War lays bare death and our relation to it. And in the wars-or
more precisely the memories of war-of the twentieth century, images
of the deaths of countless faceless or nameless others eclipse the
singularity of each victim's death as well as the end of the world
as such that each death signifies.
Marc Crépon's The Thought of Death and the Memory of
War is a call to resist such images in which death is no
longer actual death since it happens to anonymous others, and to
seek instead a world in which mourning the other whose mortality we
always already share points us toward a cosmopolitics. Crépon
pursues this path toward a cosmopolitics of mourning through
readings of works by Freud, Heidegger, Sartre, Patocka, Levinas,
Derrida, and Ricœur, and others. The movement among these writers,
Crépon shows, marks a way through-and against-twentieth-century
interpretation to argue that no war, genocide, or neglect of people
is possible without suspending how one relates to the death of
another human being.
A history of a critical strain in contemporary thought, this
book is, as Rodolphe Gasché says in the Foreword, "a profound
meditation on what constitutes evil and a rigorous and illuminating
reflection on death, community, and world."
The translation of this work received financial support from the
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology
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