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Literature and Weak Thought


Andrzej Zawadzki

This book is a reconstruction and presentation of the fundamental assumptions of the so-called weak thought, as elaborated mainly by the Italian hermeneutical philosopher Gianni Vattimo and the Romanian philosopher Constantin Noica in his ontology. Both Noica and Vattimo focus on all that is existentially fragile, deficient, crippled or defective. The way in which weak being manifests itself can be best expressed by using the concept of the trace. Some motifs of weak thought serve to reinterpret certain fundamental concepts of poetics, firstly, the concept of mimesis, treated here as a kind of tracing, and secondly, the concept of the textual subject as a trace. The book also describes these tendencies in modern literature in which the intuition of weak being has most fully expressed itself. In general terms, this intuition is that of a reality that has lost its substantiality and essentiality. This intuition is most frequently expressed by the motif of the trace in its various different meanings: as the imprint, the remnant, the sign-message.


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“Only in dance do I know how to speak the parables of the highest things”:404 The Metaphor of Dance in the Modernist Tradition Dance is an art form that is strongly linked to the beginnings of human culture405. It played an important role in the original experience of the sacred, in magic rituals, shamanism, and techniques of ecstasy406. In Ancient Greece, choreia was among the most important elements of social life407. Greek thinkers viewed dance from a mimetic perspective. For instance, in his Dialogue on Dancing, Lucian of Samosata saw as the objective of the art of dance both the imitation of various forms and the faithful representation of spiritual life. Christian tradition demonstrated an ambivalent attitude towards dance: on the one hand, it was condemned as arousing excessive sensuality, while on the other 404 See: Nietzsche, Friedrich, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Adrian Del Caro (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). 405 See: S. Dzikowski, O tańcu. Rozważania kulturalno-obyczajowe (Warszawa, 1925); J. Gluziński, Taniec i zwyczaj taneczny (Lwów, 1927); Taniec. Monografia zbiorowa,ed. by M. Gliński, vol. 1-2 (Warszawa, 1930); J. Rey, Taniec, jego rozwój i formy, trans. By I. Turska (Warszawa 1958); J.G. Noverre, Teoria i praktyka tańca prostego i komponowanego, sztuki baletowej, muzyki, kostiumu i dekoracji, trans. by I. Turska (Wrocław, 1959); G. van der Leeuw, Sacred and Profane Beauty (New York, 1963); E. Lhose-Claus, Tanz in der Kunst (Leipzig, 1964); J.L. Hanna, Toward a Cross –Cultural Conceptualization of Dance,...

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