In Fantasies of Self-Mourning Ruben Borg describes the formal features of a posthuman, cyborgian imaginary at work in modernism. The book’s central claim is that modernism invents the posthuman as a way to think through the contradictions of its historical moment. Borg develops a posthumanist critique of the concept of organic life based on comparative readings of Pirandello, Woolf, Beckett, and Flann O’Brien, alongside discussions of Alfred Hitchcock, Chris Marker, Béla Tarr, Ridley Scott and Mamoru Oshii. The argument draws together a cluster of modernist narratives that contemplate the separation of a cybernetic eye from a human body—or call for a tearing up of the body understood as a discrete organic unit capable of synthesizing desire and sense perception.
Ruben Borg is Chair of English at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published numerous articles on modernism, has co-edited two books on Flann O’Brien and is the author of The Measureless Time of Joyce, Deleuze and Derrida (2007).
This will be of interest to anyone concerned with European modernism and posthuman theory. It will also engage the interest of film scholars, and readers in continental philosophy.