Michel Serres: "Crimes et chatiments 1"

Michel Serres
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"Crimes et chatiments 1" ("Crime and Punishment 1"). In this Stanford lecture, which follows on "L'âge d'or, l'âge de fer," Michel Serres explores the "le malheur de l'âge de fer"--that is, the role of cruelty in a "hard" society, with such technologies of punishment as the guillotine. The compromised visibility of human flesh and of cadavers, Serres argues, remains powerful even today. Perhaps television, he provocatively suggests, is the oldest sort of religion of all, based on rites of sacrifice. Along the way, Serres touches on issues including painting, the French Revolution, consciousness of death, and the philosophy of animals.