At the moment, I draw much blood from the new weird fiction, especially short stories, novels, and novellas of China Miéville. Even though I am always for lucid prose, his untamed narrative and unruly use of language strangely became a center of gravity I certainly do not wish to leave anytime soon. The awe, excitement, and profound curiosity that had put The Dusty Hat’s main character within the orbit of the man-in-the-dusty-hat are the sentiments that align me with Miéville.
Since I do have a somewhat of a background in science, and trained in Science Studies, science in all of its forms, faces, and tentacles has always been and continues to be a major source of inspiration for me. For the past five years, though, that interest particularized in physics. I started reading books written by physicists for the, lets say, non-physics audience (I do not like the term “lay people”). Of all I read so far, Lee Smolin, Carlo Rovelli, Jim Al-Khalili, and Fay Dowker’s books, talks, and podcasts gave me the most inspiration. In this conjuncture, Karen Barad’s brilliant work, introducing one side of the universe to the other, is now one of my anchor points.
Within my own intellectual realm, within where I work, think, write, and teach, to this day, two separate lecture series has been the driving force in all my intellectual production: Foucault’s College de France Lectures, and Deleuze’s Spinoza lectures. In the former it is fascinating to see the thought process of Foucault in especially how he de- and re-assembles his materials and concepts. Not the content, but the gathering and dispersing, bringing all together and then letting them to fall apart… In Deleuze something quite different lures me in. It is the unrelenting commitment to making affirmative readings through a text’s most uncommon offshoots, through its kernels that seem to form the atomic nuclei of an unbreakable whole. (And on that point, Deleuze’s Spinoza is probably very different from Spinoza’s Spinoza. I say probably because I have hard time seeing the things Deleuze sees in him. Oh well…. this is the Deleuzian century, not Spinozan.)
In addition to all these, the courses I teach continue to be a major source of inspiration for me. It might seem counterintuitive for someone’s own course to be that. And yet, as I consider my courses as “arguments in making”, or a “problematizations under construction”, not only do I learn from my own preparations, but also the improvisational part of the lectures, together with questions from students, and discussions taking place during the class time are invaluable to formulate the arguments I am trying to make. Most of my mindworms are either formed during the course of my lectures, or resolved afterwards. Eg. Tentacularities.