“It would seem to me that the notions of embodied being, (to use a Kierkegaardian term) are almost limitless. However since our time together today is not, I would like to address six forms of embodiment and their counterparts – twelve illustrations of what it might mean to incorporate being, to be alive in uncertain ways, to self or other identify, to live as lonely as a man, as cellularly as a brain cell, as sweetly as a virtue or as powerfully as a perceived vice can make us.
I will include among these forms one that is outside these six categories – that is to say it is like one of those binary drawings in which, if you see the two faces, you cannot see the vase – if you see the birds, you miss the arching dolphins, if you follow the Escher staircase up into the cosmos, you soon realise that there is no way down those same stairs now behind you. Or ahead.
What I mean by this is there will be a moment when you suddenly realise that language has changed and “I” means something else entirely – like “you” – “or once there was” – a change of self- definition. Italo Calvino has a character named “You” in Once on a Winter Night a Traveller. Therefore the subject and verb cannot match. You likes his situation in life. You leaves every morning with a sense of satisfaction. What does that mean? You loved him. You. But not you.
This is the chasm over which I ask you to leap during this talk this morning. Because we will talk about times and places and things that have not happened yet, or may never, but we will always use the past tense.
Though we should use none, really.”
— Harrison Solow, excerpt from the introduction to a lecture, ‘Embodiment in Science Fiction’, given to the Master’s Degree Students at the Master’s Symposium on the Body for the University of Wales Philosophy Department, March 1, 2007.
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance