Quick review of Woodard’s “On an Ungrounded Earth”

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down is in, up is out (Photo credit: sigma.)

Although I in no way share such a radically pessimistic and nihilistic view, Woodard definitely enters the literary conversation with his theoretical guns blazing (*get down*).

From darkness worming its way through our phenomenal delusion of firm ground to black whirlpools and vortexes making empty space out of dying and rotting matter, Woodard’s hyper-theoretical work is nothing less than a third order cynicism regarding our right to exist in reliance upon the consistency of thought, and a second order skeptic with regard to our own willingness to see between the Orphic (Magic-Holistic) and Promethean (Stockpile-Capitalist) binary bounding our very capability to perceive our position in what he calls Nature.

Illustration of Dante's Inferno, Canto 8

Illustration of Dante’s Inferno, Canto 8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At first glance one has the feeling that this will be another philo-scientistic indulgence of faith in some Universal codec of laws to be sought after through naively “empirical” means, but Woody doesn’t disappoint. His extremely wide acumen, showcasing thousands of years of written works–both philosophical and poetic–render the experience of following his logic into an endless sinking, past quicksand, brushing the sand worms of Dune, falling through Lovecraftian remains of crypto-biology and architecture, past the infernal engine of pain and suffering of Dante’s perdition, and yes, still further, and also later through deep time, to the dim view of the Earth’s potential final victory over the Sun’s solar empire, drifting, dead, free of induced creativity, save a final hope of humanity’s eventual secession from the cosmological grind of decay and the beginning of our own, perhaps somewhat self-manifested (once the self is totally outside of our-selves), or ungrounded, pathos; sickness unto death? We are already dead, sick with the mass hallucination of “life.”

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