Janusz Dobieszewski: ON THE CONSOLATION OFFERED BY LESZEK KOŁAKOWSKI’S METAPHYSICAL HORROR
Janusz Dobieszewski ON THE CONSOLATION OFFERED BY LESZEK KOŁAKOWSKI’S METAPHYSICAL HORROR ABSTRACT The paper is a critical review of Leszek Kołakowski’s book Metaphysical Horror. According to Kołakowski, the starting-point of METAPHYSICAL horror is the awareness of changeability, tran- sience, contingency and fragility of the world and human existence in face of the overwhelm- ing and abysmal face of Nothingness. According to Kołakowski, the inevitable urge to over- come METAPHYSICAL horror leads to the idea of the Absolute, which can appear in two forms: God and cogito. What underlies the present paper is disagreement with Kołakowski’s perspective of META- PHYSICAL horror that leads to question about reasons for praise for human mortality and hu- man relationship towards Nothingness, reasons for an acceptance of the awaiting existential horror. Keywords: metaphysical horror; horror religious; skepticism; nothingness; the Absolute; cogi- to; mortality. 1. OUTLINE OF THE PROBLEM Horror is usually associated with explicitly negative sensations like “fear”, “anxi- ety”, “repulsion” or “tremor”, however in Latin it could also denote “religious terror” and “esteem”, which are solemn. The adjective horribilis meant “terrible”, “repulsive”, but also “respected” and “astounding”. The verb horreo possessed broad connotations with fear, but also meant “to surround with devout venera- tion”. The Greek orrodeo (to fear) and orrodia (fear, anxiety) lead us (through the initial Ionian arr) to arretos, which is translated as “dangerous” or “terrify- ing” as well as “unsaid”, “inexpressible”, “immeasurable” or “mysterious”, and even “holy”. This ambiguity of horror is not as easily...
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