Feral Life

Feral Life

Meditations on rewilding and anarchy, by Julian Langer

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“Julian Langer’s “Feral Life: Meditations on Rewilding and Anarchy” is an oddly playful book for these apocalyptic times. From the sardonic use of quotations (from Debord, Kafka, and Emile Armand, to Donald Trump), to the amusing exercises that follow the aphorisms, Langer strikes a nice balance between bemused irreverence and nihilist-inspired desecration of the pillars of Western thought. Langer has a talent for taking complex ideas and making them comprehensible. For example, he takes Bataille’s notion of “surplus” and streamlines it thusly: “The will-to-conserve has uglinesses to it, behind its sentiment and romance. As to-conserve means to deny the impossibility of a present situation, will-to-conserve brings with it the denial of the possible as the manifestation of worldly potential. This brings with it the need to restrict worldly potential, as life-denial.” This is also a deeply personal book, and Langer is at his best when he’s waxing poetic about the organisms who inhabit the local forest, or his own body. His intimate recollections of rejecting his mothers family’s Christianity are a welcome breath of fresh air in a discourse that often falls victim to its own impersonal abstraction. Langer is constantly gesturing towards the unknowable and a genuine awe of the mysterious life process underlays the most breathtaking passages. Embodied and relational, Langer constantly invites his reader inhabit themselves and their world in a deeper way, celebrating the individual over the crowd, the intimate over the mere conceptual. His emphasis never veers from the delightful and terrifying absurdity at the heart of existence and models a kind of existential, contradictory, playfulness that is at once an attack on the techno-industrial world and a retreat from it. Whether he’s warning us not to trust “systematizers,” elaborating on quotes by Fredy Perlman and Uncle Ted (Kaczynski), or daring us to attack the machinery around us, and inside us, he maintains a clever exuberance firmly rooted in a nihilo-anarchic sensibility. A welcome addition to the ongoing body of literature that is against civilisation.” John Henri Nolette, anarchist horror-fiction author


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