The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (Paperback)Eric L. Santner (author)
Paperback 288 Pages
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The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (Paperback)
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'The king is dead. Long live the king'! In early modern Europe, the king's body was literally sovereign - and 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 this carnal dimension of sovereignty hasn't disappeared from politics. Instead, it has migrated to a new location - the life of the people - where 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 unconscious - which often manifest themselves in peculiar physical ways - are really the uncanny second life of these royal remains, now animated in the body politic of modern neurotic subjects. Pairing Freud 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 Remains" locates much of modernity-from biopolitical controversies to modernist literary experiments - in 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.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 mm
"Eric Santner's The Royal Remains stands out, not only as the most important book on political philosophy of the last decade, but as a classic at the level of Walter Benjamin's 'Critique of Violence' or Ernst Kantorowicz's The King's Two Bodies. It prolongs their analyses into today's world of micro-politics, raising the key question of what happens to the king's other sublime body in a democratic society where the people-collectively-are the new sovereign. My reaction to reading this book is of wonder and awe; it is as if a new Benjamin (with the added features of Freud and Lacan) is walking among us." -Slavoj Zizek"
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