Simone Regazzoni
Ponte alle Grazie
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The ecological crisis affecting our planet is a cosmological crisis that forces us today to rethink the very idea of planet and life beyond the human-sized cultural construct we have called “planet Earth.” To do this requires a new philosophy of nature that looks back to what, at the dawn of thought, was called Okeanós: the primordial flux from which everything originates and which envelops everything like a huge womb. This is what Simone Regazzoni sets out to do in this book of naturalistic philosophy that is at once a hand-to-hand with pre-Socratic philosophy, Eastern creation myths, Melville’s Moby Dick, the art of surfing, Turner’s paintings, and the author’s account of his stay on the island of Maupiti, a coral atoll in French Polynesia where the book was written. Philosophical reflection mingles with the sensations that run through the philosopher’s body as he swims or faces the waves on a surfboard in this remote corner of the world, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, not far from the island where, in 1842, Melville stayed for a month after defecting from the whaler Acushnet. Here “the dull sound of distant waves crashing on the reef” seems to show us the way to another dimension of dwelling, one that breaks with the closure of Earth, territories, and boundaries, and opens to a planet Ocean as flux, constant becoming that traverses and unites all living things. Philosophy and Ocean thus meet in an autobiographical writing that appears limpid on the page as if crossed by the blue reflections of the sea.