Intoxication and Acceleration: The Politics of Immanence

  • Benjamin Noys


In his notes on his first experiment in taking hashish, on 18 December 1927, Walter Benjamin records a series of experiences that might now have some sense of familiarity or prescience: ‘aversion to information. Rudiments of a state of rapture. Great sensitivity to open doors, loud talk, music’ (2006, p. 20). The sense of rapture and sensitivity speaks to an experience of connection and intensification that is one of the tropes of later discourses of intoxication. Benjamin traces out in advance a certain line that will be taken-up about intoxication as an experience of immanence and immersion in the world. It is this discourse I wish to probe and critique here in relation to experiences of acceleration and immanence. Drugs, in this discourse, promise a rush, a speed, which does not lift us out of the world but casts us into the world.


Drug Addict Creative Destruction Ecstasy User Dance Floor Contemporary Capitalism 
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© Benjamin Noys 2015

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  • Benjamin Noys

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