Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shelley's Queen Mab Notes as Hypertext

I can't believe what I'm reading: exoplanets, Spinozan monism, the speed of light, Lucretius. It's all here! In a poem written in 1811 to 1813! You should seriously take a look. I was asked to contribute an essay on Percy Shelley's notes to his radical poem Queen Mab for volume 2 of The Unfamiliar Shelley. I must say that it's a refreshing change of pace to get back into literary analysis. And what literature—this is materialist philosophy at its most beautiful. Shelley is a hardcore Spinozan immanentist and all my intuitions about using Deleuze to analyze him are proving correct. The Spinoza and Shelley story remains to be told actually.

The notes are a kind of hypertext, forcing you to work back and forth (with thumbs rather than tabs) and transcend the poem as compelling and hypnotic object. Shelley wants you to think.

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