Simone Weil once wrote that "the vulnerability of precious
things is beautiful because vulnerability is a mark of existence,"
establishing a relationship between vulnerability, beauty, and
existence transcending the separation of species. Her conception of
a radical ethics and aesthetics could be characterized as a new
poetics of species, forcing a rethinking of the body's
significance, both human and animal. Exploring the "logic of flesh"
and the use of the body to mark species identity, Anat Pick
reimagines a poetics that begins with the vulnerability of bodies,
not the omnipotence of thought. Pick proposes a "creaturely"
approach based on the shared embodiedness of humans and animals and
a postsecular perspective on human-animal relations. She turns to
literature, film, and other cultural texts, challenging the
familiar inventory of the human: consciousness, language, morality,
and dignity. Reintroducing Weil's elaboration of such themes as
witnessing, commemoration, and collective memory, Pick identifies
the animal within all humans, emphasizing the corporeal and its
issues of power and freedom. In her poetics of the creaturely,
powerlessness is the point at which aesthetic and ethical thinking
Subjects: Philosophy, Film Studies, Language & Literature
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