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Flusser’s Vampyrotheutic Sublime

This short essay suggests that Flusser found in the Vampire Squid a modern sublime: an animal that escapes instrumental mentality and creates a human fear of the unknown. In Vampyroteuthis Infernalis Flusser discussed the cephalopod, which he imagined to be a giant “beast,” and its deep-sea habitat. He was aware of the impossibility of the two species, Vampyroteuthis Infernalis and human, to meet. Such meeting would sublate the subject-object relationship. While he respects the vampire squid and its inhuman Umwelt, Flusser still imagines the creature as an impossibly powerful, alien thing. In this regard, Vampyroteuthis Infernalis and the greatness of its abyss unfold the sublime.

Vampyrotheutic Sublime (PDF 307.42 KB)