Welterleben/Weiterleben

On Vectopia in Georg Forster, Alexander von Humboldt, and Adelbert von Chamisso

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Welterleben and Weiterleben are what determine the second globalization (of four previously explored) whose constantly accelerating dynamic, vectorization, this essay explores. On the basis of selected writings of Georg Forster, Alexander von Humboldt, and Adelbert von Chamisso, the author highlights the increasing speed with which knowledge, especially in the experiential sciences, is produced and disseminated following the routes of ever-widening trade speeded along by globalization. The notion of ‘vectopia’ stands for the connection of utopia and uchronia in space and time in such a way that the experience of the world, expanded worldwide, contains within it a Weiter-Leben, a ‘living-further’ that is to be understood first in a spatial, and not yet temporal, sense, of what Forster called Erfahrungswissen, or ‘experiential knowledge.’ Vectopia, as elaborated here, has a material dimension that relates to the physical person, the body, the experience of the world that cannot occur without the constant changing of place, without a journeying that is again and again recommenced. Vectopia develops the projection of a life not from space or from time alone, but by their combination. Vectopia is more than a concept, it is a thought-figure: it is vitally connected to life, and thus a life-figure. It opens itself to a type of knowledge that stands almost at the threshold of a further life, indeed, of a Weiterleben that, opening itself to a ‘living-onward,’ resides beyond space, time, and movement.

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Literature on the Move formulates a new aesthetics for the altered conditions and challenges of the new century. The point of departure for examining a bordercrossing literature on the move is travel literature, from which the view opens up unto other spaces, dimensions and patterns of movement which will shape the literatures of the 21th Century. And these will become - one needs no prophetic gift to see - for a major part literatures with no fixed abode. Signposts of this journey through literature proposed by this book are texts by, among many others, Balzac, Barthes, Baudrillard, Borges, Calvino, Condé, Cohen, Diderot, Goethe, A.v. Humboldt, Kristeva, Reyes, Rodó or Stadler. This book will specially appeal to an audience interested by comparative literature, literary theory, and travel literature and will be of interest to anybody who delights in «literary journeys».

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Hans Robert Jauss cannot simply be excluded from the history of Romance Studies, or from the history of literary science in 20th century Germany: the attractive power of his style of thought, writing and scholarship was too profound, his machine de guerre too powerful. If the “case of Jauss” is now on its way to becoming the “paradigm of Jauss,” it is time to examine scientifically the text and work, the impact and the reception of the author of Ästhetische Erfahrung und literarische Hermeneutik (“Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics”), and to illuminate them from the perspective of Romance Studies. The considerations put forth in this essay should in no way diminish the undeniable merits of the founder of “Reader-response criticism”. With him and with his words, one may surely hold on to the hope that “the triadic relationship of technology, communication, and world view” can be brought “once more into equilibrium.” Hans Robert Jauss—to use the words of Jorge Semprún—traveled the very short, and at the same time very long, path from Buchenwald to Weimar: a path that first led him into the most abysmal, reprehensible, and rational form of human barbarism, which he wished to leave behind him as quickly as possible after the end of the war. His path to Weimar, as the symbol of a “refined” western culture, was extremely short: indeed, all too short.

Wörter – Mächte – Stämme

Cornelius de Pauw und der Disput um eine neue Welt

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Abstract

Pride is linked to conviviality, to the practice of life-with-an-other, and to an awareness of the limitations of the life forms and life norms which guide and regulate the life of culturally, socially, and historically defined communities. Assuming this link, pride in living-together and conviviality appear as concepts creating a framework for future perspectives. But these concepts need a space in which they can unfold critically and confidently with a view to the future. For millennia, the literatures of the world have created this space of simulation and experimentation in which knowledge of how-to-live-with-an-other has been put down on paper through the open-ended tradition of writing. It is the space of the life forms and life norms of conviviality: it offers us prospective knowledge for the future by translating the imaginable into the thinkable, and the readable into the livable.

Writing-between-Worlds

On the Wit, Weight, and Wonder of Literatures without a Fixed Abode (Proceeding from José F.A. Oliver)

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