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Abstract

In his article "Inanimate Speech from Lovecraft to Žižek" Apple Z. Igrek explores an influential line of reasoning associated with our contemporary loss of the Real. The argument describes how the contingencies and nuances of social life have been reduced to an operational, friction-free, and homogeneous realm of signs. Slavoj Žižek contends that our inherently traumatic relationship with the Other is being foreclosed and replaced by an omnipresent technological screen of virtual communication. The danger of this shift, identified as the "digital break," is that it facilitates an extraordinary form of divine violence which strikes back at the social system originally intended to eradicate all things abnormal and destructive. Drawing on H.P. Lovecraft's horror fiction, Igrek proposes another way of thinking through these interrelated motifs of technology, fear, social media, and abject otherness. Instead of presuming a virtual demarcation between radical ambivalence and its all-encompassing, catastrophic assimilation, Igrek suggests that the predominant conceptualization of this so-called rupture is fraught with inconsistencies.

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