ERIC SANTNER ON CREATURELY LIFE PDF

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Access options available:. ISBN: Creatures come in many different shapes and sizes, especially in the horror genre. In the Cold War era of low-budget "creature features," there appears a whole bestiary of liminal, monstrous beings—vampires, mummies, werewolves, witches, zombies, giant animals and just plain blobs. 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. Creatures—those beings that appear repulsively nonhuman and exist in close proximity to the animal or beast—are at the same time always created.

Perhaps it is this strange "creativity" specific to creatures that both threatens the various cultural, social and political boundaries and, contributes to their re-fortification by the end of such films. The concept of the creature, however, and its relation to a whole set of terms—creation, creator, creativity—are not exclusive to horror films. The concept is, of course, a theological one, formulated at length in medieval Christian theology.

In the theological context, creatures are not aberrations but are in 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? Answering this question meant asking whether or not creatures—and in particular human creatures—contained some aspect of the divine within themselves.

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. By the time of Bonaventure and Aquinas, the derivation and dependence of creatures on a sovereign creator enabled a host of related concepts—the "Great Chain of Being," as well as the introduction of quasi-medical terminology of the "corruption," "pollution" and "pestilences" of the human creature.

Eric L. Santner's On Creaturely Life deals with neither of these kinds of creatures. This omission, however, is itself noteworthy. The uniqueness of Santner's book is to have articulated the contours of the space between the early modern, onto-theological creature and the contemporary, cultural representations of the monstrous. To say that Santner's book identifies the status of the "creaturely" in modernity only begins to get at the spaces opened up by On Creaturely Life. In contrast to the medieval-Christian tradition, in which the creature is always derived from and striving toward 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 these writers. In the opening sections of his book, Santner pays particular attention to the work of Rilke and Heidegger as they each engage the question of the creature.

For Rilke, animals participate in what he famously calls "the open," that mode Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald

Access options available:. ISBN: Creatures come in many different shapes and sizes, especially in the horror genre. In the Cold War era of low-budget "creature features," there appears a whole bestiary of liminal, monstrous beings—vampires, mummies, werewolves, witches, zombies, giant animals and just plain blobs. 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.

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On Creaturely Life : Rilke, Benjamin, Sebard

On Creaturely Life 2. The Vicissitudes of Melancholy 3. Toward a Natural History of the Present 4. Philosophy: General Philosophy. You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. Outside the USA, see our international sales information.

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