Reading Through-the-Earth. Towards the Posthuman Aesthet(h)ics

Critical Writing
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

We are living-with our embodied and embedded lives now-here. Our entities are entangled not only with other (human and non-human) entities but also in the present time and local space, which are never only present and local. They should be rather considered as the assemblage of past-present-future with various forms of the glocality.

Merging Timothy Morton's notion of hiperobjects with Karen Barad's onto-epistemology turns us towards the posthuman aesthet(h)ics. According to our living-with now-here, I argue that we cannot differentiate ethics and aesthetics. We rather need to re-lecture Jacques Ranciére's concept of the distribution of the sensible in a posthuman manner.

For this purpose, I propose to analyse the novel "Drach" by Szczepan Twardoch. It is one of the most important contemporary Polish novels. It was translated into German (translation awarded with Brücke Berlin Literatur Award) and French. It is an Upper Silesian saga of two families, but the book's essential part is the narrator – the title character, Drach. They are a synonym of Earth, they have no gender, they speak all languages (so actually the book is written in Polish, German, and Silesian languages), they are in everything, and they are everything. Places and times do not matter to Drach, as well as the lives and deaths of human and non-human entities.

In Drach's perspective, everything happens here and now. The stories of Magnor and Gemander families are comparable to the history of subsequent generations of deer from nearby forests. I would like to propose the eco-logical reading of the novel, which means reading throughthe-oikos, through-the-home, or through-the-Earth. I would like to ask how a reading of Szczepan Twardoch's "Drach" can change our perception of the Earth, the time, space, and the living. Understanding the novel's multi-layered message can bring us closer to appreciating the rules of the posthuman community.

I point out that the concept of Drach is close to Gaia or Medea hypotheses, but I argue that Szczepan Twardoch has created a new notion – "the Drach hypothesis", which can be fundamental for comprehending the posthuman aesthet(h)ics.

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Cecilie Klingenberg