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Hontology: Depressive Anthropology and the Shame of Life

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Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx has had an enormous influence on recent thought about the fate of human capabilities in late capitalism, especially in Europe. Hontology explores a road not taken in Specters of Marx - the idea that shame is the route by which we access the capabilities for living that are abrogated in modernity. More particularly still, the book considers the loss of the New World as an horizon in which these abrogated capabilities were still in play, and the inhabitants of the New World as presenting forms of life before which Europeans felt shame in comparison with their own. Finally, the book discusses what might take the place of the New World now that its productive horizon of shame has receded from view.

Author: Payne Mark
Publisher: ZERO BOOKS
Pages: 70
ISBN: 9781785357312
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2018

Mark Payne is Professor in the Department of Classics and the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the literary imagination and its recursive effects on our everyday life worlds. His first book, Theocritus and the Invention of Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2007) brought recent theories of fiction to bear on pastoral as the first fully fictional world of the ancient literary imagination. His second book, The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination (The University of Chicago Press, 2010) looked at how poets from antiquity to the twentieth century engage with the lives of other animals. It received the 2011 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. He has published and lectured widely in the fields of poetry, poetics, animal studies, and the environmental humanities.

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