Violence was present in my home. This does not make me special since violence is present in every home. I am even tempted to ask, don’t you know? There is no such thing as home. Only dead trees and minerals ripped from the ground and legally binding paperwork. Home is a name to cover that violence. But violence is not in itself a moral or ethical category. In naming home as violence I am not saying that home is bad or evil, though I am certainly also not claiming that violence simply is and that we should embrace it either, that violence is simply something “good”. In reading Eric’s Inner Animalities: Theology and the End of the Human I was drawn to thinking about violence, to asking what it is. I was drawn to wondering about the violence of my childhood, to the violence of eating, the violence of sex, and the violence that is here now and that is to come.
So much of the violence of home seems to take place around the dinner table. One must of course give the usual preamble here: a certain home, a certain family, even a certain dinner, to say nothing about the table. But at least anecdotally I can think of how often the tensions of home, the underlying violence, often manifests at the dinner table. Allow me some biography here, since to write about life is perhaps to write about the one that we have lived. So I can think of my step-father here, whose job as a cop was always tied to violence, and who demanded that there always be meat at dinner.
Continue reading “Closer, or the Pleasure of Being Eaten (Inner Animalities Book Event)”