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In a deep black pit lies a prone figure menaced by an enraged and partially disemboweled bison. Head back, eyes wide, arms and fingers outspread, the man in the cave at Lascaux, France, confronts the knowledge of death. This drawing, the world’s oldest narrative depiction of a human being, may convey one man’s mortal surprise and sorrow, but it also seems to say something momentous about humanity. French philosopher Georges Bataille proposed that it reveals the instant, some 17, 000


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Eight

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