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Old 01-27-2017   #21
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Thanks for this most interesting series.

As a lover of ruins and industrial waste myself, I wonder have there been any psychological or cultural studies into the phenomenon? I wonder is there a technical name for it: Ereipiaphilia perhaps? I was toying with topophilia, but topos is more broad and already in use, it seems.

I also wonder if the phenomenon is more widespread amongst those individuals who are deeply alienated from their fellow humans and find more emotional traction in ruins and desolation, and the non-threatening and timeless atmosphere of such places.
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Old 01-28-2017   #22
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by yellowish haze View Post
There is still one left. This one will be devoted to a Polish writer everyone at TLO should hear about: Wojciech Gunia.
Do you know if there are any plans for translating his work to English?

Fantastic series of articles, by the way.
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Old 01-28-2017   #23
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by durandal View Post
Quote Originally Posted by yellowish haze View Post
There is still one left. This one will be devoted to a Polish writer everyone at TLO should hear about: Wojciech Gunia.
Do you know if there are any plans for translating his work to English?

Fantastic series of articles, by the way.
Thank you. I don't think there are specific plans at the moment, but this doesn't mean it won't change soon. I know the author is looking for a translator. So hopefully it won't take too long before all English-language readers are able to appreciate Wojciech Gunia's excellent fiction.

And since we are already discussing Gunia, here is the remaining article in question: Ruinenlust in Weird Fiction #8: Wojciech Gunia

Quote Originally Posted by Malone View Post
I also wonder if the phenomenon is more widespread amongst those individuals who are deeply alienated from their fellow humans and find more emotional traction in ruins and desolation, and the non-threatening and timeless atmosphere of such places.
Malone, this is actually something I was hoping to find when I was looking for articles for the introduction to the series, but I could find any psychological study of the phenomenon. The link between Ereipiaphilia (to use the term you coined) and depression would also provide some very good material for a study.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 01-28-2017   #24
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Malone View Post
I also wonder if the phenomenon is more widespread amongst those individuals who are deeply alienated from their fellow humans and find more emotional traction in ruins and desolation, and the non-threatening and timeless atmosphere of such places.
I have loved ruins for a very long time, at the very least since I was 20 years old. I used to drive from Athens to Sparta and go climb the Byzantine citadel of Mystras. I would loiter in all the ruined churches and manors and finally ascend to the battlements at the top and gaze upon the laconic plain for hours. But I think it was after I turned 35 that I started writing about ruins and photographing them and thinking about them a lot. I am less happy now than I was at 20, but not alienated. Perhaps slightly maladjusted to the quotidian realities of middle age. One of the happiest days of my life was spent in the ruins of Candi Sewu, in the Prabanan compex in central Java. I was alone there for hours, walking around the stone necropolis under a burning equatorial sun, experiencing a kind of comfortable melancholy contemplating transience and decay. There have many such days since- I could reclaim my peace but not that kind of happiness - in other ruined sites, in Lopburi and Angkor and Ipoh...

I think lovers of ruins exhibit certain common psychological traits and aesthetic predilections. Obviously more scholars and artists are drawn to ruins and I have yet to meet someone really happy and really successful that truly cares about visiting crumbling temples and overgrown colonial graveyards. I don't think you have to be alienated to be attracted to the decayed and the desolate, but you must have some sort of score to settle with your life and times. Perhaps it is not that dissimilar to loving weird fiction, it also requires a strange mix of addiction and resignation.

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Old 01-28-2017   #25
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

This is lovely, thank you. I've always been drawn to all things worn, whether it be lo-fi music, broken pianos, broken people or forgotten graveyards. I can still recall some days of youthful playfulness where my friends and I would just run around Nashville with no purpose other than to search for the broken remnants of once lively spaces. No real reason other than to sit in peaceful silence. Funny how that translates perfectly to the internal , solitary processes of my current self. The silence these places create in their surroundings is very attractive to me and therapeutic.
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Old 01-30-2017   #26
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Painfully expensive, but those who have enjoyed this thread and have more disposable income than I may find this book interesting, The Aesthetics of Decay:



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Old 01-30-2017   #27
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by mongoose View Post
Painfully expensive, but those who have enjoyed this thread and have more disposable income than I may find this book interesting, The Aesthetics of Decay:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0820486469...l_huc_continue
That's an excellent find, mongoose! This author sounds most interesting:

Quote
Dylan Trigg is an IRC research fellow at University College Dublin, School of Philosophy. He is the author of The Memory of Place: a Phenomenology of the Uncanny, and The Aesthetics of Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia and the Absence of Reason, and The Thing: A Phenomenology of Horror. He is currently finishing a book on the phenomenology of phobia, which is forthcoming from Bloomsbury. His work has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Latvian, and French.
And I have just managed to track down this article, in which the author actually uses the word "Ruinlust"!



More about the book in the following interview with the author:
Quote
MT: Can you quickly sketch out the argument of your book?

DT: The book begins with a critique of Heidegger’s metaphysics. From there on, the task is to spatialize the Nothing. This leads to a phenomenological account of the experience of gradients of silence, out of which the issue of memory becomes central. Following Bergson, I establish an account of the remembering consciousness as dualistic. I dissent from Bergson, however, in claiming that duration invokes a radical split within consciousness, which compels a desire for a fixed centre. The desire for a centre is symbolic of the logic of nostalgia. Since I characterise nostalgia as an impasse, I then turn to postmodernism, with the aim of overcoming this emphasis on centrality. What follows is a critique of postmodernity, on the grounds that it succumbs to a duplicitous relationship to the past. The final chapter of the first part brings together decline and progress as compatible, and thus sets up a polemic against the notion of progress as rational and ascendery.

The aim of the second part of the book is to situate my model of post-rational decline in spatial terms. My method for doing this is to provide a phenomenological account of modern ruins. So, through a history of decay, I then go on to consider the particularity spatiality of the modern ruin within the context of global capitalism. At this point, I identify the Nothing with the temporal features of the urban ruin. In the following chapter, the temporality of the modern ruin is contrasted with ancient ruins, resulting in an emphasis on the disruptive properties of the urban ruin. The following two chapters deal with various phenomenological and aesthetic aspects of ruins and decay: via a discussion of Bachelard on dwelling and Freud on the death-drive, stairways, alleyways, and rust become prominent features. Toward the end of the book, the topic of centrality reappears in a spatial guise. By aligning my argument for memory-as-decentering with the structure of rational history, I claim that the ruin articulates a centre existing beyond history. The outcome of this altered-centre is a critical history of memory and place, which I outline in the final chapter.
source: http://www.readysteadybook.com/Artic...age=dylantrigg

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 01-31-2017   #28
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

I haven't had the chance to read all of the articles yet, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. I am reading Bruno Schulz The Street of Crocodiles. In the introduction by David A. Goldfarb:

"Shulz maintains that, when viewed through the 'poetic' imagination, any degraded scrap of reality- anything that might be found in the world's tandeta, a Polish word describing goods that are shoddy, cast off, second-rate, or trashy- might reveal the qualities of the sublime."

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Old 01-31-2017   #29
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Insentient Traveler View Post
I haven't had the chance to read all of the articles yet, so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. I am reading Bruno Schulz The Street of Crocodiles. In the introduction by David A. Goldfarb:

"Shulz maintains that, when viewed through the 'poetic' imagination, any degraded scrap of reality- anything that might be found in the world's tandeta, a Polish word describing goods that are shoddy, cast off, second-rate, or trashy- might reveal the qualities of the sublime."
Alas, Bruno Schulz was not part of my compilation, but then, I might consider adding his works. Here is a representative passage that provides us with what Mr. Goldfarb is referring to:

Quote
No one stops us. Through the corridors of books, from between the long shelves filled with magazines and prints, we make our way out of the shop and find ourselves in that part of the Street of Crocodiles where from the higher level one can see almost its whole length down to the distant, as yet unfinished buildings of the railway station. It is, as usual in that district, a gray day, and the whole scene seems at times like a photograph in an illustrated magazine, so gray, so one-dimensional are the houses, the people and the vehicles. Reality is as thin as paper and betrays with all its cracks its imitative character. At times one has the impression that it is only the small section immediately before us that falls into the expected pointillistic picture of a city thoroughfare, while on either side, the improvised masquerade is already disintegrating and, unable to endure, crumbles behind us into plaster and sawdust, into the storeroom of an enormous, empty theater. The tenseness of an artificial pose, the assumed earnestness of a mask, an ironical pathos tremble on this faade.
-- THE STREET OF CROCODILES
Translated from Polish by Celina Wieniewska
source: http://www.brunoschulz.org/10-street-of-crocodiles.htm


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Old 02-11-2017   #30
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Re: Ruinenlust and Weird Fiction

This video was posted elsewhere in response to my Ruinenlust series:


Here Slavoj Žižek employs his own psychoanalytic term "the Inertia of the Real" (the mute presence beyond meaning) and uses the graveyard of disused aircraft in the Mojave desert to illustrate his take on the subject from the perspective of capitalism.

Quote
Maybe this also accounts for the redemptic value of post-catastrophic movies like I Am Legend and so on. We see the devastated human environment, half empty factories, machines falling apart, half empty stores. What we experience at this moment, the psychoanalytic term for it would have been the inertia of the real; this mute presence beyond meaning.

What moments like confronting planes here in Mojave Desert bring to us is maybe a chance for an authentic passive experience. Maybe without this properly artistic moment of authentic passivity nothing new can emerge.

Maybe something new only emerges through the failure, the suspension of proper functioning of the existing network of our life: where we are. Maybe this is what we need more than ever today.
source: PERVERTS GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY: SLAVOJ ZIZEK |
Quote
So it is more feasible for us to collectively envision the end of this life-world at the hands of zombies, pandemic, ecological disaster, or alien attack than simply the implosion of free-market capitalism, which is of course a far more likely scenario. Citing Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of history—Paul Klee’s angel with the ever-accumulating rubble of time at her feet—Žižek explains our deep psychological desire not just to make our peace with the ruins of Western consumer society but to actively embrace them, as if they were our Parthenon or caves of Lascaux waiting to justify our existence after the fact. “We see the devastated human environment—half-empty factories, machines falling apart, half empty stores. What we experience at this moment, the psychoanalytic term would have been ‘the Inertia of the Real.’” That is to say, upon achieving the total annihilation of our way of life, we can finally fall into that place beyond desire, into an abyss of pure, undifferentiated Being.
Source: The Sting in the Tail: Bong Joon-ho€™s Snowpiercer - Cinema Scope

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