Book Chapter

Introducing the End



Brown W & Fleming DM (2020) Introducing the End. In: The Squid Cinema From Hell: Kinoteuthis Infernalis and the Emergence of Chthulumedia. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

First paragraph: Blast your toplights! Plutarch reports that Diogenes of Sinope—the notorious cynic who not only wanted to learn from animals, but also to base human existence on animality—died on account of eating a ‘raw octopus,’ a wild gesture in keeping with his life-long remonstration against the effects of perverting civilizing forces, especially the ‘inconvenience of preparing cooked food’ (see Onfray 2015: 21). With respect to cookery, Diogenese professedly railed against the treatment of raw flesh or vegetables by fire—that perverse Promethean technē purloined from the gods and thereafter setting men apart from, and against, ‘nature.’ We shall see humans consume raw octopus later (as well as rare octopus-like creatures consuming the odd human), before also considering the Promethean control by humans of fire and, by extension, light. However, at present we wish simply to highlight how Diogenes felt that humans had strayed on to a path of civilized perversion, since we shall look here at the most recent technological ‘perversions’ affecting human civilization—networked computers, software programs and digital screens—arguing that they mark a strange spiralling return, or reversion, to the world of animals and animality, and in particular the world of cephalopods, which, as Jacob von Uexküll might put it, have their own umwelt, or non-human world with non-human perceptions (see von Uexküll 2010).

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online31/05/2020
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Publisher URL…a-from-hell.html
Place of publicationEdinburgh

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Dr David Fleming
Dr David Fleming

Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture