Han, Byung-Chul, et al. The Agony of Eros. MIT Press, 2017.
Young, Dean. The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction. Graywolf, 2010.
Han discusses the loss of mystery and eros in a transparent society. Throughout his cultural theories, Han utilizes the term transparency to address contemporary society’s narcissistic desire to assimilate the external world with the self. This directly connects to our experiences mediated through self-concerned digital lenses. He argues that our obsession with revealing and knowing through digital technology creates a complete loss of distance between people, an element crucial for respect, admiration, and eros. For Han, we live in a society defined by an erasure of the other. The Agony of Eros details the consequences for love and human relationships when the other not longer exists. Appropriating the famous argument that authors such as John Berger also subscribe to, that love is a state of anticipation of gifts that cannot be assured or claimed by the recipient, Han suggests love is a gift from the other—in this sense, eros always includes unpredictability and loss of control. For Han, eros only exists outside the “regime of the ego”; therefore, within an “inferno of the same,” which he observes in contemporary society, he argues that eroticism can no longer exist (1).