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Type: Journal article
Title: The breath of life and death
Author: Jaworski, K.
Citation: Cultural Critique: an international journal of cultural studies, 2014; 86(Winter 2014):65-91
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1534-5203
Statement of
Katrina Jaworski
Abstract: In contemporary Western culture, death is often made separate from life. The dying body is rendered invisible, even though sociocultural performances of death foreshadow and signify death and dying. This article challenges this signifying by arguing that death and dying are constituted performatively through the inscriptive surfaces of living, dying, and dead bodies, rendered visible by breath and breathing. The article begins by reflecting on the experience of witnessing the author's mentor's dying breath. Thinking through the dying breath, it then questions to what extent the separation of death from life is maintained by what is unspoken of the dying and dead body. Finally, the article considers the analytical implications of the argument for those who remain behind to grieve for, and remember, the dying bodies, and those to whom those bodies once belonged
Rights: Copyright 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota
DOI: 10.5749/culturalcritique.86.2014.0065
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