Shaviro on monsters, materialism and Lovecraft

Steve Shaviro posted a great piece today on Kant and Lovecraft that makes me oh-so-happy for these things called The Internets:

This sense that we ourselves are the effects of forces that are not ours, forces that surpass us and remain indifferent to us, could well be a formula for horror. Of course, neither Kant, nor Bergson, nor Deleuze presents it this way. But Benjamin Noys convincingly argues that “the vortex of seething time” is the ultimate form of horror for Lovecraft, exceeding any particular instance of one monstrous race of beings or another (2008, 282). What appalls us is less the inhumanity of Cthulhu, and the anteriority of the Old Ones with regard to us, than the larger truth of which these are merely symptoms: the utter “detachment of time from any relation to humanity” (281). More generally, we may say that monstrosity is transcendental because the very idea of the transcendental – as a condition to which we are subjected, but which we cannot locate, describe, or circumscribe in any way – is itself horrific and monstrous.


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