So often, monsters are figured as metaphors. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen offers a fascinating example of this when he writes, in “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” that “the monster’s body is a cultural body” (4), suggesting that our monsters are a reflection of culture, abstracted and hideous analogs for real human problems. Cohen writes further that “Monsters are our children. They can be pushed to the farthest margins of geography and discourse, hidden away at the edges of the world and in the forbidden recesses of our mind, but they always return…” (20). Monsters are offspring sent off into the world, detached and disfigured copies that return home to roost.
The last words of Thacker’s prologue suggest that his work will turn this somewhat tiresome argument on its head, moving it in a materialist direction, in which thought becomes matter, wild, amorphous matter: “mists, ooze, blobs, slime, clouds, and muck. Or, as Plato once put it, ‘hair, mud, and dirt'” (9), which makes me want less thought, more guts.