“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Unknowing Animals—Nicola Masciandaro

Nicola Masciandaro has an excellent post up on animals and the medieval contemplative text The Cloud of Unknowing. I must say the speculative medievalism that's emerging seems very exhilarating.

I was teaching in my graduate class on rhetoric about the real loss that post-medieval rhetoric experienced—that is, post-Ramist rhetoric in which logic and rhetoric are sundered. This broke metaphysics from rhetoric and ultimately from philosophy itself, until it became a dirty word. Everyone up to De Man is living in a Ramist world.

This is why we need speculative realist rhetorical theories and why Masciandaro's material on apophasis is very encouraging.

I'm more of a Sunn O))) guy than a black metal guy but only perhaps through ignorance.


Nicola Masciandaro said...

Thank you Timothy for this encouragement, which prompts me to think about the Cloud-author's contemplative investment in monosyllabic words as a kind of animalization of the word, a bringing of logos back to where it *is* what it speaks of.

So your initiation into black metal docta ignorantia is already under way . . . visio sine comprehensione, speculatio!

Timothy Morton said...

Thank you Nicola--I really enjoyed hearing the show about black metal so I guess I am underway already...