Bubbles: Spheres, Volume 1: Microspherology
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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.
ca lled the tune of volatile history during the last four the last three thousand years ac least co nstitutes the most millennia and translated their expectations of order into reality. concrete of all spheric proofs based on survival. 23 Anyone who stud ies the course of the past ten millennia with I n spherological terms, peoples appea r ahove all as commu- regard to the c reation of peoples must conclude from th e nities of cult, arousal, effo rt and inspiration. As autogenous evidence
monadic ego orb whose rad ius is its own thoughr- a thought t hat would easily pass through its spaces up w the outermost perip hery, gifted with a wonderfully effo rtl ess discursivity rhat no real external thing could resist. T he ocher side of thb masterful panoptic ego tism shows icscff in the Jo n
character of all prehistoric and historical hominid life forms, in which the interfacial warmth field forms a decisive cell. To gain an idea of the affective temperatures in the horde hothouses of early history, it is sufficient to recall how, throughout our species, many adult women- as well as those men capable of paternal feelings- are still delighted by rhe beautiful faces of babies and infants. What requires explanation about this spontaneous i.nclination tO adopt a charmed and friendly
sense of the word. Voices produce acoustic excellence; listen ing co music always means being-in-m usic, 13 coverings of spheric- presentist expansion, and che o nly mode and in this sense Thomas Mann was right to call music a demonic realm- w hen listenin g, o ne is genuinely possessed by of participation in vocal presences can be described as beingin within che current sonosphere; 16 the vocal umbili cal cord, sound at rhar momem. (As far as the formation of intimacy like the physical o
Kafka's supplicant before the gace of rhe law that was kept open only for him waits uncil his end, the most intimate and general organ of relatio nships, the W ith, is o nly connected to you, and it disappears from rhe world the moment you appear as rhe main person; then you cease co be an Also, because your external appearance is immed iately accompanied by a proper name that prepares you fo r becoming an ind ividual. The With., on the other hand, is not baprized, and disappears from the eyes of