Sandro Chignola

Body Factories

For Rob and Khaled

Let me take it from a distance. Both the term corpus and the Greek word σῶμα have a quite clouded origin. Corpus, it is supposed, might be the lengthening of the root *krp-, certified in Indo-iranian, where it means ‘form’ or ‘beauty’. What is more evident is the symmetry of its usage in Latin and in Greek. In Homer σώμα always refers to an inanimate body, to the corpse. But when it is about a living body, he uses δώἐμς. Δώἐμς is an interesting term: as Benveniste explains, it is a development of the ancient verbal root *dem- that means ‘to build’, from which derive both the ‘political’ terms related to the house (the Iranian form -dam; the Latin domus), for example δεσπὁτὴς (master), δμώς (servant) ...

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