, you know!) like me might often find it banal. So again, I'm sorry for being a 'wraith spreading grey banality everywhere' (have you been stalking me?). So perhaps it's best that you go on being an important philosopher, and I can go on marinating in my own miserable and resentful black bile. Although, maybe one day we can chat about '26-2', Coltrane's reharmonisation of Parker's 'Confirmation' from 'Coltrane's Sound' (and my particular favourite from that album). I'd like that.

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