Music for a blind idiot god: Towards a weird ecology of noise

Lockwood, Dean (2010) Music for a blind idiot god: Towards a weird ecology of noise. In: ‘Bigger than Words, Wider than Pictures’: Noise, Affect, Politics, 1-3 July 2010, University of Salford.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This paper is about how the horror of noise has been expressed in the work of some writers, fiction and theory, who have detected a certain alien weirdness lurking in the human voice. I link this to Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of ‘becoming-animal’, in which a ‘strange ecology’ is described. ‘We sorcerors’, they say, are drawn to experimental alliances with nature. The ‘sorceror’ is admitted to a multitudinous, teeming space and opened up to the immanent alien. H. P. Lovecraft’s weird fiction frequently deals with alien simulacra of human language and speech. This is speech as human-alien alliance. In Thomas Ligotti’s fiction, too, we find becoming articulated as speech-noise. Apocalypse is imagined as ecstatic choral annihilation in which all souls merge into a great ‘black unity’. For Ligotti, we are the suffering puppets of a Schopenhauerian Will akin to Lovecraft’s ‘blind idiot god’, Azathoth. Nevertheless, what Deleuze and Guattari call ‘becoming zero’ can be associated with an affirmative thought of noise ontology, a furore which is sounded more from Bataille's 'Mouth' than from Azathoth’s mad musicians. As the head is thrown back in joyful frenzy, the mouth opens, screams ejaculate and rend with nature’s explosive propagation, like a blossoming flower or the racket of an anus.

Additional Information:This paper is about how the horror of noise has been expressed in the work of some writers, fiction and theory, who have detected a certain alien weirdness lurking in the human voice. I link this to Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of ‘becoming-animal’, in which a ‘strange ecology’ is described. ‘We sorcerors’, they say, are drawn to experimental alliances with nature. The ‘sorceror’ is admitted to a multitudinous, teeming space and opened up to the immanent alien. H. P. Lovecraft’s weird fiction frequently deals with alien simulacra of human language and speech. This is speech as human-alien alliance. In Thomas Ligotti’s fiction, too, we find becoming articulated as speech-noise. Apocalypse is imagined as ecstatic choral annihilation in which all souls merge into a great ‘black unity’. For Ligotti, we are the suffering puppets of a Schopenhauerian Will akin to Lovecraft’s ‘blind idiot god’, Azathoth. Nevertheless, what Deleuze and Guattari call ‘becoming zero’ can be associated with an affirmative thought of noise ontology, a furore which is sounded more from Bataille's 'Mouth' than from Azathoth’s mad musicians. As the head is thrown back in joyful frenzy, the mouth opens, screams ejaculate and rend with nature’s explosive propagation, like a blossoming flower or the racket of an anus.
Keywords:noise, voice, alien, becoming-animal, Deleuze and Guattari, weird fiction, H.P. Lovecraft
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:7885
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 11:28

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