Infinite Resignation: On Pessimism

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I am, if nothing else, a pessimist at heart. (And like all pessimists, I think that, truthfully, I’m just a realist.) So my inner harumph could not have been more delighted with Infinite Resignation, an unabashed ode to jaded misanthropy. In a time of beautifully filtered Instagram photos and insufferable Facebook vacation diaries, Eugene Thacker’s sharp-elbowed observations about the endless stupidity that is all of us is perversely joyous.

For the first three-quarters of the book, Infinite Resignation is a collection of short musings and aphorisms, a stylistic nod to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Aphorisms on Love and Hate and itself a form of nihilistic statement (“What’s the point of trying to impose overarching connection and narrative on things? That would really just be an indulgence of our own hubris.”). And while I can respect the ethos, I do have to confess that reading some 200 pages of unconnected and various thoughts can be fairly exhausting. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend reading this book straight through until the latter third. In those pages, Thacker writes several very readable essays about different philosophers who have impacted his thought. Some of the figures are familiar, like Kierkegaard, while others are a more obscure surprise. One of those surprises is Emil Cioran, who, after you read about his death, you’ll never be able to forget.

In all, this book is a balm to my spiteful, shrivelled heart, and whether you want to embrace your inner misanthrope or just should, this book is a (relatively, for the genre) fun and approachable way to do it.

Reviewed By:

Author Eugene Thacker
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 397 pages
Publisher Repeater
Publish Date 2018-Jul-17
ISBN 9781912248193 Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Philosophy


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