Friday, May 18, 2018

On the Darkness of the Will

On the Darkness of the Will. Milan: Mimesis. ISBN 978-8869771569. 178pp.  

“For the will desires not to be dark, and this very desire causes the darkness” (Jacob Boehme). Moving through the fundamental question of this paradox, this book offers a constellation of theoretical and critical essays that shed light on the darkness of the will, its obscurity to itself. Through in-depth analysis of medieval and modern sources―Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eriugena, Dante, Meister Eckhart, Chaucer, Nietzsche, Cioran, Meher Baba―this volume interrogates the nature and meaning of the will, along seven modes: spontaneity, potentiality, sorrow, matter, vision, eros, and sacrifice. These multiple lines of inquiry are finally presented to coalesce around one fundamental point of agreement: the will says yes, yet only a will that knows how to say no to itself, entering the silence of its own darkness, will ever be free.

"At a time when much philosophy still stubbornly clings to the legacy of modern humanism and its attendant species-superiority, Masciandaro's On the Darkness of the Will provides a counterpoint, examining a whole premodern repertoire of thinkers delving into the nebulous, unhuman terrain of 'the Will.' At once sorrowful and joyful, ecstatic and exegetical, these essays offer a welcome respite from the otherwise obligatory narcissism of the current cultural climate." 
Eugene Thacker, author of In the Dust of This Planet 

'Masciandaro gathers the roses of the mystics, and the non-mystics, and extracts for us their attar. These essays in unknowing are true transmissions of the self-secret.' 
Jordan Kirk (Pomona College) 


I. The Whim of Reality: On the Question of Will
II. Of a Leaden Hue: Chaucerian Non-Mysticism
III. Sorrow of Being: In Calignem
IV. The Tears of Matter: On the Crucifixion Darkness
V. Because It’s Not There: A Vision of Climbing and Life
VI. The Inverted Rainbow: On the Color of Love
VII. Inner Life | Inner Death: On the Threshold of the Sacred

forthcoming 2018

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