Can We Save What We Have Destroyed? Transmitting Literature hélène merlin-kajman Translated by Marta Figlerowicz "To save" (sauver): in recent years, this verb has become pervasive. We need to save our planet, animal species on their way to extinction, cultures and languages menaced by globalization. But we also need to save schools, writing and literature, research, the university, and the humanities themselves. All told, we need to save humanity, nature and culture alike. This strange panic betrays a strange unreadiness. Rescuers perform their work of "saving" during disasters and emergencies, and especially during accidents. Thus, we say, "We have to save the furniture." And, "Women and children first." Through such rhetoric we figure our future only in terms of life itself, of human beings and things we need for our survival. The task we keep giving ourselves is a radical one: that which we cannot save will disappear or die. It will not transform itself into something else, it will not continue becoming. A catastrophe--be it political, such as a genocide, or natural, such as a tsunami--has suddenly forced history into step with itself. We assume that we are at fault, that to achieve salvation--salvation and rescue by
Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 20, 2011
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