Il crollo dei linguaggi estetici. Arte, vitalità e trascendimento in Ernesto De Martino
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De Martino


The article aims to reflect on the way in which, according to De Martino, the theme of “the crisis of the presence” reaches its highest degree in the bourgeois civilization, whose aspects of decay have been witnessed by some artistic expressions, especially by literature. Thus, two hypotheses will emerge: the first one is that De Martino ascribes an “anthropological exemplarity” to the bourgeois apocalypse, in that it reveals what the previous epochs have hidden under the mask (the pia fraus) of magic and religion, that is the possibility of a collapse of the category of “existence”, or what De Martino called the “ethos of transcending”. The other hypothesis is that, in the light of this paradigmatic aspect the bourgeois crisis has assumed into the history of the West, art counts as a document in revealing the extreme risk the crisis will not be resolved, regenerating itself indefinitely in the absence of an eschaton. In this horizon of analysis, it is specified the philosophical significance attached to the problem of art. In fact, the function of art is here defined in the light of a radical reform of the “transcendental”, in which the “supreme principle” of the unity of self-consciousness is put at the extreme risk of being lost in nothingness.
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