Bodies of Meaning: Studies on Language, Labor, and by David McNally

By David McNally

Our bodies of which means offers a lively problem to postmodernist theories of language and politics which detach language from human our bodies and their fabric practices. starting with the 'historical our bodies' theorized via Marx, Darwin, and Freud, McNally develops an alternate account of language which attracts at the paintings of Mikhail Bakhtin and Walter Benjamin and up to date contributions to materialist feminism. In bringing the physique again into language, this booklet makes a massive contribution to present debates in social and political conception.

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46 This passage is typically Heideggerian in its substitution of grandiose declaration for reasoned argumentation. Let us, however, briefly consider Heidegger's claim that Nietzsche "in no way" means to suggest "that man originates from the animal and more precisely from the 'ape'" in light of a single passage from Daybreak. Â " And for those who want to suggest that man can escape from his animal origin, Nietzsche has a dismissive retort: "The becoming drags the has-been along with it: why should an exception to this eternal spectacle be made on behalf of some little star or for any little species upon it!

But before turning to that question, it is worth noting how the reading of Nietzsche that has been especially influential in postmodernist circlesthat of Martin Heideggerextends Nietzsche's revolt against biology and animality. Heidegger was well aware of Nietzsche's attention to the human body. " 45 For Heidegger, the organismic  < previous page 36 page_35 next page > 37 < previous page page_36 next page > Page 36 character of the body is something animalistic and inessential; the body must be understood metaphysically.

Yet, can one live fully inside oneself? Is not Zarathustra regularly drawn back to the crowd, to followers, to children and women? Acknowledging this, Nietzsche affirms absolute separation as the hardest, most severe calling, the only way to live without identity, or stability. 59 One of the Nietzsches with whom we must contend, then, is the (post)modern mythmaker who conjures away the natural and social world with his myth of self-creation and self-overcoming. Â . " Like Plato, who he repeatedly attacked, and with a similar aristocratic gesture, Nietzsche repeatedly turns his back on the world of the body, the senses, and everyday life.

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