Atlanta, GA eugene. Such creatures pose threats to the myriad boundaries that demarcate human cultural, social, and political activity human-animal, natural-artificial, civilized-primitive, domestic-foreign, and so on. In other words, such creatures are created, and their creation implies a sovereign creator. In some cases the creature is a by-product of "nature," or rather, of the "revenge of nature.
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Atlanta, GA eugene. Such creatures pose threats to the myriad boundaries that demarcate human cultural, social, and political activity human-animal, natural-artificial, civilized-primitive, domestic-foreign, and so on. In other words, such creatures are created, and their creation implies a sovereign creator.
In some cases the creature is a by-product of "nature," or rather, of the "revenge of nature. Perhaps it is this strange "creativity" specific to creatures that at once threatens the various cultural, social, and political boundaries, and, which ultimately contributes to their re-fortification by the end of such films. It is, of course, a theological concept, one formulated at length in Medieval Christian theology.
In the theological context, creatures are not aberrations but the domain of all that is created and living. This is also, it should be noted, a political-theological issue as well, for the relation between the creator and the created is also a relation between a sovereign power and subjects. If all creatures are created by a sovereign creator-God, then what is the relation of the creatures to God? Do creatures take part in the singular, divine essence, or is the divine essence in each creature in its entirety?
When laterally transposed to the political realm, such questions have interesting ramifications: Is sovereignty held over citizens, divided in parts among all citizens, or is sovereignty within each citizen? While few Medieval philosophers posed such questions this directly, the increasing formalization of the concept of the creature continued to be linked to ideas of political-theological sovereignty. But this omission is itself noteworthy. In contrast to the Medieval-Christian tradition, in which the creature is always derived from and striving towards the divine, Santner focuses on a modern, German-Jewish, literary-philosophical tradition Kafka, Benjamin, Scholem, Rosenzweig, Celan , in which the creature is precisely the life that is exposed and rendered vulnerable.
For Rilke, animals participate in what he famously calls "the open," that mode of uninhibited existence in relation to a surround. Humans, by contrast, are blocked from the open due to the mediations of consciousness, representation, and subject-object relations. For Santner, the importance of the German-Jewish tradition he discusses is that this being "poor-in-world," this exposure to an opaque alterity, is rendered in an explicitly political light. Creaturely life is not simply animal life, and neither does it describe the dialectics of the human-animal boundary.
The creature is bare life exposed before the sovereign exception. The creature is created by a sovereign creator, and creaturely life is what is in fact produced in this state of exception. In Kafka, for instance, the creature is subjected neither to God nor to a secular sovereign power, but to the distributed anonymity of the law, a law that is everywhere and nowhere at once what Santner calls "sovereign jouissance".
Similarly, the contemporary German author W. Sebald offers an understanding of creaturely life as it is lived through the "spectral materialism" of urban spaces, discarded commodities, and media such as photography. Natural history "refers, that is, not to the fact that nature also has a history, but to the fact that the artifacts of human history tend to acquire an aspect of mute, natural being at the point where they begin to lose their place in a viable form of life think of the process whereby architectural ruins are reclaimed by nature.
But it is ultimately tied up with the sovereign exception, and thus the entire pair is what must be questioned. On Creaturely Life does, it is true, participates in an ongoing dialogue concerning the state of exception, sovereign power, "bare life," biopolitics, and so on. But by reframing this dialogue in terms of the creaturely, Santner asks us to think of question of sovereignty as inseparable from the question of animality, and to seek ways of critically intervening in what Agamben calls "the anthropological machine.
On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald by Eric L. Santner - PDF free download eBook
This is Blanchot at the very limits of Hegelianism. Secondly, there is an anti-realist period from the late s to the early s, during which Putnam endorses Downloaded by [Colorado College] at But this devotion, even to the study of religion, has an atheistic character. To state it more pointedly: Scraping Down the Past: The main argument of the book is that we should interpret Putnam in a new way. Augustine falls in seeking a future presence of happiness p. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and creatrely worldwide. Sebald, in a fruitful conver- sation, Santner arrives at an understanding of creaturely life as life captivated by the compulsive repetition of and immersion in historically constituted normative structures.
On Creaturely Life