Do you believe in ghosts? Each year, Halloween presents the usual images of ghosts, skeletons, and witches – but these ideas aren’t just the domain of imagination or trick-or-treating. There is also a philosophical concept of embracing ghosts.
It’s called hantology, and it might just make you a believer.
French philosopher Jacques Derrida invented the word hauntology in his 1993 lecture Marx’s ghost.
Derrida was an eccentric man, and the words “hauntology” and “ontology” are identical when spoken in French.
Ontology It is the philosophical study of existence and being, dating back to ancient Greece. In Derrida’s mind, ontology was surrounded by the phenomenon of huntology, a state of non-existence.
Hauntology is that strange area where time collapses and our memories and past associations haunt our minds, like a ghost.
Haunted by the past and the future
In his lecture, Derrida cited Shakespeare’s Hamlet, both through the ghost of Hamlet’s father and especially the phrase “time is out of joint”.
Hoontology is not just about looking at your past experiences, it’s looking forward. You are haunted by the future – or at least haunted by a future that never happened.
Are you in the job you planned ten years ago? Do you live in the house you dreamed of when you were younger? Are these unfulfilled dreams weighing you down? I dare ask, do these unfulfilled expectations haunt you?
The English theorist Mark Fisher called this concept “cancelled futures” and linked it to cultural stagnation. in 2014 lecture Bemoan the little progress in music and movies: the endless repetition and recycling of old ideas, only in high definition.
Fisher was an important catalyst in the transformation of ghosts. Together with music journalist Simon Reynolds, Fisher captured Derrida’s aura by analyzing pop culture, music, and film through a thorny lens: looking at how contemporary culture is haunted by our impossible pasts and futures.
This field of “spectral studies” developed in the new millennium mainly through blogging. The traditional idea of ghosts has evolved from a supernatural phenomenon (imaginary or otherwise) into a philosophical concept, which is hotly debated in the digital world.
Inhabited popular cultures
Many creators have embraced the idea and connotations of the ghost. Richard Littler’s blog Scarfolk (2013-) imagines a fictional English village stuck forever in 1979. Retro electronic musicians Ghost Chest Chronicles Sticker (2004-), seems to be picking up a file Audio recording From a parallel world outside time.
Hauntology also describes post-traumatic stress-like anxiety for those born in the 60s and 70s. Bob Fisher nicknamed it “Haunted GenerationChildren of this age grew up in the age of the ‘comfortable bug,’ Fischer says, consuming a lot of media—particularly television.
Not all of them are suitable for children.
Think of movies like water slips (1978) with its blood-soaked fields and scary bunnies, or those hazy John Bertwee/Tom Baker-era episodes of Doctor Who.
Are you in an age when you remember the grainy black and white ghost pictures you saw as a kid in Osborne Unknown world: ghosts (1977) Still scaring you? Do you remember the screaming cries in the Disney Reading and Recording book haunted palace (1970) Still sending shivers down your spine?
A lot of tragic writing discusses artifacts of popular culture like this one, and the way they haunt our minds through recurring memories that come back again and again.
walking with ghosts
Films such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), and especially his location in the spacious and secluded Overlook Hotel, strongly reflect the main features of stomatology. The emotional breakup of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) reflects the deeply tragic breakdown of time within the hotel’s walls.
People and events from past decades appear and influence his behaviour. Then, of course, there are the ghosts of these two little girls in their blue dresses.
This depiction of the ghosts we’ve come to know coming back to us wearing the clothes they used to wear in life reflects a long tradition. Hamlet’s father returns in battle armor. The ghosts of a Charles Dickens Christmas Carol are decked out in their burial suits.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that ghosts began appearing in their omnipresent white sheets, most notably in the works of M.R. James. in James Oh, whistle and I’ll come to you boy (1904), a vacationing academic inadvertently evokes a terrifying entity littered with bed sheets.
So, in a sense, the aura science brought us back full circle, back to these thoughts of ghosts we knew from our lives that are coming back to haunt us again.
Now you know it, hauntology is a name you can call those slightly frightening memories of your childhood, or that nagging feeling that you took a wrong turn in life somewhere along the way.
Whether the ghosts are the Scooby-Doo-style ghosts that haunt us around ancient castles, or the psychic ghosts that sweep over our minds, Hantology is everywhere.
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