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Negative Horizon: An Essay in Dromoscopy

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Negative Horizon is Paul Virilio's most original and unified exploration of the key themes and ideas running through his philosophy. Provocative and forceful, it sets out Virilio's theory of dromoscopy: a means of apprehending speed and its pivotal - and potentially destructive - role in contemporary global society. Applying this theory to Western political and military hi ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 27th 2006 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published 1984)
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Nate D
In some ways, this resembles poetry. Virilio can become very abstract in places, and it sometimes feels like he's letting linguistic play and word association guide his thinking, or at least uses these as tools to generate new concepts to work back into the progression of his thought. In this way, the concepts both generate and are generated by the words that express them. This may be entirely wrong, and this is admittedly the first Virilio I've read besides assorted quotations in other works. I ...more
Daniel Coffeen
May 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My most recent fixation. Virilio does such a nice job of performing tight, phenomenological readings of the effects of speed. Look at his essay, Dromoscopy, where he carefully considers the car as a cinema engine. It is so smart, surprising, and thorough.

One aspect of Virilio that used to throw me off is his polemic: he dreads the societal impetus for increasing speed as it leaves the body behind. That is, as we accelerate ever faster, the body and the sensual world begins to disappear. But wher
Intermittently convincing.

What impressed me:
1. The engine is a second sun, giving us a new kind of light by which we see. As we accelerate down the road, the engine hurries more and more of the world to us. We are seeing more, though our vision is distorted, compressed by the vehicle's speed.

2. The "pure destination" annihilates departure. The ambition of speed at its ultimate extreme is a state of ceaseless arrival, with no ability to quit arriving. As addressed below, I think Virilio overstate
Ruta Buciunaite
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
"Negative Horizon" is Virilio's exploration of speed; the relationship between speed, time and perception; the rise of a politics of time over territorial politics of space; the way such paradigm shift in understanding influences global democracy with regards to the concept of war, and so on. Very poetic, provocative, intricate. Not an easy read - to be honest, I could comprehend perhaps 15% of this, but the understanding of what Virilio's arguing - at times when I am able to reach it - is very ...more
Molly Dilworth
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virilio begins the forward (entitled 'The Enterprise of Appearances):"The nature that places the mask of the visible over the invisible, is only an appearance corrected by a transparence." (Victor Hugo), then begins talking about how he has taken up painting.
He had me from the very first sentence.
Many sticky philosophical problems elegantly untangled.
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
Weirdly misogynist and able-bodied-ist. Open Sky was much better.
Aug 19, 2008 is currently reading it
The introduction is great
Evan Fillon
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Whoa. This one started a chain-reaction of thoughts for me that seems to be increasing in speed! Can be tough at times, but that's to be expected.
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Paul Virilio is a cultural theorist and urbanist. He is best known for his writings about technology as it has developed in relation to speed and power, with diverse references to architecture, the arts, the city and the military.
More about Paul Virilio