Jeff Malpas & Kenneth White, The Fundamental Field: Thought, Poetics, World – Edinburgh University Press, 2021
The Scottish poet Kenneth White and the Australian philosopher Jeff Malpas came together by chance when Malpas heard an interview with White on ABC radio. Malpas contacted White, and from there they exchanged books and ideas. They arranged to meet at White’s place on the Breton coast, where a conversation about poetry and philosophy developed over four days. Inspired by poets from John Donne to Hölderlin, and philosophers from Nietzsche to Heidegger, they discussed the world, place, narrative, language and politics. This book records that conversation.
The Fundamental Field is made up of two essays: the first is by White on Malpas; the second is by Malpas on White. The volume closes with a set of three new philosophical poems by White.
Engages two constellations of ideas – White’s geopoetics and Malpas’ ‘topology/topography’
Perhaps the only work to take up White’s work in a more general way in English
Explores ideas of place and world in a way that is directly informed by the thought of two already well-established figures
When the substantial poetics of Kenneth White meet the conceptual philosophy of Jeff Malpas, what takes place is a fundamental renewal of world-space and a keen sense of living on earth.– Arnaud Villani, author of Gilles Deleuze. La guêpe et l’orchidée
White and Malpas gift us a book of conversations and blurred lines. Poetry and philosophy, the sensory and conceptual, the particularities of location and the possibilities of connection: all arise on the ‘fundamental field’ of place and the wider openings it founds. A closely crafted and wonderfully generous book. – Jessica Dubow, University of Sheffield