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Amniotic Empire


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About the Author

Andrew Spano is Ferdinand de Saussure Fellow at European Graduate School. Until 2020 he was Foreign Expert at Liaoning University in Shenyang, China; Assistant Professor and Academic Director at New York University; and Lecturer at Northeastern University for twenty years. His books include Abdication of the Sovereign Self: The Psycholinguistics of Invalid Synthetic Propositions (Cambridge Scholars); Abduction Topology: The Psycholinguistics of Discourse (Atropos); and HARDSCAPE/ABC (poetry, Atropos). He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the European Graduate School, a master's degree in literature from the University of Vermont, and an undergraduate degree from Norwich University.


Andrew Spano takes us on a thrilling, riveting and very timely journey through our contemporary world. Like Neo in the Wachowskis' film 'The Matrix' he has gradually awakened to a sense that something is fundamentally wrong with it: it appeared to him as a bubble-he aptly names it the 'amnion', or (digital) womb-in which humans craving immortality and readily submitting to a coercive consensus forged by the twin cults of Capitalism and Scientism trade sovereignty for comfort and convenience. His exploration of the 'amnion' is compelling if not exactly new-cf. e.g. Peter Sloterdijk's 'Spheres'-and wide-ranging-perhaps too much so: he takes us on a fast-paced grand tour de force that hardly leaves any milestone of western thought unturned, leaving the passenger on his train of thought at times intrigued and chuckling, at times dazzled and exhausted. Spano endeavours not to make the book overly academic; in practice this means that his narrative style is informal and he forfeits footnotes or endnotes, largely eschews citation and keeps the bibliography surprisingly short, even though he evidently strolls along a myriad of (well-trodden) paths and makes more or less overt references to a vast reservoir of thinkers and ideas. This stylistic choice leaves ample room for his own-frequently compelling-reflections and interpretations of the concepts and theories he taps into, though occasionally one wished for a footnote illuminating his references or clarifying a fleeting thought. The interior design lets the book down a little: I found the relatively large font and narrow line spacing awkward; the index is sketchy and does not correspond to the pagination-this and a few other small things evaded the editor's scrutiny.

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