zek's Reviews > species being and other stories
species being and other stories
This collection of short pieces by one half of the Monsieur Dupont group is a opaque, playful, and cerebral read that requires patience, careful attention, and rewards the reader based on how much they put into it. Expanding on themes from Nihilist Communism, two of the central ideas explored herein are the irreducible, constant nature of revolt against dominant social relations and how organizations, by virtue of their form, might turn the forces which recuperate and co-opt the revolutionary drive into instruments for furthering the development of communism. The author tackles these subjects in a largely non-polemical style, eschewing a simple argumentative structure for a variety of forms incorporating imaginary dialogues, one-sided correspondences, pseudo-parables, historical anthropologies, brief vignettes from daily life, and loose essays. This book really breaks out many of the widespread, reductive notions about organization that predominate anarchist communities and presents an entirely new perspective that is unlike anything I've ever read before. The style gets dense at times, but always remains adventurous and evocative, and it is the kind of writing that screams for multiple readings: not only to increase comprehension but to revel in the gorgeous, fluid language he deploys. I found that while the first few sections were certainly thought-provoking, it wasn't until the Dialogues section and after that I truly began to be blown away by what I was reading, and from there until the end I could not put it down. The conclusion in particular left me a bit breathless. Not for everyone, certainly, but for readers looking for a thoughtful analysis of organization, revolt, and other issues which are central to anarchism but usually only receive cursory examination, species being will occupy a privileged place on your bookshelf.
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