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kvond

About

It is hard to describe what is going on here. I am a novelist, (and a poet), who takes philosophy very seriously. That is to say, the study and examination of ideas, both in their genetic history, and in their contemporary creation, is central to my process of writing fiction and poem. The narrative, the description is exprimit out of this (to make a grammatical conflation). So these pages are a collection of my studies which began from out of a love of Deleuze and Guattari, I would say, though my debt to philosophy is much, much older. For it was his/their trigger-point book Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia which challenged me to discover these schools of thought with which I was unfamiliar (more than a decade ago, when I discovered the book in the St. Marks Bookstore). This lead to a variety of footnote tracing studies which has gone quite far from their source. An engagement with Lacan, deep readings in Continental Feminist philosophy, and a concurrent reading European literature followed; and then came Spinoza–it is hard to trace the full lineage of a thought–whose philosophy has subsumed the entire project of discovery: and I stand on both sides of the Spinoza aisle, reading richly both those of the Della Rocca and the Negri strain. To this Spinozism came a love (and criticism) of Wittgenstein, an appreciation of American Pragmatism, and lastly, the recognition of how the philosophy of Donald Davidson gives a contemporary grammar for the concerns and metaphysics that Spinoza engaged, bringing the Analytic and Continental schools into communication. Rorty was an initial guide in this. All this is combined with an over-riding love for the study of Ancient Greek language, philosophy and literature, and seems to have produced a comprehensive and sociological view of metaphysics, one that not only maintains a Social Theory and critique, but also Autopoietic, cybernetic conceptions of life. Recently, a focus on the life and philosophy of Tomasso Campanella has garnered my attention. He is a philosopher who haunts me in his call for historical redemption, and it may be my aim to show how his thought is enlightening towards the consequences of many of Spinoza’s positions. If I had to quantify, I am a devout materialist, but as a Spinozist, see material under a vector of an affective power, and the capacity to act, which is the focus of both ethical and aesthetic concerns. What this weblog is, is a record of this thought process as it ultimately relates to the production of fiction, which is really my greater love and aim. Hopefully the weblog also serves as a well-spring for other persons, their thoughts and their concerns. As I say, it is a hard thing to describe what is going on here. It is a filing of the categories of my mind.

Addendum to those first thoughts written early on: At this point I would have to add that there is one tripod leg of this process which has formed something of the intellectual kernel of my thinking, and that is my studies of Spinoza’s optical theories, practices and likely experiences, sub-headed in Spinoza’s Foci. In this research, seemingly, an entirely neglected field of Spinoza’s study is engaged, and the work upon historical reality seems to have grounded my entire creative process, formalizing perhaps my belief that the mental is always physical. In order to understand, in order for me to understand, what is going on here, due concentration on Spinoza’s Foci seems required. The process continues.

any thoughts, contact me here: kvdi@earthlink.net

7 responses to “About

  1. Louise August 8, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Hello,

    I’m Louise, a graphic designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. I found your blog on Spinoza some time ago while collecting research material for a project I’m doing on The Ethics.

    Of all the material I’ve gathered on the internet, I think your blog has been the most interesting so far. I’ve found a few key elements through you for the project, such as Borges’ poem and Descarte’s diagrams. It’s been a huge part in helping me conceptualize and putting together my project.

    The project is basically a 9-page booklet that explains Spinoza’s Ethics through simple diagrams and excerpts from the original text. It’s going to be printed right here in Brooklyn, in an extremely limited edition on a two-color silkscreen press. I won’t be making any profit from the publication, since it’s really just a device to promote the printer here in New York.

    It’s “for the love,” as they say, and I’d like to make sure I get it right. I was wondering if you’d be willing to take a look at the rough draft, and give me your input. I would be really grateful for any feedback you could give.

    If you are curious, a small sample of my past work: http://www.hellolouise.com/work
    The printer’s past book projects: http://www.kayrock.org/books/index.html

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Many thanks,

    Louise Ma

  2. Eileen Joy May 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Hi kvond: just stumbled across your weblog and very happy to have found it, as I am also grateful for the really engaged comments you have been contributing to our conversations at In The Middle, so thanks for that as well! Cheers, Eileen

    • kvond May 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm

      Eileen,

      And happy to have found your “In the Middle’ (which I haply found through Nicola’s site). Just wonderful mediations and thoughts.

      K.

  3. Gregory Sams October 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Hi Kvond, Reading your blog and good to see the spark of Spinoza still flashing. I turned to writing after years in the natural/organic food business and a stint as a fractal artist/chaos theory promoter. Chaos theory does do some pretty good underpinning to the ‘everything is conscious’ school of thought and I ended up writing two books that drew upon my understanding of chaos theory.

    The latest one, Sun of gOd, uses a conscious Sun as the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of our cosmic understanding. Once we recognize the (should be obvious) living nature of our local star, the rest of the conscious Universe is pretty inescapable, from grains of sand to galaxies.

    I suspect you would highly enjoy this new book and I do have a small allowance from my publishers for bloggers. So if you would like a copy sent to you then just let me have a land address. You have my email and for more info on the book go to http://www.sunofgod.net.

    Shine on,
    Greg

    • kvond October 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

      One of the interesting things that Stonier brings out (pertaining to my Spinoza’s Idea as Information piece) is that light is very information dense, and that as such the Sun is basically an information source used to structure the organization of the earth. He makes this point in passing, but it did strike me as a signficantly unexpected support for all those imaginary identifications with the Sun as the source of Truth, etc, etc. I’ll definitely email you for a copy of your book.

  4. yves berger January 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Hello,
    My father (John) is actually working on his last book, that he calls : Spinoza’s notebook. It’s not a study, rather more a story that in a strange way could of been told by the philosopher… (but in the present days…)
    It is said that Spinoza used to draw… I even heard Deleuze talking about a drawing of him as a Napolitan revolutionary and indicating this drawing still exist…
    Would you be so kind as to tell us if you know any detail about that subject? (can’t find anything on the net until now…) Thank you for your attention.
    Best regards
    Yves

    • kvond January 22, 2010 at 1:09 am

      Yes, I can’t quite recall where I ran into this Neopolitan revolutionary drawing theory, but it likely was dubious. And there is a Rembrandt painting (I believe) of a young Jewish student that is also hypothesized loosely to be Spinoza, as they lived quite close, and Rembrandt painted Spinoza’s teacher (if I recall). Spinoza did indeed sketch portraits, apparently, the evidence of which is in Colerus’s biography which I have posted on by blog in two parts. And I think there is mention of him doing a self-portrait as a fisherman. Little thought is give to the fact that Spinoza was a tenant of two Master Painters houses, for most of his later adult life (over a decade), and even less attention has been paid to the likelihood that as a lens-grinder and optical instrument maker, in the homes of two master painters, he must of experimented with the camera obscura. (He may even have seen his first lensed painting device in Rembrandt’s studio, as a child). The attested skill of Spinoza’s sketching, his play with lenses and glass, at least to me suggest that he used some sort of camera obscura, and his experiences with the device likely influenced his theory of the imagination, and image (as it also did, in a different way, for Descartes).

      Your father’s book sounds most interesting. I too would like to right a Spinoza-novel, but am unsure just what obscure angle I would like to take.

      [addendum: I did a little check and indeed it was from Colerus's bio that both the Fisherman and the revolutionary story comes. I looked at Nadler's biography which is always a good source, which quotes Colerus at length:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=iSe95FJrfeYC&lpg=PP1&dq=Spinoza%20a%20life%20Nadler&pg=PA204#v=onepage&q=Neopolitian&f=false

      As you can see, the connection between Spinoza and the revolutionary is a bit tenuous, something of an idiomatic association. But, unfortunately this sketch book is lost to history. It certainly would be an interesting thing to look it.]

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