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Receptive Bodies$
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Leo Bersani

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226579627

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226579931.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Receptivity and Being-In

Receptivity and Being-In

(p.85) 5 Receptivity and Being-In
Receptive Bodies

Leo Bersani

University of Chicago Press

This chapter considers how breathing is the tiny human's first experience of their body's inescapable receptivity, a taking-in which is inseparable from a letting out. Breathing initiates the dual rhythm of human receptivity: absorption and expulsion. Initiated almost simultaneously with respiration are two other great contrastive rhythms of living bodies: the taking in of food and the excreting of nutritive waste, and the movement, also renewed every day, between waking life and sleep. The body's movements in the world partially shift receptive agency from the human subject to both human and nonhuman objects, and the fundamental economy of the space in which humans move makes resistance a defining aspect of reception.

Keywords:   human receptivity, absorption, expulsion, breathing, living bodies, resistance, reception

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