On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre
Edited by Gerry Canavan
Preface to the Classics Edition: Contradiction and Resistance (2016) (Darko Suvin)
Preface to the Classics Edition: Contradiction and Resistance (2016) Darko Suvin … pity poor flesh and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence. We doctors know a hopeless case if – listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go e.e. cummings Is the Earth so? Let her change then. Let the Earth quicken, Search until you know. Bert Brecht 1. When Ernst Bloch decided the Stalinist East Germany had become too stifling for him and his work and defected to West Germany, he chose for his first course at the University of Tübingen an Introduction to Philosophy, that is, a summa – overview and development – of his 50 years’ work on the philosophy of utopian hope, its Marxist possibilities of realisation, and its categories. One of his developments was the introduction of the pair Widerspruch und Widerstand, contradiction and resistance (it sounds nicer in German, since in it both terms begin with wider – against, anti or xxxviii Preface to the Classics Edition: Contradiction and Resistance (2016) contra, literally: counter-speaking and counter-standing).1 Both are vari- ants of differential opposition (without which, paired with identity, writ- ing and presumably thinking itself are impossible); both “would not exist were there not in the world something that should not be.”2 Contradiction is classically the key word of Marxian dialectics: as his teacher Hegel, who erected it into a central logical term, put it in his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, the marvellous appears...
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