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Disease and Death in the Modern Culture: On Now and Eternity
This paper is basically about nowism as a representation of modernity rather than a temporal fragment, about cancer as philosophical reference rather than as a biological illness, and about death as constructive value rather than as a destructive experience. All these representation-loaded concepts are dealt with through the story of Tessa, the protagonist in the film Now is Good (2012). In the liquid modernity, on the one hand nowist orientations, tendencies and acts are wryly reduced to a cliché: “Carpe diem” (seize the day) and on the other hand temporal uncertainty of death implies the essential principle of “memento mori” (remember you will die) or “Mutu qabla an tamutu” (die before you die). The now is, as a worldview beyond a temporality, not merely good, but perhaps the God of the modern society. However, deadly cancer, which is an uninvited guest, nullifies this modern doctrine that commercializes the now as eternity and immortality itself. Cancer that marks death and the sense of chaos what cancer stirs are antithesis and perhaps antidote of the liquid modernity. This paper, for the very reason, unexpectedly affirms death while criticising the nowist culture.

Modernity, now/ism, body, cancer, death, film.

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