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The Chiasmata of Austin Osman Spare by Ian C. Edwards

by: Watkins Books




Full title: Being and Non-Being in Occult Experience Volume II: The Chiasmata of Austin Osman Spare - Toward a Participatory Epistemology of the Flesh

This volume will be an opportunity to experience the writings and art of Austin Osman Spare, in particular, The Book of Pleasure: The Psychology of Ecstasy, through the lens of thinkers such as; Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Georges Bataille, Pierre Klossowski, Jacques Lacan, and Jacques Derrida.  In the contemplative traditions, Spare’s text will be compared to Taoism, the writings of Zen Buddhist Master Hui-neng, and the mystical poetry of St. John of the Cross.  Whereas one of the major objectives of Being and Non-Being in Occult Experience Volume I was to push the written word to its limits, the second volume has a simpler style but is more conceptually complex.  Here, readers will be introduced to what is being called an "occult grammatology" and the notion of a “Hekatian Self,” congruent with Spare’s notion of Kia or the “Inner Woman,” focusing on Hekate’s aspect as Goddess of the Crossroads, which paves the way for a unique "Hekatian Phenomenology" that includes an exploration of betweenness found in Spare’s work.  Volume II will also explore:

·         The Importance of Synesthetic Perception and Experience: Shifting from Synesthesia to what Spare calls, “Telesthesia.”

·         The Oracular in Spare’s Writings and Art

·         Kenneth Grant and the Reification of Appetence: Spare contra Freud

·         The Neither-Neither as a Logos for Kia

·         The Kiacization of Desire

·         The Death Posture as a way of Transgressing the Law of Duality

·         Between Good and Evil: The Ethics of Self-Love

·         Nietzsche the “last metaphysician” and Spare the “last occultist.”

·         Post-Death of God Occultism

·         And more!

The book is bold, even brazen in its endeavor, which can be thought of as a vision whose text is flesh, a body without organs, and as a path with a series of path marks, a myriad of traces that signify a meeting between the past and future, opening up the possibility for a radical reappropriation of becoming, what can be called Spare’s second (be)coming, as an induction of time, the circularity of eternity that rotates through being, where it is not being that becomes but the becoming of time through being.  The book shows how Spare illustrates and inscribes the intertwining of non-being, becoming, and being, with his writings and art portraying it in different forms, which transcend and transgress all ontologies that attempt to describe it as part of a metaphysics of presence.  Rather than illustrate the book with Spare’s art, which has been done before with many books on his work, this volume, which offers a “new wine,” does so through “new wineskins,” through the art of Carolyn Hamilton-Giles, which complements the text and portrays in image its chiasmic structure, being a direct, immediate response to Spare, using his art and writings to invoke new forms, which follows Spare in spirit, charting a new way to experience his The Book of Pleasure.