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“Becoming Animal, Becoming Other”

“Becoming Animal, Becoming Other”

Modernism, Millennial Jurisprudence, and the Limits of Materialist Subjectivity

(p.213) “Becoming Animal, Becoming Other”
Affective Materialities
Kathryn Van Wert
University Press of Florida

Kathryn Van Wert’s chapter entertains modernism’s experiments with depersonalization, looking to Rainer Maria Rilke and J. M. Coetzee in conversation with political theorist Jean Comaroff to address the body as living “with an open wound” at the height of colonial empire and within post-apartheid discourse. In these wounded modernist bodies, she argues, we may find an emergent material-affective response to the failed ethics of a juridico-political rhetoric dependent on a closed model of mind and body. Van Wert concludes by theorizing an ecological body politic whose openness—affectively and materially—must accept risk and contingency in order to gain vitality within modernity.

Keywords:   Rainer Maria Rilke, J. M. Coetzee, Jean Comaroff, Post-apartheid discourse

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