In Shit We Stand United: Solidarity and Separation on the Lower Grounds
In his Interpretation of Dreams Sigmund Freud quotes a poem by Heinrich Heine: "Selten habt Ihr mich verstanden/selten auch verstand ich Euch./Nur wenn wir im Kot uns fanden,/so verstanden wir uns gleich". ("Rarely did you understand me, and rarely did I understand you; Only when we found ourselves in the muck did we understand each other at once.")
In my contribution, I want to examine this ability of the excrement to function as a kind of universal equivalent for understanding; a kind of perfectly convertible currency or primordial gift (according to Freud's account). What is it that makes this border-element between culture and nature so specifically useful when nothing else seems to help in human communication?
This question shall be raised specifically with regard to the "scatological rituals" examined and analyzed by Stephen Greenblatt as well as with to the issue that D. A. F. de Sade makes of the excrement in his "120 days of Sodom", where it plays an astoundingly predominant role when it comes to finding unequivocal proofs of human autonomy.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, for non-commercial purpose, no derivatives are permitted. (Please not that this license has been used since 1.10.2018 and will be used in the future. Articles published between 1.1.2017-and 30.9.2018 are licensed under CC BY license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).