Alexander Landfair essay peaking to us from Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud tells us that death isn't just the end of life but a force that gives life its shape and texture. Regarding the physical world, Freud's observation shows merit. Take the cemeteries in the centers of Paris, London, New York and Rome, for example, each an emblem of the way cultures grow out of shared responses to death. To look back in time in search of the earliest evidence of human culture, you would have to look beyond the earliest pottery, made in southern China, and past the cave paintings at Lascaux to the first burial sites, in modern-day Israel, where the dead were tucked into the earth in a fetal position, exiting the world just as they'd entered. When applied to the world online, however, Freud's argument seems to miss. Internet culture is the one exception--that is, the richest and most expansive culture in history is the only culture not founded by death. 81 In the beginning, Facebook's founders were nearly immortal. Ten years ago, the site was exclusive to college students, a demographic whose leading cause of death is "accidents" followed by suicides, then murders,
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 17, 2013
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