Department of Anthropology

Alex Wilkinson: Slow Modernity

Mon, September 23, 2013 | SAC 5.118

12:00 PM

"Slow Modernity: How the ghosts stole the kisses"

A talk by Alex Wilkinson, Department of History, Lancaster University

From Kafka, Letters To Milena: "Writing letters... means to denude oneself before the ghosts, something for which they greedily wait.  Written kisses don’t reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.  It is on this ample nourishment that they multiply so enormously.  Humanity senses this and fights against it and in order to eliminate as far as possible the ghostly element between people and to create a natural communication, the peace of souls, it has invented the railway, the motor car, the aeroplane.  But it’s no longer any good, these are evidently interventions being made at the moment of crashing.  The opposing side is so much calmer and stronger; after the postal service it has invented the telegraph, the telephone, the radiograph.  The ghosts won’t starve, but we will perish."

For further information please contact Adriana Dingman at

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