Thinking with the work of José Esteban Muñoz, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Pedro Almodóvar’s film All about My Mother, this essay traces a series of transplants, organs, and acts of compensation that occur within all three in order to explore the question of how to address a loss that is unthinkable and incommunicable. The essay theorizes the transplant as an event that reveals the conjunctive relationship between life and death, fostering a practice of sharing out that allows for the appearance of community as such. Tracing the forms of queer community and kinship that appear in the work of Muñoz, Nancy, and Almodóvar, this essay argues that it is by a kind of compensatory growing (which occurs through the sharing out of the experience of the incommunicable with the collective) that we carry our losses within us in order to survive them and build a brighter future.
Joshua Chambers-Letson; Compensatory Hypertrophy, or All about My Mother. Social Text 1 December 2014; 32 (4 (121)): 13–24. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2820424
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