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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The International Necronautical Society

Illustration by Nathan Gelgud
“Death is a type of space, which we intend to map, enter, colonize and, eventually, inhabit.”

The International Necronautical Society was founded in August 1999 by Tom McCarthy. Simon Critchley is the organization’s chief philosopher. Tonight they join each other in conversation as part of BAM’s On Truth (And Lies) series. They’ll be talking about literature and philosophy, mostly, but with any luck they’ll cover some of the topics they’re interested in as members of the INS.

The mission of the INS is to explore the “space of death,” and to “construct a craft in which to be transported into this space.” (The INS is probably thinking figuratively when they talk about space and crafts, but we hope it means they’re building something that looks like a spaceship—the fact that they occasionally name-check sci-fi authors is encouraging.) According to their official literature, which you can view below, these “necronauts” patrol the “border zones” of death, which they refer to as a “combat zone.” Read all about electromagnetic waves, Tarkovsky, William S. Burroughs, Jean Cocteau, and Ernest Shackleton’s toes in The Mattering of Matter: Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society.

The INS Founding Manifesto (published 14 December 1999: The Times, London, p. 1):

Need clarification? Tonight’s event is sold out, so unless you’ve already grabbed a ticket, you can’t ask in person, but leave a question in the comments and if Critchley isn’t too busy stalking the parameters of mortality, we’ll get him to answer you below.

1 comment:

  1. Highbrow evening with the shock jocks of British Literature and Philosophy. Nature, language, sex and post-modern cut-up narrative have all been done - so now you're scrabbling in shit-filled back alleys looking to kill death with nouns? But aren't you Necronauts really just creating your own media platform (within the world of the literary 1%)in a deliberate, ambitious attempt to kill Joyce and take his crown? Also - do you guys ever just grab a pint and watch the rugby? Asked with all good humor and respect after an evening in which my head just about exploded from trying to keep up with you.


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