In an earlier essay that appeared in Public Culture, Bharat Jayram Venkat asked what it might mean to think of cure as an ending lacking finality. Here, in response to Paul H. Mason et al., he briefly expands on his thoughts from that essay. Drawing on his research on tuberculosis in India, he identifies the consequences of a widely shared investment in cure’s finality—what he calls, after Mircea Eliade, a vision of “radical cure.” Such an investment threatens to foreclose our recognition of the limits of cure, as well as curtail our willingness to conceive of other possibilities of cure, ones in which we are left without tidy endings. The task, then, of a critique of curative reason is to clarify these limits, precisely so that we are able to imagine cure otherwise.

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