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Terms of the PoliticalCommunity, Immunity, Biopolitics$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242641.001.0001

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Melancholy and Community

Melancholy and Community

(p.27) Melancholy and Community
Terms of the Political
Roberto Esposito
Fordham University Press

Chapter 2 begins by placing these two seemingly contradictory terms in relation: only individuals may be melancholic, and they are so precisely because of their isolation, asociality, or distance from community. This chapter argues instead that melancholy is not something that separates individuals from a community, but that melancholy is the very form and content of community itself. Through a reading of solitude and a yearning for the ever-absent community in Rousseau; the melancholic nature of the Kantian subject; the superimposition of philosophy and melancholy in Heidegger, the chapter calls for a joining of these two terms toward a reading of community that is neither a goal nor an end, neither a presupposition nor a destination, but the condition, both singular and plural, of our complete existence.

Keywords:   Melancholy, Community, Munus, Communitas, Founding myth, Origins, Subjectivity, Political community, Delinquire, Leviathan, Romulus and Remus, Cain and Abel

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