Abuses by Alphonso Lingis

By Alphonso Lingis

Half travelogue, half meditation, Abuses is a daring exploration of crucial issues in Continental philosophy by means of probably the most passionate and unique thinkers in that culture writing today.A gripping checklist of wants, obsessions, our bodies, and areas skilled in far-off lands, Alphonso Lingis's ebook deals at the least a brand new method of philosophy--aesthetic and sympathetic--which departs from the phenomenology of Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. "These have been letters written to friends," Lingis writes, "from areas i discovered myself for months at a time, approximately encounters that moved me and afflicted me. . . . those writings additionally grew to become now not my letters. i discovered myself in simple terms attempting to converse for others, others greeted purely with passionate kisses of parting."Ranging from the increased Inca fort of Machu Picchu, to the residing rooms of the Mexican elite, to the streets of Manila, Lingis recounts incidents of state-sponsored violence and the revolutionary incorporation of third-world peoples into the circuits of trade of overseas capitalism. Recalling the paintings of such writers as Graham Greene, Kathy Acker, and Georges Bataille, Abuses comprises impassioned debts of silence, eros and id, torture and conflict, the chic, lust and pleasure, and human rituals surrounding carnival and loss of life that happened in the course of his trips to India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bali, the Philippines, Antarctica, and Latin the United States. A deeply unsettling publication by means of a thinker of surprising mind's eye, Abuses will entice readers who, like its writer, "may wish the enigmas and need the discomfiture inside of oneself."

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The next night you and your sisters head for a singles bar, advertised in the Tourism Ministry brochure, featuring ― 113 ― a go-go show of men. Thailand is a matriarchal Garden of Eden. The owner, welcoming you at the door, is an aged queen. The show consists of youths dancing desultorily to Western pop music who occasionally strip of their G-strings. They, you discover, hardly speak any English—selected for their looks from among laborers trucked in from the provinces to work in construction gangs in Bangkok.

Carnaval in Rio. In the Sambódromo, the great escolas de samba parade, dusk to dawn, for four nights. Each escola announces its arrival at the far end of the Sambódromo by first making the night pound and the stars dance with fireworks. The samba begins, the song is sung a cappella during the whole length of the time of the passage. Each escola consists of from two to five thousand dancers. They dance in massed groups, alas , separated by duos of banner-bearers doing intricate dances at speeds the eye cannot follow, enormous floats called alegorias , and passistas —mulatas on spike heels and men doing gymnastic feats.

Space not for the discontent of nature, but for the specific pleasure of theater. We foreigners, gaping at the female voluptuousness affected by these male performers, don't get a lot of what is going on, especially when the numbers are Indochinese female impersonations with Indochinese songs. The cabarets of Bangkok compete in sumptuous costuming and dazzling stage effects; the performers, superlative dancers and poseurs, virtuosos of an enormous range of moods and expressions, queens in realms of colored floodlights and canned music, affect more glorious and hilarious female wiles than one had realized Thai culture had created and foreign cultures exported.

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