When Lulu met the Centaur: Photographic traces of creaturely love
Author(s): Pettman, Dominic
The brief triangular love between Nietzche, Salomé, and Rée – as crystallised in the famous photograph of kitsch (literal) horse-play, where the woman is depicted as treating the two men as beasts of burden – allows us to consider the role of ‘creaturely love’ in our more general understanding of the lover’s discourse. That is to say, through such images we can explore the role and figure of the animal within ‘the anthropological machine’, itself designed to produce a sense of the human from the inhuman (especially through mediated forms of intimacy). Further, in the different intermedial relationships between photography, poetry, and philosophy, the Centaur – in the letters and texts circulated by this group (later including Rilke) – provides a charged specific totem for a libidinal ecology of souls, striving to understand themselves as simultaneously creaturely and spiritual. Such a figure allowed both a recognition and a disavowal of the nonhuman basis (and telos) of human affections.
Pettman, Dominic: When Lulu met the Centaur: Photographic traces of creaturely love. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 4 (2015), Nr. 1, S. 127–144. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5117/NECSUS2015.1.PETT.
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