Homepage June 2016


De l’Infini : A Foreigner’s Metaphysics

And what if we brought the foreigner back from (outside) the margins? One cannot deny that our understanding of foreignness is narrowed down to a political, if not an administrative understanding of spaces. It is this false simplicity that we shall try to contradict in this essay, by opening an exploration of the theme of foreignness. A brief discussion of certain figures of foreignness in history will set the scene, before focusing back on the foreigner proper, and her existential condition. Transcending the individual, we shall extrapolate a series of arguments by Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida to reconstruct a series of cultural motifs common to all societies, in order to discover their genesis in or around concerns of foreignness. And we shall finally go back to the basics to unveil the kind of metaphysics the foreigner may be able to invent.

General Introduction
Book I
Foreigner, There : History of a Political Capture
Book II
Foreigner, Here : Existentialist Foreignness
Book III
Us, Foreigners : The Reconstruction of Foreignness
Book IV
Beyond The I’s : A Foreigner’s Metaphysics
An Addressee’s Resolution

24 May 2016
L’autre nuit,
Je rêve, ou presque,
et un texte,
me vient aux yeux fermés.
Le jeu semble cosmique, religieux,
Peut-être une Ecriture,
Je m’entends à deviner les mots,
un par un,
Comme si c’était ça,
L’expérience de la révélation :
Lire un texte,
Pour la première fois,
Les yeux fermés.
The other night,
I dream, or almost,
and a text,
comes to my closed eyes.
The game seems cosmic, religious,
Maybe a Scripture,
I hear myself guessing the words,
one after the other,
As if it was that,
The experience of Revelation :
Reading a text,
For the first time,
With closed eyes.

Writing, sleep and blindness are the ingredients of my reading. . . .


Out of the Circle : Kentron
17 February 2014

Ethnocentrism is the feared ghost of the anthropologist’s good conscience. The colonial agenda of early anthropology, in the 19th century, would soon be complemented by the conscientious methodological and ethical concerns of mid 20th century ethnologists, within which the structuralist lineage would quickly acquire a leading position. Claude Lévi-Strauss displayed some strategic intelligence when acknowledging that his “theory of myth is itself on a par with myth,” that is, as Soper suggests, that we could perhaps “view the very quest for such objectivity as part of the mythology of the West”. Or was it the sign of a genuine empathy, an authentic foot of equality between western culture, necessarily the reference for him, and the faraway societies he was studying? . . .

Portland-Vase-- At the Edge of God : Leibniz
Lifelines and Ashes of Beauty At the Edge of God : Leibniz
24 January 2013 15 October 2012

In 1819, British poet John Keats (1795-1821) offered a new life to an old genre, the ode, with six pieces that would later become classics, and contribute to his fame: “Ode on Indolence,” “Ode on Melancholy,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode to Psyche,” “To Autumn” and finally, “Ode of Grecian Urn.” In the latter piece, a poem of 5 stanzas, Keats reflects on the nature of Art, and in particular representational Art, via the discussion of two scenes displayed on an imagined Greek vase. As a poetic representation of a piece of art, this ode belongs also to the genre of the ekphrasis, itself prominent during the era of Greek art. The first scene represents two lovers and communicates an idea of an impossible passion. The second represents villagers about to perform a sacrifice. In this short commentary, I shall try to discuss certain passages of the ode, and explore the underlying reflection or contemplation that Keats attempts to undertake . . .

The Enlightenment Century is generally presented as an era of revolutions in science and philosophy in occidental Europe. The Enlightenment’s appeal to reason was then considered as the cornerstone for the conception of the human being and life in societies, which was to be followed during the major social, political and economical developments that would occur in the following centuries. One of its main effects would become the growing critical spirit towards all things religious, from the very theological conceptions of God, soul, etc. to the more concrete faces of religion, such as matters concerning the clergy and the institution of the church. In other words, the deepest roots of the West’s contemporary distrust and skepticism towards religion may be the Enlightenment Century . . .