Dylan Trigg - The eerie disquiet of the uncanny is at the core of the remembering body, and thus of ourselves. Post-rational aesthetics in which spatial order is challenged by an affirmative ethics of ruin
Dylan Trigg, The Memory of Place: A Phenomenology of the Uncanny, Ohio UP, 2012
“Genuinely unique and a signal addition to phenomenological literature... It fills a significant gap, and it does so with eloquence and force.” -Edward S. Casey
"From the frozen landscapes of the Antarctic to the haunted houses of childhood, the memory of places we experience is fundamental to a sense of self. Drawing on influences as diverse as Merleau-Ponty, Freud, and J. G. Ballard, The Memory of Place charts the memorial landscape that is written into the body and its experience of the world.
Dylan Trigg’s The Memory of Place offers a lively and original intervention into contemporary debates within “place studies,” an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of philosophy, geography, architecture, urban design, and environmental studies. Through a series of provocative investigations, Trigg analyzes monuments in the representation of public memory; “transitional” contexts, such as airports and highway rest stops; and the “ruins” of both memory and place in sites such as Auschwitz. While developing these original analyses, Trigg engages in thoughtful and innovative ways with the philosophical and literary tradition, from Gaston Bachelard to Pierre Nora, H. P. Lovecraft to Martin Heidegger. Breathing a strange new life into phenomenology, The Memory of Place argues that the eerie disquiet of the uncanny is at the core of the remembering body, and thus of ourselves. The result is a compelling and novel rethinking of memory and place that should spark new conversations across the field of place studies."
"Who is Dylan Trigg?
—A most interesting young phenomenologist man.
What has he done?
—He has published The Memory of Place: A Phenomenology of the Uncanny, which I now hold in my hand, perhaps before he is doing so, which is in itself uncanny.
An insight on every page?
—Why yes, it looks that way. For instance, I just opened the book at random to see an excellent argument about the arbitrary divisions between history and memory.
What is most excellent about it, as far as you are concerned?
—Well I've only glanced through it. But what it does is to make the one thing that seems so obvious (the sense of place) become very weird. For instance, Harman on Lovecraft makes a special guest appearance. This weirdness is badly needed in ecological philosophical necks of the wood. I've been trying to make this sort of argument in my way for a little bit.
Is it the sort of book that makes you want to read it all the time, a not unpleasant, slightly evil compulsion?
On a scale of 1 to Fucking Good, where would you put this book?
—Oh, Fucking Good, definitely." - Timothy Morton
Read it at Google Books
"In The Aesthetics of Decay, Dylan Trigg confronts the remnants from the fallout of post-industrialism and postmodernism. Through a considered analysis of memory, place, and nostalgia, Trigg argues that the decline of reason enables a critique of progress to emerge. In this ambitious work, Trigg aims to reassess the direction of progress by situating it in a spatial context. In doing so, he applies his critique of rationality to modern ruins. The derelict factory, abandoned asylum, and urban alleyway all become allies in Trigg's attack on a fixed image of temporality and progress. The Aesthetics of Decay offers a model of post-rational aesthetics in which spatial order is challenged by an affirmative ethics of ruin."
«'Between sublimity and the dissolute, we discover the aesthetics of revulsion', writes the philosopher Dylan Trigg in his recent book The Aesthetics of Decay (2006). Trigg is the latest in a venerable line of thinkers to turn his attention to decay in general and garbage in particular. His book's contention - that the ruin or remnant embodies a mode of 'critical memory' at odds with the sanctification of official monuments and sites of collective recall - may be argued at the level of contemporary cultural theory, but its terms and tone are actually ancient. There seems to be something in the study of ruins, rubbish, junk and trash that means its enthusiasts can't help reverting to awed lists of defunct artefacts. They may begin with more rigorous and abstract ambitions, but time and again it is the details of decay that fascinate its theorists.» - Brian Dillon
«'The Aesthetics of Decay' challenges the common assumption that progress is rational. With analytical rigor and eloquence of argument, Dylan Trigg's book takes the reader on a journey through metaphysics, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, ethics, theology, and music to suggest the opposite: that the modern ruin redefines progress by embodying decline. A remarkable display of erudition and creativity, and written in an engaging and accessible style, this book is an exceptional foray into intriguing subject matter.» - Sally Macarthur
Read it at Google Books
The Aesthetics of Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia, and the Absence of Reason by Dylan Trigg
Aurelio Madrid: …notes on the aesthetics of decay
Interview by Mark Thwaite
Dylan Trigg's blog