• Sign up for new title announcements and special offers.

  • The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness

    Author(s):
    Pages: 240
    Illustrations: 11 illustrations, 4 charts
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5203-7
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5228-0
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments vii

    Introduction 1

    Part 1. The New Chronic 13

    Part 2. The Global Abyss 99

    Part 3. The Already Dead 159

    Notes 205

    Selected Bibliography 217

    Index 221
  • “Cazdyn’s treatise is provocative, creative, and intelligent, calling for no less than a global revolution in action and ideology. Anchored in American events and history, it also has much to offer at the international level, and it will be a welcome companion to a wide range of curricula in the humanities, medical, and social sciences.” 

    “While it is not the only reason to read the book, it is the performance itself, the manner in which Cazdyn artfully combines three areas of study and speaks of them in parallel with one another, that is most valuable, no matter the discipline to which the reader belongs. Cazdyn invokes a system that is both utopian (in its impossible future – the American Dream is always just a step away) and pre-apocalyptic.” 

    “Cazdyn covers a dizzying array of examples of the way this shift has become normalized–drawn from popular culture, cinema, and literature. One must pause to marvel at the facility with which he melds such analysis with moving personal essays.” 

    “This book is a roller-coaster ride through a broad swath of cultural studies, psychoanalysis and the social sciences—from the relationship of the chronic subject to phenomena in capitalism, biopolitics and global formations, and from trends in medicine to descriptions of how death and life are brought together in the literary and psychoanalytic imagination.”

    The Already Dead comes at a critical moment in which the vulgarities of the global capitalist system have become increasingly difficult to conceal. The book’s approach, at once theoretical and personal, historical and cultural, seeks new modes of revolutionary consciousness that can destabilize both within and without the capitalist system so as to reconfigure everything.”

    "Unlike some of his contemporaries, who couch the future in uncomfortable messianic terms, this is a work whose engagement with the thought of alterity defes the threat of transcendence in favor of a radical historical premise: the end, the cure—it’s already here."

    "The Already Dead ends on that most perilous but enigmatic of notes, a deep breath suspended in the time and place of letting go while still holding on, bargaining between terrors and desires, tarrying with the fear of dying for long enough that, just maybe, it becomessomething else." 

    Reviews

  • “Cazdyn’s treatise is provocative, creative, and intelligent, calling for no less than a global revolution in action and ideology. Anchored in American events and history, it also has much to offer at the international level, and it will be a welcome companion to a wide range of curricula in the humanities, medical, and social sciences.” 

    “While it is not the only reason to read the book, it is the performance itself, the manner in which Cazdyn artfully combines three areas of study and speaks of them in parallel with one another, that is most valuable, no matter the discipline to which the reader belongs. Cazdyn invokes a system that is both utopian (in its impossible future – the American Dream is always just a step away) and pre-apocalyptic.” 

    “Cazdyn covers a dizzying array of examples of the way this shift has become normalized–drawn from popular culture, cinema, and literature. One must pause to marvel at the facility with which he melds such analysis with moving personal essays.” 

    “This book is a roller-coaster ride through a broad swath of cultural studies, psychoanalysis and the social sciences—from the relationship of the chronic subject to phenomena in capitalism, biopolitics and global formations, and from trends in medicine to descriptions of how death and life are brought together in the literary and psychoanalytic imagination.”

    The Already Dead comes at a critical moment in which the vulgarities of the global capitalist system have become increasingly difficult to conceal. The book’s approach, at once theoretical and personal, historical and cultural, seeks new modes of revolutionary consciousness that can destabilize both within and without the capitalist system so as to reconfigure everything.”

    "Unlike some of his contemporaries, who couch the future in uncomfortable messianic terms, this is a work whose engagement with the thought of alterity defes the threat of transcendence in favor of a radical historical premise: the end, the cure—it’s already here."

    "The Already Dead ends on that most perilous but enigmatic of notes, a deep breath suspended in the time and place of letting go while still holding on, bargaining between terrors and desires, tarrying with the fear of dying for long enough that, just maybe, it becomessomething else." 

  • "In The Already Dead, Eric Cazdyn establishes what he calls a nonmoralizing critique of capitalism, starting from the premise that crisis does not symptomize the failure of the system but rather its proper functioning. He is committed to a systemic, radical critique that keeps open the possibilities of revolution. This is a bracing and provocative book, both ideationally and stylistically." — Rei Terada, University of California, Irvine

    "This immensely ambitious and unclassifiable theoretical work begins by projecting a new kind of temporality—the new chronic—out of medical practice, in order to range across the political, the cultural, the national, the autobiographical, and the economic, touching in passing on film and globalization, and in the process unearthing new life forms: the already dead, the always dead, and the always already dead. It is an exciting journey." — Fredric Jameson, Duke University

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In The Already Dead, Eric Cazdyn examines the ways that contemporary medicine, globalization, politics, and culture intersect to produce a condition and concept that he names "the new chronic." Cazdyn argues that just as contemporary medicine uses targeted drug therapies and biotechnology to manage rather than cure diseases, global capitalism aims not for resolution but rather for a continual state of crisis management that perpetuates the iniquities of the status quo. Engaging critical theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, he explores the ways that crisis affects perceptions of time and denies alternative ways of being and thinking.

    To resist the exploitative crisis state, which Cazdyn terms "the global abyss," he posits the concept of "the already dead," a condition in which the subject (medical, political, psychological) has been killed but has yet to die. Embracing this condition, he argues, allows for a revolutionary consciousness open to a utopian future. Woven into Cazdyn's analysis are personal anecdotes about his battle with leukemia and his struggle to obtain Canadian citizenship during his illness. These narratives help to illustrate his systemic critique, one that reconfigures the relationship between politics, capitalism, revolution, and the body.

    About The Author(s)

    Eric Cazdyn is Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan; editor of Trespasses: Selected Writings of Masao Miyoshi, (both published by Duke University Press); and coauthor, with Imre Szeman, of After Globalization.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu