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By Alphonso Lingis

Half travelogue, half meditation, Abuses is a daring exploration of crucial topics in Continental philosophy via essentially the most passionate and unique thinkers in that culture writing today.A gripping list of wants, obsessions, our bodies, and areas skilled in far-off lands, Alphonso Lingis's e-book deals not less than a brand new method of philosophy--aesthetic and sympathetic--which departs from the phenomenology of Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. "These have been letters written to friends," Lingis writes, "from locations i discovered myself for months at a time, approximately encounters that moved me and me. . . . those writings additionally turned not my letters. i discovered myself simply attempting to converse for others, others greeted purely with passionate kisses of parting."Ranging from the increased Inca castle of Machu Picchu, to the residing rooms of the Mexican elite, to the streets of Manila, Lingis recounts incidents of state-sponsored violence and the innovative incorporation of third-world peoples into the circuits of trade of foreign capitalism. Recalling the paintings of such writers as Graham Greene, Kathy Acker, and Georges Bataille, Abuses comprises impassioned bills of silence, eros and identification, torture and struggle, the elegant, lust and pleasure, and human rituals surrounding carnival and demise that happened in the course of his trips to India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bali, the Philippines, Antarctica, and Latin the USA. A deeply unsettling publication by way of a thinker of bizarre mind's eye, Abuses will entice readers who, like its writer, "may wish the enigmas and need the discomfiture inside oneself."

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I, who do not listen to heavy metal at disco volumes in my house, but Messiaen's Chronochromie , wondered if those early explorers simply could not relate to birds, like the city slickers who used to visit the farm I grew up on, with their carnivore's ideology of the sloven stupidity of cackling chickens (chickens, I knew, are a species of pheasant). With so few species, though in staggering numbers, in the rookeries, the birds, seals, and sea elephants occupy distinct ecological niches lined with different kinds of lichens, and are not in competition.

On the exposed boulders, some hundred elephant seals, young males all, in a wallow. They grow to twenty-two feet and five thousand pounds. Their flippers are so small as to be useless for land locomotion; to haul themselves up the rocks they arch and flop their bodies up like bloated mammoth earthworms. They shove in alongside of others, but rolling some of them over, who then just snooze head upside down. They breathe in short gasps, then shut their nostrils as they do when they plunge in the ocean.

The bateria —percussion band of two to four hundred, with drums, cymbals, tambourines, and instruments of African origin—is in the middle; by the time it has arrived at the bank of the bleachers where you are, it has risen up to overwhelm the samba song and it is impossible to sit; everyone in the bleachers is dancing. i... ― 132 ― of sponsors. Here, none of that. The escolas are from the slums, the favelas , not from the glittering high-rise districts of Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca. Not even the master of ceremonies, choreographers, or funders are in the parade.

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