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The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness [Paperback]

Eric Cazdyn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 16 2012
In The Already Dead, Eric Cazdyn examines the intersection among contemporary medicine, globalization, and present-day political and cultural practices - producing a condition and concept he names "the new chronic." Cazdyn argues that as in contemporary medicine, which uses targeted drug therapies and biotechnology to manage rather than cure diseases, global capitalism does not aim for resolution but rather a continual state of crisis management that perpetrates the iniquities of the status quo. Engaging critical theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, Cazdyn explores the complexities of crisis, paying particular attention to how it affects perceptions of time and denies alternate ways of being and forms of thinking. To resist this exploitative crisis state, which he terms "the global abyss," Cazdyn posits the concept of "the already dead," a condition in which the subject (medical, political, psychological) has been killed but has yet to die. Embracing this condition, he argues, allows for a revolutionary consciousness open to a utopian future. Woven into Cazdyn's analysis are personal anecdotes about battling leukaemia and struggling to obtain Canadian citizenship during his illness. These narratives help to illustrate his systemic critique, one that innovatively reconfigures the relationship between politics, capitalism, revolution, and the body.

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"In The Already Dead, Eric Cazdyn establishes what he calls a non-moralizing critique of capitalism, starting from the premise that crisis does not symptomize the failure of the system but rather its proper functioning. He is committed to a systemic, radical critique that keeps open the possibilities of revolution. This is a bracing and provocative book, both ideationally and stylistically." Rei Terada, University of California, Irvine "This immensely ambitious and unclassifiable theoretical work begins by projecting a new kind of temporality - the chronic - out of medical practice in order to range across the political, the cultural, the national, the autobiographical, and the economic, touching in passing on film and globalization, and in the process unearthing new life forms: the already dead, the undead, and the always already dead. It is an exciting journey." - Fredric Jameson, Duke University

About the Author

Eric Cazdyn is Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of "The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan;" editor of "Trespasses: Selected Writings of Masao Miyoshi, " (both published by Duke University Press); and coauthor, with Imre Szeman, of" After Globalization."

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good condition, questionable book :\ Dec 24 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was fine as far as condition if i should make a comment twards that.but the book itself i don't know if i like it. But that might be me. The cover was amazing, seemed insanely relevant, but he goes on too many tangents to get to the point, where you generally forget that point, and the language seems excessive. I also call it a book of interpretations, where he constantly reads and says what he thinks of others work, thats alright, but i'd think thats left for every individual to do for themselves to both see for themselves and understand for themselves. everyone reading a book of some guys take on a thing, why not just see the thing for yourself.

And to and for those who cannot see, is a good reason to write i book, don't think this one does that
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