This is one of a growing metastasizing body of recent works that articulate a philosophy of horror These works differ from those by, for example, Noel Carroll, Judith Halberstam, and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen all of which are fantastic in a number of important ways, largely because they are pitched toward a general audience of enthusiasts as opposed to an academic audience of specialists What they may lack, strictly speaking, as polished scholarly performances, they make up with lyrical intensity These are prison letters, passed between inmates the name of the prison is BEING and its lowest durance is EARTH The most crucial distinction for me, then, is that works like Spectacle of the Void fully assume the burden of their subject, rather than inspect it at arm s length t Definitely akin to the Eugene Thacker book, but I enjoyed this Breezier writing style, and less emphasis on trying to contextualize the influence of Lovecraftian cosmic horror within the philosophical realms though everyone seems to still love Schopenhauer and other nihilistic philosophers like Emil Cioran thanks True Detective but instead within the genre Long story short too late I much enjoy explications of Prince of Darkness sooooo underrated and In the Mouth of Madness which I agree with Peak goes off the rails once we start seeing the creatures because I am not a philosopher.
As the ontological relationship between the world we know, the world we think we know, and the world without us grows in discussion, I wonder why neither Peak nor Thacker brought up Alan Weisman s scientific thought experiment The World
Peak s book is an excellent overview of various themes of the new horror that has arisen in recent years that not only defines the genre of film and literature but the horror of existence in our post modern culture I am only beginning to become acquainted with the ideas that Peak touches on from Ligotti and Thacker, but luckily my background in philosophy gives me an edge here.
The idea that humanity faces our own extinction is not new and comes specifically from the horror of the bomb and how we can quite effortlessly wipe out all life on earth What Peak is examining is how horror has become and defined by this fact, leaving behind some of its well known tropes No longer does horror look to what was in In order to understand the self, we must look within collapse the internal into the external in order to see beyond In other words, dissolve the self into something bigger, something infinite and without thought This is what we mean when we refer to the spectacle of the voidAfter all, to exist is to be both imprisoned in a limited comprehension of the universe and privileged with the burden of consciousness To exist is to collapse the internal into the external, to come face to face with horror It is this very fact that fuels our desire to create speculative images and texts of horror, to draw spectators into the web of our own misery, to spread the miasma of our dread to others Æ The Spectacle of the Void Æ I could not put this book down I recommend for anyone who enjoys the horror genre especially those who enjoy Lovecraftian themes This book does a fantastic job of trying to define cosmic horror Highly recommended.
After the success of Conspiracy Against the Human Race and In the Dust of This Planet it s somewhat inevitable that a bunch of books that meld philosophy and horror will pop up the problem is that what Ligotti and Thacker do so absolutely well is explain difficult philosophical concepts using narrative and specifically the exemplary narrative of horror Peak s problem is that he obviously is well read in the horror cannon and seems to have a strong background in literary studies but the central concern of his work what does it mean to think in the face of annihilation which is the subject of both conspiracy and dust to some degree is absolutely lost in his enthusiasm for explaining the plots of John Carpenter movies and the plot of a Laird Barron novel This isn t bad per se but weighing the aim of this book against the accomplishment it could have use This is a speculative realist take on to use Kantian terms the conditions of possibility of horror both conceptualizing it and recognizing it It hinges on the distinction of the world for us the world as it is now, with us and the world without us , the world without humans We recognize this imminent extinction, this world without us, now than ever perhaps Loosely summarizing at the chance of getting things wrong Peak posits that The Spectacle of the Void is where not only horror and the enjoyment of it derive, but perhaps something can be derived from it To me, I could not see any immediately practical use.
But that is fine, because it works well as a concise tome on horror from a literary film theoretical perspective Other than Harman, Thacker, and Brassier, Peak also seems influenced by Blanchot, Bataille, and of course H.