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Itself Paperback – February 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Atropos Press (February 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983173443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983173441
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,719,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"We experience in Itself a sense of freedom (emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical) that is rare in writing, let alone in philosophistical writing . . . a transcending from the Heideggerian dwelling to the Baumian dreaming." transdisciplinarypsych.org/GIobbi_Itself_Baum.pdf

More About the Author

http://www.armoredpenguin.com/wordsearch/Data/2011.02/2409/24091159.955.html
Philosophy "Search A Word"

Robert Craig Baum is a philosopher from Long Island, New York. He lives in Vermont with his wife and four boys. ITSELF is the first of three meditations on Heidegger's challenging way of being unconcealed in the relatively untranslatable word "ereignis."

Like his mentors Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Avital Ronell, and Wolfgang Schirmacher, Baum lives and breathes culture, philosophy, film, literature, theatre, and politics in a way that pushes philosophy back into action rather than serve as a higher education object of study or monumentalized form of atrophied "love of wisdom."

from the book's opening:

We need to get over ourselves.

Now.

Despite ourselves, our over-approximations of who we are and what we are capable of doing when thrown into this world, it is important to acknowledge that such a thing called "being" continues on and on with or without us. Why? "Life gives" is revealed in a wholly individuated moment of understanding that is so incredibly powerful and rich it merely shows ereignis yet we still construct it as a problem solved--we have claimed it for ourselves.

Bad call.

Ereignis (life gives) simply doesn't care whether we live or die. Like Gilles Deleuze, we need to realize that thought is a never ending process, one that disallows access to ereignis as the condition of possibility to unconceal the necessity of the urge to being.

Why is this disclosure and approximation of being-in-the-world still a challenge after two and a half millennia of investigation? Because at this point in the deterritorialization of the problem of being, an axiomatic necessity has been revealed, one that begins Mark Danielewski's interdimensional text House of Leaves: this is not for you; or, said again, this is not about you.

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Format: Paperback
Many of us begin the text from the right. Typically it is the bibliography or the index we peruse to see where the writer passes and who passes through her. It is a kind of preliminary test of the reader. If it is someone we know and distrust we find the back pages to be like a photo album from the trip he has been on (and offer for us to join them). The unknown author is being held to a test. There are certain names that must appear in the back pages of certain dwellings. If these names are absent, the merit of text is, well…

Itself gives a gift. The end pages are filled with “acknowledgements” of Dr. Baum. What is intriguing, if not impressive, about these ac/knowledge/ments is not so much the array of thinkers that Dr. Baum calls his mentors and peers, a formidable list, but the care that is apparent is acknowledgement itself. One has the sense, in beginning Itself from the back, that we are dealing not merely with a brilliant and thorough thinker, but with a very human sage. In his authenticity, RCB unconceals an authentic care for Dasein, not a flamboyant display of inauthentic posturing (that is all too typical), but a pathway to understand the intentionality with which Dr. Baum approaches Itself, giving.

To “live a creative life with courage,” if there is anything that we can truly call freedom –this is it- and this is the very thing that Itself gives. We experience in Itself a sense of freedom (emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical) that is rare in writing, let alone in philosophistical writing. Robert Craig Baum has achieved a freedom, and gives Itself as a gift of freedom in the sensitive dwelling, speculating, and dreaming. Perhaps this is the greatest gift that Itself gives; a transcending from the Heideggerian dwelling to the Baumian dreaming.
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