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"Life's a bitch, and then you don"t die"

postmortality in film and television

Michael Hauskeller

pp. 205-213

Ephemeroi, the ancient Greeks called us: those who live only for a day. Mortality defines our existence. Only the gods are immortal and can hope to live forever. Although (other) animals, too, are mortal, at least they don"t know that they are. They don"t have to worry about it. We, on the other hand, worry about death constantly. Even small children learn very quickly that everyone has to die, even their mums and dads, and even they themselves, and it frightens them. Death, however irrational it may be to fear it, is for most of us a terrifying prospect almost right from the start. Virtually our whole lives are overshadowed by our own (never very far off and always potentially imminent) death, the spectre of non-existence, as well as the death of everything and everyone we love and hold dear. If there is anything that defines us as humans, it is the knowledge of our own mortality. Hence, if we hope to transcend our human existence, to become more and other than human, then we will have to find ways to overcome our mortality. In order to become properly posthuman, if that is what we want, we need to realize postmortality.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137430328_21

Full citation:

Hauskeller, M. (2015)., "Life's a bitch, and then you don"t die": postmortality in film and television, in M. Hauskeller, T. D. Philbeck & C. D. Carbonell (eds.), The Palgrave handbook of posthumanism in film and television, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 205-213.

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