THE SEMBLABLE by Chantal Maillard
Spanish poet and philosopher Chantal Maillard asks whether a world without violence is possible. Beginning with the tale of Nietzsche’s embrace of the Turin horse, and engaging with thinkers from Confucius to Derrida to Sontag, Maillard reflects on how the concept of the “semblable” (one’s other, neighbor, peer, fellow) justifies defensive foreign and domestic policy as well as state-sanctioned global violence. Can we broaden our “frameworks of belonging” and replace our narrow group and species-centered morals with an ethics of interspecies compassion? And if we could, given that the natural world cannot be sustained without violence, would it be possible to create change without violence?
This pamphlet is part of UDP’s 2020 Pamphlet Series: twenty commissioned essays on collective work, translation, performance, pedagogy, poetics, and small press publishing. The pamphlets are available for individual purchase and as a subscription. Each offers a different approach to the pamphlet as a form of working in the present, an engagement at once sustained and ephemeral.