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In: Politics Otherwise
Volume Editor: Leonidas Donskis
Much of the debates in this book revolves around Milan Kundera and his 1984 essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe.” Kundera wrote his polemical text when the world was pregnant with imminent social and political change, yet that world was still far from realizing that we would enter the last decade of the twentieth century with the Soviet empire and its network of satellite states missing from the political map. Kundera was challenged by Joseph Brodsky and György Konrád for allegedly excluding Russia from the symbolic space of Europe, something the great author deeply believes he never did.
To what extent was Kundera right in assuming that, if to exist means to be present in the eyes of those we love, then Central Europe does not exist anymore, just as Western Europe as we knew it has stopped existing? What were the mental, cultural, and intellectual realities that lay beneath or behind his beautiful and graceful metaphors? Are we justified in rehabilitating political optimism at the beginning of the twenty-first century? Are we able to reconcile the divided memories of Eastern or Central Europe and Western Europe regarding what happened to the world in 1968? And where is Central Europe now?
The Troubled Imagination in Modern Philosophy and Literature
This book analyzes such symbolic designs of the modern troubled imagination as the conspiracy theory of society, deterministic concepts of identity and order, antisemitic obsessions, self-hatred, and the myth of the loss of roots. It offers, among other things, the unique East-Central European materials incorporated in a broad, imaginative synthesis and critique of contemporary social analysis.

Abstract

This chapter was written in the spring of 2016 and discussed during one of our last meetings as a group with a drive to produce our book ‘on academia’. Leonidas Donskis received comments to this chapter, but did not manage to digest these. We left the chapter as it was, with some minor editorial changes. Actually, thinking about educational dystopia is our common project, exactly to help raise discussion about what can be termed the post-academic university. Towards an Educational Dystopia? is thus a root piece for this book.

Open Access
In: Academia in Crisis
In: Yet Another Europe after 1984
In: Yet Another Europe after 1984
In: Yet Another Europe after 1984

Abstract

This chapter was written in the spring of 2016 and discussed during one of our last meetings as a group with a drive to produce our book ‘on academia’. Leonidas Donskis received comments to this chapter, but did not manage to digest these. We left the chapter as it was, with some minor editorial changes. Actually, thinking about educational dystopia is our common project, exactly to help raise discussion about what can be termed the post-academic university. Towards an Educational Dystopia? is thus a root piece for this book.

Open Access
In: Academia in Crisis
In: Niccolò Machiavelli