Royal Remains The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty
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"The king is dead. Long live the king!" In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereignand the right to rule was immediately transferrable to the next monarch in line upon the king's death. In The Royal Remains,Eric L. Santner argues that the "carnal" dimension of thestructures and dynamics of sovereignty hasn't disappeared from politics. Instead, it migrated to a new locationthe life of the peoplewhere something royal continues to linger in the way we obsessively track and measure the vicissitudes of our flesh. Santner demonstrates the ways in which democratic societies have continued many of the rituals and practices associated with kingship in displaced, distorted, and usually, unrecognizable forms. He proposes that those strange mental activities Freud first lumped under the category of the unconsciouswhich often manifest themselves in peculiar physical waysare really the uncanny second life of these "royal remains," now animated in the body politic of modern neurotic subjects. PairingFreud with Kafka, Carl Schmitt with Hugo von Hofmannsthal,and Ernst Kantorowicz with Rainer Maria Rilke, Santner generates brilliant readings of multiple texts and traditions of thought en route to reconsidering the sovereign imaginary. Ultimately, The Royal Remainslocates much of modernityfrom biopolitical controversies to modernist literary experimentsin this transition from subjecthood to secular citizenship. This major new work will make a bold and original contribution to discussions of politics, psychoanalysis, and modern art and literature.
List price: $33.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/15/2011
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
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|The Stages of the Flesh: Shakespeare, Schmitt, Hofmannsthal|
|The Poet's Two Bodies: Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge|