Saturday 11 March 2023


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Dust by Michael Marder   (Reviewed by THOMAS}
Dust: substance without form, or, rather, substance post-form, matter without identity, matter that has relinquished, or has been forced to relinquish, by abrasion perhaps, or fatigue, whatever identity it has most recently had, matter now adrift, out of place, bereft of form, bereft of nameability, other than as dust, not taking on another form, nor moving towards taking on another form, not taking on any of the set of identities that we associate with form, applying, as we do, identities to forms rather than to substance, matter that cannot be defined even as anything other than dust, a kind of dirt, but not a dirty dirt, a clean dirt, in other words a non-dirt, a self-negation, an oxymoron, a substantial nothing, an accumulation of entitilessness on the surface of an entity, a nonentity seeking to overwhelm an entity, evidence of entropy, evidence of the action of time upon everything our lives are made of, evidence that our world is contingent rather than ideal, that things slip away from under the ideas we fit to things, that ideas will always be disappointed in the actualities to which they are applied, even the relatively simple ideas that we call nouns, evidence that our ways of thinking and the ways of the world of which we think are not subject to the same laws, or to the same processes if what they are subject to are not laws, evidence that matter seeks release from time, release from form, for it is form that makes us vulnerable to time, evidence that matter above all grows tired and seeks to rest. Years ago I made notes towards what I intended to be a short book on dust, but this, fortunately for everyone, is now little more than e-dust among all the other e-dust in the world. Fortunately (in a positive sense), Michael Marder has written this interesting book, so, if you have any interest in dust, or in the universal processes that are evidenced in dust, I recommend you read it.

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