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An epic project in both size & purview, Sloterdijk's 3-volume, 2500-page Spheres is a late-20th-century bookend to Heidegger's Being & Time. Rejecting the century's predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, self-described "student of the air," reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial & immunological project, from the discov An epic project in both size & purview, Sloterdijk's 3-volume, 2500-page Spheres is a late-20th-century bookend to Heidegger's Being & Time. Rejecting the century's predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, self-described "student of the air," reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial & immunological project, from the discovery of self (bubble) to the exploration of world (globe) to the poetics of plurality (foam). Exploring macro- & micro-space from the Greek agora to contemporary urban apartments, he's able to synthesize, with immense erudition, the spatial theories of Aristotle, Descartes, Gaston Bachelard, Walter Benjamin & Georges Bataille into a morphology of shared, or multipolar, dwelling--identifying the question of being as one bound up with the aerial technology of architectonics & anthropogenesis. He describes Bubbles, Spheres' 1st volume, as a general theory of the structures that allow couplings--or as the book's original intended subtitle put it, an "archeology of the intimate." Bubbles includes a wide array of images, not to illustrate his discourse, but to offer a spatial & visual "parallel narrative" to his exploration of bubbles. Written over the course of a decade, the trilogy has waited another decade for its English translation from Semiotext(e). Volumes 2, Globes, & 3, Foam, will publish in coming seasons.


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An epic project in both size & purview, Sloterdijk's 3-volume, 2500-page Spheres is a late-20th-century bookend to Heidegger's Being & Time. Rejecting the century's predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, self-described "student of the air," reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial & immunological project, from the discov An epic project in both size & purview, Sloterdijk's 3-volume, 2500-page Spheres is a late-20th-century bookend to Heidegger's Being & Time. Rejecting the century's predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, self-described "student of the air," reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial & immunological project, from the discovery of self (bubble) to the exploration of world (globe) to the poetics of plurality (foam). Exploring macro- & micro-space from the Greek agora to contemporary urban apartments, he's able to synthesize, with immense erudition, the spatial theories of Aristotle, Descartes, Gaston Bachelard, Walter Benjamin & Georges Bataille into a morphology of shared, or multipolar, dwelling--identifying the question of being as one bound up with the aerial technology of architectonics & anthropogenesis. He describes Bubbles, Spheres' 1st volume, as a general theory of the structures that allow couplings--or as the book's original intended subtitle put it, an "archeology of the intimate." Bubbles includes a wide array of images, not to illustrate his discourse, but to offer a spatial & visual "parallel narrative" to his exploration of bubbles. Written over the course of a decade, the trilogy has waited another decade for its English translation from Semiotext(e). Volumes 2, Globes, & 3, Foam, will publish in coming seasons.

30 review for Bubbles: Spheres I

  1. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Huenemann

    Sloterdijk’s Spheres is more like a brainwashing flood than it a patient argument for identifiable conclusions. But this is just what it must be, if Sloterdijk’s final aim is to overcome cynicism. No argument can possibly succeed – what is required instead is a radical change in vision, a conversion to newfound meaning. Spheres are above all expressions or institutions of love. He states his central thesis in the introduction to the trilogy: “I will develop, more obstinately than usual, the hypo Sloterdijk’s Spheres is more like a brainwashing flood than it a patient argument for identifiable conclusions. But this is just what it must be, if Sloterdijk’s final aim is to overcome cynicism. No argument can possibly succeed – what is required instead is a radical change in vision, a conversion to newfound meaning. Spheres are above all expressions or institutions of love. He states his central thesis in the introduction to the trilogy: “I will develop, more obstinately than usual, the hypothesis that love stories are stories of form, and that every act of solidarity is an act of sphere formation, that is to say the creation of an interior” (I, 12). And “solidarity” here means, as he later explains, “the power to belong together” (I, 44-5). I have a longer account of my view of Sloterdijk's work on my blog here: https://huenemanniac.wordpress.com/20...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Spheres in its first volume revealed itself to be less an analysis of Dasein's spatiality, as was expected, than a virtuoso display replete with all the connotations of excess and indulgence such a descriptor confers. The premise, announced at the book's onset, is simple enough: to be-in-the-world is to always-already be-with, a fundamental and pre-egological existentiale rather than (as Heidegger implied) one posterior to thrownness. The dyadic bubble motif which constitutes the volume's title Spheres in its first volume revealed itself to be less an analysis of Dasein's spatiality, as was expected, than a virtuoso display replete with all the connotations of excess and indulgence such a descriptor confers. The premise, announced at the book's onset, is simple enough: to be-in-the-world is to always-already be-with, a fundamental and pre-egological existentiale rather than (as Heidegger implied) one posterior to thrownness. The dyadic bubble motif which constitutes the volume's title is thus to be understood as the topology of this all-pervading ontological structure. But given that the notion of a paired subjectivity encompassing both human and non-human agents is more indebted to the legacy of Spinoza than that of phenomenology, the entire "spherological" project may be more accurately described as an exegesis of affect. (It should then be no surprise that Bruno Latour lauded the book, for it fits nicely into the "affective" / "posthuman" / "object-oriented" school of thought). Notwithstanding an ostensible avowal to the spirit of Heidegger, Sloterdijk brazenly eschews the fractal, outward-spiraling, and largely self-contained style of Being and Time for an eclecticism bordering on the absurd. What comprises the book's 600 pages is a dizzying, often bizarre, occasionally ingenious reading of the dyad relationship throughout world art and religion, running a gamut of scholarship domains from early Modern natural history, pop-art, Eastern mysticism, avant-garde poetry, theology and—most prominently—an intersection of psychoanalysis and esotericism (a combination which this reader admittedly has little inclination towards). Sloterdijk's historiographical brushwork is, even by the standards of continental theory, broad, and several chapters, particularly those in the book's middle dealing with "negative gynecology" and the primordial fetus-placenta dyad, are to be admired for their sheer audacity alone, a judgment perhaps extensible to the overall project.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Héctor

    EL IDIOTA Y EL ÁNGEL Precisamente porque el mundo moderno está saturado del ruido de los mensajeros de los partidos de poder y del estruendo artístico del genio, que llaman la atención sobre sus obras y sistemas delirantes, la diferencia religiosa ya no puede señalarse convincentemente desde la figura del embajador (o enviado). El Dios presente no puede alcanzar a los mortales como enviado, sino sólo como idiota. El idiota es un ángel sin mensaje: un íntimo complementador, sin distancia, de todos EL IDIOTA Y EL ÁNGEL Precisamente porque el mundo moderno está saturado del ruido de los mensajeros de los partidos de poder y del estruendo artístico del genio, que llaman la atención sobre sus obras y sistemas delirantes, la diferencia religiosa ya no puede señalarse convincentemente desde la figura del embajador (o enviado). El Dios presente no puede alcanzar a los mortales como enviado, sino sólo como idiota. El idiota es un ángel sin mensaje: un íntimo complementador, sin distancia, de todos los seres que casualmente encuentra. También su aparición es escénica, pero no porque personifique en el más acá un fulgor trascendente, sino porque, en medio de una sociedad de representantes de papeles y de estrategas del ego, él encarna una ingenuidad inesperada y una benevolencia que desarma. Aunque príncipe por estirpe, es un ser humano sin símbolo de estatus: pertenece, así, sin reservas, al mundo moderno, pues si la jerarquía pertenece al ángel, el rasgo igualitario pertenece al idiota. Se mueve entre los seres humanos de la alta y baja sociedad como un niño grande que nunca ha aprendido a calcular en su propio beneficio (...) el salvador es un don nadie a quien no respalda ningún alto mandante. Los presentes consideran sus manifestaciones como naderías infantiles, y su presencia, como un mero incidente no comprometedor. Dostoievski no deja duda alguna con respecto precisamente a este rasgo; de una de las figuras de su novela El príncipe idiota, Ganja, se dice: "No se azoraba lo más mínimo ante el príncipe, como si estuviera solo en la habitación, pues le consideraba lisa y llanamente como nada". La presencia del príncipe Mishkin, no obstante, es una condición desencadenante de todos los acontecimientos que suceden en su cercanía; él cataliza de manera decisiva los caracteres y destinos de quienes se cruzan con él. Precisamente como no-enviado, soluciona con un método incomprendido el problema del acceso al interior de sus compañeros de juego. Ni sirenas ni ángeles, él es quien abre los oídos y centros de conmoción psíquica de sus compañeros de diálogo. PETER SLOTERDIJK, Esferas I. Ed. Siruela, 2003.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Wood

    Bubbles is part 1 of Sloterdijk's sphereology trilogy. This part deals with interior spaces, and how these spaces merge and/or conflict with the world around them. The book belatedly begins with an inscription from Plato’s academy “Let no one enter who is not a geometrician” what follows is a description of how bubbles are formed, their ontology, how they help us think about the world. But then we get eggs, wombs, rectangular spaces with domed ceilings and other almost-spheres that might not eve Bubbles is part 1 of Sloterdijk's sphereology trilogy. This part deals with interior spaces, and how these spaces merge and/or conflict with the world around them. The book belatedly begins with an inscription from Plato’s academy “Let no one enter who is not a geometrician” what follows is a description of how bubbles are formed, their ontology, how they help us think about the world. But then we get eggs, wombs, rectangular spaces with domed ceilings and other almost-spheres that might not even exist in physical space, or as mathematical form. So this isn’t really geometric thinking, and we apparently shouldn’t have taken the maxim at the start too seriously. The basic problem here is, and each chapter manifests it in a slightly differently, is that Sloterdijk is equivocating on “spheres” in two very different senses: sometimes he literally means things, physical objects. But even then, only generally; they might not be true spheres, and even as spheres that might not be bubbles. Other times, he seems to be talking figuratively: spheres just refer to any sealed off, semi-private transaction - as in spheres of influence, or circles of concern. This is a problem because, in each chapter, we have to work out which of the two ways Sloterdijk is talking. Even then, when we do work it out, what we are presented with might only bare a passing relation to the form-in-play. An egg isn’t a sphere, even on the wordplay level, and it definitely isn’t a bubble, so I’m not sure why Hieronymus Bosch’s hatchlings or 17th century engravings of cosmic yokings has to do with it all. I’m also not sure how far the sphere-bubble metaphor goes in explaining things - even if it was consistently applied to the topics Sloterdijk wants to apply it to. There’s a very long chapter on faces, and how two faces engaged with each other create a kind of merging of consciousness . All well and good. But why do these merging-acts have to be rendered as a spheroid, or any other kind of shape? If I had to say what they were, I’d say merging acts of this kind - and all the other kinds Sloterdijk refers to - are essentially shapeless. If we have to apply an image, we might be better off with a circuit, a loop, or perhaps a strand - the type of entities which easily bind to others of their type, but are very difficult to pick apart once attached. The other problem with bubbles is that they’re highly volatile objects. They don’t last long. Describing the centuries, sometimes millenia-long traditions as inhabiting them doesn’t really work. Longevity isn’t exactly one of their defining traits. Having said that, with the final book in the series the concept of foam is introduced to describe selves in society; where modern societies form unstable clusters of sealed-off selves, rather than cohesive community units. I suspect it may have been necessary to introduce bubbles at this stage for the final leg of the journey. But, of course, that only gives them useful to the internal logic/structure of the enterprise. It doesn’t make them meaningful. At least, not when it comes to describing anything outside the book itself. A final problem here is the writing itself. I’ve already said that Sloterdijk isn’t clear when he wants to speak literally and when he walks to speak metaphorically and that, even when he is, the terms don’t really apply. The other issue is that Sloterdijk doesn’t seem to understand what ordinary words and phrases mean. When the term “It follows that..” appears, you can be sure as Heidegger is incomprehensible that it won’t. “Therefore”, where it does appear, is equally abused. It’s an academic noise to make. At no point does “therefore” precede the conclusive phase of an argument. I’m speaking here as someone who abhors pedantry and academic finger-wagging too. But this is just paying lip service to thought - citing philosophers and philosophical terms around doesn’t make you a philosopher, any more than memorising Latin plant names makes you a gardener. This is more than just a rift between theory and practice. There’s a huge gap in Sloterdijk understanding can’t be saved by any amount of renaissance-lite quarrying of antiquity, as if scope is any substitute for depth. Sloterdijk is really much closer to his abilities and concerns when he cites Bachelard: here he finds a writer he can aspire to. The trick of Bachelard was to avoid excessive delineation. Had he written The Poetics of Space as an epic, everyone would have seen he was talking nonsense. It’s a shame as, when he keeps it simple, Sloterdijk can really write. He’s just not a philosopher, definitely not a geometrician and certainly not a historian. As far as history goes, he manages to misunderstand his fellow German and - Oswald Spengler. He says Spengler’s “morphological pretensions” were “doomed to failure, because they applied to their objects a concept of form that could not possibly do justice to their willfulness of history.” Actually, Spengler never specified a form. His theory delineated only growth - birth, maturation and decline (hence, Decline of the West). He understood implicitly that decay is form-neutral: it can occur just as well to a human body, an ancient city, a modern thriving society. You can spend an entire day finding similar examples. So much of what appears, despite size of the booking and the sturdy (MIT, don’t you know) binding, is done on the cheap: you feel the author wants to dispatch his competitors as quickly as he can. Neglect the details, just bludgeon with anything that comes to hand. It’s an apposite case though - Spengler might not have always made sense, a lot of the time he wasn’t even right, but where there was scale, there was also depth. His books were heavy and hard to read for a reason.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Like the best philosophy and critical theory, this book will transform your understandings of the topics at hand. In the case of Bubbles, the first of three volumes in Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres trilogy, this means the way you conceive of what Sloterdijk calls "strong relationships" will never be the same. Heidegger's formula of "being-in-the-world" is the philosophical construct interrogated throughout Spheres, and Bubbles concerns itself with the first part, the "being-in." What does it mean t Like the best philosophy and critical theory, this book will transform your understandings of the topics at hand. In the case of Bubbles, the first of three volumes in Peter Sloterdijk's Spheres trilogy, this means the way you conceive of what Sloterdijk calls "strong relationships" will never be the same. Heidegger's formula of "being-in-the-world" is the philosophical construct interrogated throughout Spheres, and Bubbles concerns itself with the first part, the "being-in." What does it mean to be "in"? And what exactly are we "in"? Mining psychology, biology, and especially theology for examples, this exploration of "microspherology" questions the modern conception of human beings as independent individuals. Instead, Sloterdijk argues, relationships between people, ideas, voices, media, et cetera are always already immanent in existence. The concluding discussion of Trinitarian theology makes the most poignant points about this strange immanence, but along the way Sloterdijk convincingly deconstructs the bases for modern psychology and hypothesizes about the real beginning of conscious life in the womb. If you pick up this book - and make it through, which is not easy task - you will leave it transformed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Geoffreyjen

    So, I finally fished this first volume of the Sphere's trilogy. I read it via an online reading group (see our video sessions on youtube by searching for "Sloterdijk Bubbles" - ours are the ones by "Infinite Conversations"). This was an extraordinarily rewarding read, partly because of the reading group, but Sloterdijk's text is also filled with interesting ideas and novel perspectives, sometimes too many of them. I shall pursue the reading into Volumes 2 and 3, but so far I have to say I find h So, I finally fished this first volume of the Sphere's trilogy. I read it via an online reading group (see our video sessions on youtube by searching for "Sloterdijk Bubbles" - ours are the ones by "Infinite Conversations"). This was an extraordinarily rewarding read, partly because of the reading group, but Sloterdijk's text is also filled with interesting ideas and novel perspectives, sometimes too many of them. I shall pursue the reading into Volumes 2 and 3, but so far I have to say I find his ideas useful but not "Deleuzian" enough for my taste, although he claims to draw on Deleuze's work. Still, a worthwhile read nonetheless.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marcos Francisco Muñoz

    Iban a ser 5 estrellas, pero el último capítulo y excurso tuvieron una carga teológica excesiva y que no me dijo nada nuevo (sabrán comprender que fui un creyente asiduo e informado hasta hace un par de lustros) en comparación a toda la maravilla que son las páginas que preceden a estas partes que, por suerte son breves.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zixiang Zhang

    mindfuck.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Em diálogo direto com heidegger, sloterdijk amplia a discussão do impessoal de Ser e tempo, em uma genealogia das boas-vindas. Marcado originariamente por uma esfera de ressonância diádica, habitar o espaço é estar no espaço íntimo uma vez deixado, mas nunca esquecido.

  10. 5 out of 5

    VII

    What a book (or first-660-pages-of-a-2500-pages-trilogy), really. Sloterdijk describes his project as a sequel to Heidegger's Being and Time that might be called Being and Space or Sphereology. The main claim is that people, ontologically, are not singles as our modern culture thinks, but (at least) doubles. What's most interesting is the way he tries to makes this point. It is more of a genealogy or cultural history or theology mixed with weird psychoanalysis than direct argument. And this is w What a book (or first-660-pages-of-a-2500-pages-trilogy), really. Sloterdijk describes his project as a sequel to Heidegger's Being and Time that might be called Being and Space or Sphereology. The main claim is that people, ontologically, are not singles as our modern culture thinks, but (at least) doubles. What's most interesting is the way he tries to makes this point. It is more of a genealogy or cultural history or theology mixed with weird psychoanalysis than direct argument. And this is what makes the book fascinating even for someone as cynical as me. It is an alternative history of being. I am not sure I am convinced but it's a great story and unique takes on the familiar is exactly my thing. The idea is that when we create an intimate (not sexual) relationship we create and enter a space or a sphere somewhere else, in an extension-less field. These spheres provide an enclosed shelter and are combined to basically form culture. In modernity we lost this shelter by killing God and by inhabiting an infinite universe. But the first book talks of microspheres, the basic atoms of the bigger ones. He gives examples of perfect devotion in less cynical eras that revolve around the heart and the face. Portraits of the face used to be representations of that shared circle of happiness that is even more apparent in mother-child relationships; it was only later that they became representations of something like power. He also uses medieval beliefs about attraction that was viewed as a planting of droplets of blood that entered the infatuated through light rays using vision and wanted to return to their sender, making the infatuated seek them. He also talks about the magnetic rapport that the magnetizers (think Mesmer) of the 19th century used to heal. All these are attempts to make us more receptive to the idea of the formation of those deep intimate relationships but also to point out that these relationships do not create a uniformity. People keep their roles and their subjectivity within them. In the lovers example there is the lover and the beloved, in the mother-child relationship or the patient-doctor one there is someone who is helpless and has to trust someone else completely to be helped and for this, non-cynicism and non-suspiciousness is required. But the weird part starts now and it is called negative gynaecology. Science describes births from the outside, studying a phenomenon. Mystics describe it from the inside, as if they are within the womb. He will describe life using both ways. Why it is important it is not clear, but smells like the genetic fallacy if taken too literally. Sloterdijk quotes Macho who talks about three stages of development within the womb, where the fetus starts perceiving fluids (blood notably), sounds and air. These are nobjects, the fetus doesn't enter traditional subject-object relationships with them but medial ones. He also quotes Laing who splits our life in three parts: conception to implantation, implantation to birth and birth to death with the earlier ones affecting the later ones. I find it kind of hard to take this seriously. Even more weirdly, he places immense importance in the placenta: every birth is a double birth. For a birth to be successful, not only the child must get out but also the afterbirth, the placenta. In the past many cultures deemed it important, planting it under new trees or houses or even eating it. From the very start then the child has a double, a twin, something that it perceives as his friend and its protector, always there for it. And in birth it dies for the child to live. He finds symbolism of it in many religions, in the "magical trees" tradition and even Margritte's paintings. The Roman "Genius", Socrates's "daimonion", the Christian guardian angels are all examples of this enduring connection with something other that is always there, in that created sphere of intimacy, in order to guide us. As long as this originary relationship, this enclosing membrane is porous enough, it allows to form other relationships, first with the mother, then the father and then with siblings or other strangers, which are basically rehashings of that original relationship. But now we forgot all about that. It has become a byproduct and we throw it in the trash. Without this guardian, people are getting depressed and in order to get over it they can turn either to religion (unfashionable), to psychoanalysts (who view the relationship as a mistake) or much more interestingly, to inanimate objects. Andy Warhol talks of his relationship with his take recorder, something that can turn his problems into interesting stories. Another thing of our age is that with so many messages around us, someone who has something to say must say it by being an idiot as Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky described this. One must act like a naive child who guides with his actions, who lives one's life without being its protagonist. We are able to listen to the messages of this guardian, among infinite others, because they are about us. The sirens seduced their victims by singing songs that were uniquely constructed for each individual and revealed a glorious future. They were inviting them in a world specifically designed for them and they weren't drowning them but simply abandoned them to die of hunger and thirst since nothing else could match the bliss they lived. The siren song is the prophetic mother's song that the child listens to while in the womb. The sound comes first and is more important than vision or meaning. The relationship with the mother is also an absorptive, cannibalistic one but that's not bad. The mother gives to the child the right to eat her. Every call of the child gets fulfilled and it's only later that the child finds out that this magic stops working and labour is required. Religions attempt to fill that gap. His final topic is about the location of these relationships, this "In" that has been described. For this he turns to the religious trinity, as early theologists had to find answers for the relationship of God with His creation. How can he be everywhere, while also being something different than everything. They saw the God-Soul relation as a priori one, an always-already one, as everything that can be done is already pre-approved and part of God's economy. But while this soul connection is transhistorical, it is materialized on history. Another thing is what Nicolas of Cusa notes, that God is like those portraits that appear to observe you directly, no matter where you stand. His power is always at the maximum but more importantly, doesn't diminish your perspective and actually creates your subjectivity. It is important for Sloterdjik to have these relationships not as undifferentiated unions but like unequal dualities where each one retains his part. This is also what is happening with the Holy Trinity. They are one but also three. They have differences but they are not separated. They form the space they inhabit together. This is the language of the strong relationship and we can use it as our model.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Lavenz

    Part theory, part manual, part love story and soul-history, Peter Sloterdijk's work "Bubbles" is a high octane masterpiece. It is a membrane that breathes. This meticulous and elegant translation by Wieland Hoban will be a resource for decades. In what follows, I'll try to paraphrase what I see is at stake and provide a few supporting examples from the book, in hopes of enticing you to this profound work. In the preface to the Spheres trilogy as a whole, Sloterdijk warns: "let no one enter who is Part theory, part manual, part love story and soul-history, Peter Sloterdijk's work "Bubbles" is a high octane masterpiece. It is a membrane that breathes. This meticulous and elegant translation by Wieland Hoban will be a resource for decades. In what follows, I'll try to paraphrase what I see is at stake and provide a few supporting examples from the book, in hopes of enticing you to this profound work. In the preface to the Spheres trilogy as a whole, Sloterdijk warns: "let no one enter who is unwilling to praise transference or to refute loneliness." A cogent presentation of this material ought to begin by unpacking this double inscription. Together, they indicate these two ontological tasks, both in terms of the position or whereabouts of the modern "individual": (1) Refute loneliness: Expose us to the dual or doubled-up nature of self, the plural aspect of being, or to a subjectivity that is resonant. From the discussion of the Greek genius to mesmerism; from Giotto's painting of inter-facial space to Magritte's tree of infinite recognition; from Odysseus and the Siren's Song to the idea that, "as soon as breath exists, there are two breathing," this primary dyad that we are forms the bubbling center of microsphereology. Sloterdijk does not revise our notion of the self; he exposes its premises, and reminds us that we begin shared. (2) Praise transference: Expose us to these spaces of resonance that constitute our being-wholly-in-relation, being as "in-relation." To praise transference is to praise the transferential nature of my being: I am only in transmission, I "am" transmission. I'm here so that sense can bounce and rebound off of me, in the infinite relating of shared truths, or the infinite creation of interiors. As Sloterdijk writes, "The limits of my capacity for transference are the limits of my world." In other words, the creation of a world and the sharing of the world are very similar. Ultimately, to praise transference simply means to make room for another (in me or outside me). These two tasks are supported by countless intimacy-models (biological, therapeutic, theological, interfacial, poetic) that are weaved together chapter by chapter and across the trilogy, which show how the self/individual is preceded by "nobjective," resonance-based with- and in- relationships. Bubbles explores various spherical models that figure strong relationships of mutual intrication and coinherence. This "introduction to a medial poetics of existence" compiles histories, references, and revelations that have animated us since time immemorial. And you can tell that Sloterdijk himself loves what he recounts. The most vital model of spheric resonance exists between mother and child, who are each "poles of a dynamic in-between." Drawing equally from Lao Tzu's birth-myth and Thomas Macho's research into the uterine-amniotic environment, Sloterdijk unveils the model of an original biune bubble that is ternary in structure: mother-child and their shared medium (blood, air, sonic space). One-and-two is always already three because, when each one is IN the other without exteriority, each one IS the dynamic in-between. Each one is its augmentation coming from elsewhere. Each one is the other's partner AND ALSO the medial bond between them. Each of them are themselves, the other, and the in-between medium as such: blood. Blood (like words) is the gift of relation before establishes a system of relations (mother-child, author-reader). Likewise, inter-uterine listening and filtering begins long before there is some "one" to listen. Mother and child are relational, dyadic, and dual because before they are themselves they are relations across media. Mother and child do not exist as physical realities so much as they exist according to their interrelationship. The meaning of the two "poles" or "selves" is in-relation, "coinherent" or rounded, such that "the history of the self is first of all a history of self-conveyance." While this is never more apparent than in the inter-uterine blood-exchange and sonic resonance, it is this condition of being-self that we've forgotten (and in forgetting it, we've lost the magic of transference). This is why Sloterdijk asks us to "Find a rooting in the existing duality": we started out in such a sensation-substance-welcoming-opening in the first place! Thus, existence is medial. "The soul cannot be anything other than a studio for transactions with inspiring others" (p. 124). To be is to relate, to be space, to make room for, or to salute. (In parentheses, there is a great deal shared between Sloterdijk and Jean-Luc Nancy: to praise transference is not unlike the latter's "adoration," and for both men, greeting each other is our ultimate horizon.) Paired with the idea of the "a priori or strong" relationship, this idea is the St. Elmo's Fire of this book. Voila: being-in-relation is your being's ownmost being. It's a priori, in a sense, although we have forgotten it. It means, as Heidegger said: "Everyone is the other and no one is himself." But as Bataille says, being is communication: the birth and burst of being doubled up. Here and there, to respond to what you hear is to come into existence. It's to experience happiness at inter-listening, filtering, pursuit, and finally, habitation-- such that listening, enjoying, intending and emerging are the same "thing": you. Here is your first devotion, which means: rousing yourself to the state of alertness necessary to open up to the sound that concerns you (pg. 504). When we only exist vis-a-vis each other -- before either of us have a "vis" of our own -- we are each like a "third" that trembles between both of us- different from both of us, yet only bubbling because of the heat and the mixture. There's no absolute boiling pot, but a foam that sometimes bubbles over, on both micro and macro levels. Reading "Bubbles," you yourself bubble up. The challenge of this reading is an existential challenge (perhaps reading ought to always be so). It calls you out into the open, beyond the personal "point" and into plural-transferential spheres: encounters, engagements, and encodings with/in externality, "outside." I want to emphasize that it is no mere combination of thoughts and techniques that led to the creation of this work. There is a mystic, ecstatic, communicative dimension to it that draws the reader out in to the open and creates an interior with/in them: a solidarity-bubble in transference. In other words, it asks that the bubble be broken and bubble infinitely -- that loneliness be refuted, and praise be to transference.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Fernández

    "Desde tiempos muy tempranos la historia de los encuentros con el extraño fue también una escuela visual del terror". "La neurosis básica de la cultura occidental es tener que soñar un sujeto que lo observa, nombra, posee todo, sin dejarse contener, nombrar, poseer por algo, aun en el caso de que el Dios más discreto se ofreciera como observador, receptáculo y mandante". "El aliento es desde un principio conspirador, respirador, inspirador; tan pronto como hay aire, respira a dos". "Así, los amante "Desde tiempos muy tempranos la historia de los encuentros con el extraño fue también una escuela visual del terror". "La neurosis básica de la cultura occidental es tener que soñar un sujeto que lo observa, nombra, posee todo, sin dejarse contener, nombrar, poseer por algo, aun en el caso de que el Dios más discreto se ofreciera como observador, receptáculo y mandante". "El aliento es desde un principio conspirador, respirador, inspirador; tan pronto como hay aire, respira a dos". "Así, los amantes, aunque mueran uno tras otros, mueren uno dentro de otro, y, en consecuencia, mueren sin rozar el duro suelo de un exterior cualquiera". "Si la mística hablara con una voz moral, se expresaría en la máxima: calienta tu propia vida hasta sobrepasar el punto de congelación, y haz lo que quieras. Cuando el alma se deshiela, ¿quién dudaría de su inclinación y capacidad de trabajar y celebrar con otras?".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniele

    Ogni anno fisso l'obiettivo di un progetto di lettura a lungo termine, da affiancare a letture più rapide. Progetti di questo tipo sono stati I fratelli Karamazov, o 2666 in lingua originale. La Bibbia mi aspetta in uno dei prossimi anni. Bolle di Sloterdijk è il mio progetto di lettura a lungo termine del 2020. Comprato a inizio 2016, ci ho messo quattro anni a decidermi di iniziarlo, e un anno e tre mesi per leggerlo. Basta dare un'occhiata all'indice per avere la sensazione che sarà un viaggio Ogni anno fisso l'obiettivo di un progetto di lettura a lungo termine, da affiancare a letture più rapide. Progetti di questo tipo sono stati I fratelli Karamazov, o 2666 in lingua originale. La Bibbia mi aspetta in uno dei prossimi anni. Bolle di Sloterdijk è il mio progetto di lettura a lungo termine del 2020. Comprato a inizio 2016, ci ho messo quattro anni a decidermi di iniziarlo, e un anno e tre mesi per leggerlo. Basta dare un'occhiata all'indice per avere la sensazione che sarà un viaggio lungo: anteposti al capitolo primo abbiamo l'introduzione all'edizione italiana, la premessa, l'introduzione dell'autore e una riflessione preliminare. Insomma tra la copertina e il libro vero e proprio c'è una soglia da varcare larga 141 pagine. Come se il volume ammonisse: hai davvero voglia di leggermi? Dopo quattro anni ho risposto sì. Riducendo grossolanamente la trama a poche righe Sloterdijk argomenta l'idea generale per la quale l'uomo è enormemente influenzato, nella sua natura ontologica, dalla propria genesi nei nove mesi di vita all'interno dell'utero della madre. Innati e interiorizzati nell’uomo ci sono i concetti di interno-esterno, di limite, di intimità. Ognuna di queste idee, forse meglio parlare di sensazioni perché congenite, hanno definito l’essere umano per quello che è durante la sua evoluzione storica: la volontà di delimitare una dimora, la morfologia delle città, ma anche le religioni e, intimamente, l’idea dell'angelo custode e dell'anima gemella che Sloterdijk riconduce alla presenza della placenta quando il soggetto in formazione è ancora noggetto. Le relazioni d’intimità tra uomini, che Sloterdijk formalizza nel concetto di sfere, e che quando queste sono riferite nell’ambito dell’adiacente vengono chiamate microsfere - le bolle che danno il titolo al volume – sono le protagoniste di questo primo libro della trilogia delle Sfere. Nel passaggio attraverso pieghe e meandri dei microcosmi di questa interiorità intrecciata che forma l’essere umano, abbiamo fin qui distinto sette livelli […]. Siamo in una microsfera ogni volta che: - primo, ci troviamo nello spazio intercordiale; - secondo, nella sfera interfacciale; - terzo, nel campo delle forze “magiche” leganti e degli effetti ipnotici di vicinanza; - quarto, nell’immanenza, cioè nello spazio interno della madre assoluta e delle sue metafore post-natali; - quinto, nella co-diade e nello sdoppiamento placentario e nelle sue ulteriori costituzioni; - sesto, sotto la tutela dell’inseparabile accompagnatore e delle sue metamorfosi; - settimo, nello spazio di risonanza della voce materna che augura il benvenuto, e nelle sue ulteriori appendici messianiche-evangeliche-musicali Questa estrema riduzione del contenuto del libro è dolcemente persuasiva per la grande discorsività dell’autore e per lo sterminato corollario di riferimenti, autori e immagini che accompagnano tutta l’opera e che spaziano dalla filosofia pura, alla psicologia, all’arte, ed ancora alla letteratura, alla storia, alla teologia, e l’elenco potrebbe continuare. Difatti la trilogia delle Sfere viene spesso citata come opera maestra di Sloterdijk per la formulazione di una vera e propria rilettura generale del percorso umano su questa terra. Come posso giudicare io un’opera così vasta? Personalmente posso dire che i primi tre capitoli sono particolarmente ostici, e per una lettura più efficace li avrei anticipati dai capitoli che seguono, dove viene realmente spiegata la teoria di base partendo dalla nascita e dalla ginecologia negativa; posso anche aggiungere che i termini usati lungo tutto il testo sono sempre così precisi e perfetti da risultare, per contro, pesanti e tortuosi nei loro prefissi-suffissi; che Sloterdijk giudica carente la psicoanalisi e lo ripete innumerevoli volte. Ma questi dazi formali nulla tolgono al grande valore che l’opera nel suo insieme restituisce al lettore. Spesso mi sono trovato a riflettere nuovamente la mia vita sotto la luce delle sfere. Per esempio: durante l’ultimo concerto cui ho partecipato con grande trasporto – Kasabian al Forum di Assago, novembre 2017, nel bel mezzo della folla, mezzo ubriaco, colpito dalla grande onda sonora che, per certi versi, mi ha mandato in estasi assieme a tutti i presenti - davvero questa sensazione di estasi è collegata in modo primordiale all’ascolto seducente della voce di mia madre che, amplificata dalla colonna vertebrale, entrava nel tessuto dell’utero e da lì alle mie orecchie fetali da poco funzionanti e che, augurandomi il prossimo benvenuto su questo mondo, mandava in estasi il mio io-noggetto? Mai avrei immaginato questa relazione tra mia madre e Tom Meighan, ma leggendo il capitolo sull’alleanza sonosferica Sloterdijk mi ha convinto, citando niente di meno che l’irresistibile canto delle sirene nell’Odissea. E ancora: non ho ricordi di quando ero un neonato e di quando ero un bambino nei primi anni di vita, ma posso rivalutare il mio carattere, la mia attitudine alla vita in generale, ripensando tutto attraverso il parto - una cesarea - il trattamento riservato alla placenta – abbandonata nelle mani del protocollo ospedaliero ossia smaltita o venduta a una farmaceutica – il periodo di allattamento – sei mesi – e le successive relazioni io-me stesso, io-madre, io-padre e io-ogni estraneo prossimo. Quando un libro non solo fornisce una quantità sterminata di sapienza, ma accende inoltre una profonda rivalutazione delle mie conoscenze in precedenza assimilate, significa che lo stesso è un gran libro. Non stupisce che ci abbia messo tanto a finirlo, perché il volume impone necessariamente pause, ritorni e riletture - in sostanza tempo - per approfittare del Tempo che mi attende innanzi.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Güis Guerrero-Enterría

    Tres volumenes en los que sloterdijk intenta situar al ser humano moderno. la revision de ideas y conceptos es muy amplia. como vivimos, somos y nos comportamos en un mundo que fabricamos.creamos y que nos cra y fabrica a nosotros. Se lee bien. la traducción española es buena.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sirus Chayham

    PS is such an ass.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mindfulnessmyttymuhveli

    Pitkien filosofisten teosten osalta karstaisin puoli on usein kirjan jämähtäminen paikoilleen jonkin yhden teeman äärelle siten, että kirjoittaja koettaa koota ja typistää mahdollisimman moninaisen kavalkaartin lähestymistapoja jonkin yhden perinteen sisään. Näin käy valitettavasti Solterdijkin Kuplat -teoksessa (ensimmäinen osa herran magnum opus trilogiaa), jossa varsin raikkaista tutkinnoista ja mielekkäitten joutomaitten samoiluista huolimatta Sloterdijkin silmänteränä on kristinuskon kolmiy Pitkien filosofisten teosten osalta karstaisin puoli on usein kirjan jämähtäminen paikoilleen jonkin yhden teeman äärelle siten, että kirjoittaja koettaa koota ja typistää mahdollisimman moninaisen kavalkaartin lähestymistapoja jonkin yhden perinteen sisään. Näin käy valitettavasti Solterdijkin Kuplat -teoksessa (ensimmäinen osa herran magnum opus trilogiaa), jossa varsin raikkaista tutkinnoista ja mielekkäitten joutomaitten samoiluista huolimatta Sloterdijkin silmänteränä on kristinuskon kolmiyhtenäisyyden tarkastelu ja eri näkökulmien palauttaminen kolmiyhtenäisyyteen. Kenties tämä johtuu Saksan väkevästä historiasta kristinuskon kehitysvaiheiden ja filosofoinnin kanssa, mutta niinkin kykenevän ajattelijan kuin Sloterdijkin ei toivoisi -tai en ainakaan itse toivoisi- palaavan samalle vanhalle kuihtuneelle kaivolle kuin lukemattomat muut häntä edeltäneet. Missä on esimerkiksi Sloterdijkin haukansilmä 'pakanallisten' tai esikristillisten katsomusten osalta? Neo-platonismi (ja kaiketi sitä kautta antiikki) totta kai mainitaan, mutta monella tapaa muut lähestymistavat yksilön olemiseen ja ykilön asuttamaan tilallisuuteen jäävät joko alisteiseksi kristinuskon tyrannimaiselle perinnölle tai vain sivuhuomioiksi ihmisten kummallisista ajatussuunnista (esim teoriat mesmerismistä). Koska teos on ensimmäinen osa trilogiaa, voi sen olettaa tekevän suurimmaksi osaksi pohjustavaa työtä, joten kenties seuraavissa osissa kristinuskon painottaminen vähentyy, mutta silti... kaiketi euroopassa oli uskomusjärjestelmiä myös ennen kristinuskon tuloa, jotka ovat vaikuttaneet tapaamme lähestyä yksilöä ja yksilön olemista? Näitten huomioiminen jää ärsyttävän vähälle. Sloterdijkin vahvuus on kuitenkin siinä, että vaikka et jaksaisi lukea mielenkiinnolla siitä, mitä kirkkoisät tai kristilliset ajattelijat tuumailivat jeesuksen yhteydestä isään kaikkivaltiaaseen, niin teksti soljuu ja etenee varsin verkkaasti. Näin ikään Sloterdijk on mielestäni edelleen yksi parhaista kirjoittajista filosofien riveissä, ja koska teos onnistuu kristinuskosta huolimatta tarjoamaan tuoreita oivalluksia ja näkökulmia, ansaitsee se vähintäänkin positiiviseen sävyyn todetun arvostelman 'se oli ihan okei'.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I loved this book. Peter Sloterdijk is an irreverent and fearless writer whose Spheres project is an attempt to redefine Western metaphysics in terms of spatial relationships rather than regular old ontology. I can't say he's entirely successful, but this book is a lot of fun for adventurous readers. The first volume of Sloterdijk's trilogy is Bubbles, which deals with the most private and inclusive spheres of human endeavor: the context of relationships dealing with gestation, self, and various f I loved this book. Peter Sloterdijk is an irreverent and fearless writer whose Spheres project is an attempt to redefine Western metaphysics in terms of spatial relationships rather than regular old ontology. I can't say he's entirely successful, but this book is a lot of fun for adventurous readers. The first volume of Sloterdijk's trilogy is Bubbles, which deals with the most private and inclusive spheres of human endeavor: the context of relationships dealing with gestation, self, and various forms of intimacy. The content here goes from anthropology to psychology to art and literary criticism to gynecology, and if it weren't for the interminable digressions into theology I'd have no reservations whatsoever about my praise for this work. It's inconceivable to me that this complex and fascinating book could have had a more sympathetic and insightful translator. The writing is an utter pleasure, even if it might strike someone who prefers her philosophy more sober as a bit overheated. Read it and see what you think.

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.W.D. Nicolello

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I must note that even at his most suffocatingly verbose Sloterdijk does not break off, or drown himself in gurgling, winded verbage, which in itself sets him apart from others in serious breakthrough ontologicaliterature in the atrophied field of nobject-diagnostics, parenthetical sludge, and miscellaneous incomprehensible albeit vital information. In closing in[n] on the end of this first volume of the trilogy I myself have at last popped a seven-year sifting contemplative Bubble: To Whom shall I must note that even at his most suffocatingly verbose Sloterdijk does not break off, or drown himself in gurgling, winded verbage, which in itself sets him apart from others in serious breakthrough ontologicaliterature in the atrophied field of nobject-diagnostics, parenthetical sludge, and miscellaneous incomprehensible albeit vital information. In closing in[n] on the end of this first volume of the trilogy I myself have at last popped a seven-year sifting contemplative Bubble: To Whom shall I address my own trilogy? O, now it all makes sense - for it is thee, Sloterdijk's Translator! Tune up the band, for we all must die!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Schuschu

    It’s basically about how the enlightenment made intimacy more of a challenge (although critiquing religion as well along the way- though not in an offensive way). A lot of discussion about the connection between mother and child and how the placenta figures into that. Ends with a discussion on the Trinity. Treats sexual intimacy like a very minor aspect of intimacy. Really weird angle; got to read the next part at some point to see how the thought concludes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Javier Gil Jaime

    Un viaje fascinante, bellamente escrito, por la historia de la configuración de estructuras microesféricas íntimas que construyen nuestra identidad sociocultural como especie, colectivo y conjunto de individuos.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rowan Tepper

    Took me long enough to finish this, but it was quite the rewarding read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wanda Wang

    牛逼

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jacques le fataliste et son maître

    Avvincente viaggio alla radice di tutto: il pensiero e la cultura, le immagini dell’arte, della religione, del linguaggio, gli angeli custodi, le sirene, i gemelli ecc., passando attraverso simboli, musica e miti, la speculazione trinitaria, il mesmerismo, la ginecologia, fino ad arrivare alle prime fasi dell’essere umano, quelle embrionali. Al di là della ricostruzione e delle conclusioni proposte, una lettura che mi pare ricca di stimoli.«Dove siamo, di conseguenza, quando ci troviamo in un pi Avvincente viaggio alla radice di tutto: il pensiero e la cultura, le immagini dell’arte, della religione, del linguaggio, gli angeli custodi, le sirene, i gemelli ecc., passando attraverso simboli, musica e miti, la speculazione trinitaria, il mesmerismo, la ginecologia, fino ad arrivare alle prime fasi dell’essere umano, quelle embrionali. Al di là della ricostruzione e delle conclusioni proposte, una lettura che mi pare ricca di stimoli.«Dove siamo, di conseguenza, quando ci troviamo in un piccolo interno? […] Nel passaggio attraverso pieghe e meandri dei microcosmi di questa interiorità intrecciata che forma l’essere umano, abbiamo fin qui distinto sette livelli di una risposta a questa domanda. Siamo in una microsfera ogni volta che: – primo, ci troviamo nello spazio intercordiale; – secondo, nella sfera interfacciale; – terzo, nel campo delle forze “magiche” leganti e degli effetti ipnotici di vicinanza; – quarto, nell’immanenza, cioè nello spazio interno della madre assoluta e delle sue metafore postnatali; – quinto, nella co-diade o nello sdoppiamento placentario e nelle sue ulteriori costituzioni; – sesto, sotto la tutela dell’inseparabile accompagnatore e delle sue metamorfosi; – settimo, nello spazio di risonanza della voce materna che augura il benvenuto, e nelle sue ulteriori appendici messianiche-evangeliche-musicali.»

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Lee

    This is a surprisingly deep book. Sloterdijk uses the notion of the Sphere in order to divide up spaces. He uses the idea of a self contained horizon; threshold in order to dialecticalize his way around religion, philosophy and other kinds of borders. In a sense, the circle is perfect because it is a localization that makes available the arbitrariness of classhood. What is "inside" belongs to one distinction... so that distinction can be further examined. I am not sure if there is going to be a This is a surprisingly deep book. Sloterdijk uses the notion of the Sphere in order to divide up spaces. He uses the idea of a self contained horizon; threshold in order to dialecticalize his way around religion, philosophy and other kinds of borders. In a sense, the circle is perfect because it is a localization that makes available the arbitrariness of classhood. What is "inside" belongs to one distinction... so that distinction can be further examined. I am not sure if there is going to be a larger organization amongst his other works, but I look forward to reading those as well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian Kim

    The successor to Heidegger is in this book. Sloterdijk exounds on the da-sein to a new architecture of the biune. The third created from the two. Sloterdijk's original concept, The With, changes the relationship of the I and Thou, proposed by Buber. The With explains the desire and lack we feel as humans and our longing for a union of the being that is closer to me than I am to myself. The book is fairly difficult to read. It is a philosophy book with specific jargons, but his eclectic vocabular The successor to Heidegger is in this book. Sloterdijk exounds on the da-sein to a new architecture of the biune. The third created from the two. Sloterdijk's original concept, The With, changes the relationship of the I and Thou, proposed by Buber. The With explains the desire and lack we feel as humans and our longing for a union of the being that is closer to me than I am to myself. The book is fairly difficult to read. It is a philosophy book with specific jargons, but his eclectic vocabulary and history makes it even more challenging for the layman. Sloterdijk writes as if he was writing to a friend. His audience isn't clear, but this style of "letter-writing-to-a-friend" allows him to somewhat free-associate his thoughts and stitch together an original piece called, Bubbles.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brooks

    I'm tempted to continue on to Globes. Which says something. This book puts lots of ideas on the table, almost all of them concerning the idea of close two-person relationships (mother-child, God-Adam, etc.) The thing I most struggled with is the rejection of the Enlightenment. But beyond that, Sloterdijk writes engagingly enough for the deep territory, and his ability to supplement the writing with interesting images keep the book moving along. I'm tempted to continue on to Globes. Which says something. This book puts lots of ideas on the table, almost all of them concerning the idea of close two-person relationships (mother-child, God-Adam, etc.) The thing I most struggled with is the rejection of the Enlightenment. But beyond that, Sloterdijk writes engagingly enough for the deep territory, and his ability to supplement the writing with interesting images keep the book moving along.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo

    Discutido en Viviendo en el Final de los Tiempos Pág.271-280 en vinculación con el artículo de Alejandro Zaera-Polo disponible acá. Discutido en Viviendo en el Final de los Tiempos Pág.271-280 en vinculación con el artículo de Alejandro Zaera-Polo disponible acá.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linus Ragnhage

    I will withhold judgment until I've read all three parts of the Spheres Trilogy, but if this first installation is any indication of the complete package then it is likely to become one of the original philosophical beacons of the 21st century (playing perhaps the same role as Heidegger's Being and Time did in the 20th). I will withhold judgment until I've read all three parts of the Spheres Trilogy, but if this first installation is any indication of the complete package then it is likely to become one of the original philosophical beacons of the 21st century (playing perhaps the same role as Heidegger's Being and Time did in the 20th).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Наталия Viatkina

    It was a great adventure! I adore this author and all books he created.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara Renberg

    This was really difficult for me to read, but in the best way. I'm looking forward to rereading it repeatedly. This was really difficult for me to read, but in the best way. I'm looking forward to rereading it repeatedly.

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