GRAY, Jonathan M.
Special Issue 2017, 47.3, pages 238-246
Vultures: Consumptions and Conjurings
Abstract: This brief essay examines the undervalued technê of vultures as they take up putrid material for their own sustenance. These broad-winged masters of the updraft glide along a dialectic between graceful and gross. Even grounded in the pragmatics of materiality and its decay, they nonetheless soar in our collective unconscious as psychopomps, guides on the bridge between the living and the dead, creatures of the uncanny and deeply symbolic. The essay uses Morton’s “dark ecology” and the intersection of rhetoric and magic to make sense of the rhetorical contributions of vultures.