Eric Santner on his “Royal Remains”

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The Royal Remains is a culmination of years of reflection on the conditions of the emergence of modernity, the ways in which it has been underpinned by a pound of ‘spectral yet visceral’ flesh. The book presents a complex politico-theological and psychoanalytic narrative about how the demise of transcendence has left us with a ‘surplus of immanence,’ a bodily too-muchness, an errant fleshy excess that still defines our condition and haunts it. From Marat’s death to Rilke’s Malte, from Kafka’s “Country Doctor” to Foucault’s biopolitical body, I track the palpitations of this surplus and explore the possibilities of developing new ways of living with and through it.

The Royal Remains is a culmination of years of reflection on the conditions of the emergence of modernity, the ways in which it has been underpinned by a pound of ‘spectral yet visceral’ flesh. The book presents a complex politico-theological and psychoanalytic narrative about how the demise of transcendence has left us with a ‘surplus of immanence,’ a bodily too-muchness, an errant fleshy excess that still defines our condition and haunts it. From Marat’s death to Rilke’s Malte, from Kafka’s “Country Doctor” to Foucault’s biopolitical body, I track the palpitations of this surplus and explore the possibilities of developing new ways of living with and through it.

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