War after Death : On Violence and Its Limits
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War After Death: On Violence and Its Limits, examines forms of violence that regularly occur in actual wars but do not often factor into the stories we tell about war. These stories - from Homer and Virgil to Kant, Clausewitz, Goya, Freud, Schmitt, and Derrida - revolve invariably around killing and death. Recent history demonstrates that body counts are more necessary than ever; but the fact remains that war-and-death is only part of the story - an essential but ultimately small part. Beyond killing, there is no war without attacks upon the built environment, ecosystems, personal property, artworks, archives, and intangible traditions. Such violence is rarely even classified as violence because it does not represent a grave threat to human lives. The book argues, however, that the destruction of nonhuman or nonliving things deserves to be called violence; and further that such violence is a constitutive dimension of all violence - including violence against the living. In addition, War After Death offers a rethinking of psychoanalytic approaches to war and the theory of the death drive that underlies them.