By Miriam Leonard
Classical PresencesSeries Editors: Lorna Hardwick, Professor of Classical experiences, Open college, and James I. Porter, Professor of Greek, Latin, and Comparative Literature, collage of Michigan The texts, rules, photos, and fabric tradition of old Greece and Rome have continuously been the most important to makes an attempt to acceptable the prior with a purpose to authenticate the current. They underlie the mapping of swap and the statement and not easy of values and identities, previous and new. Classical Presences brings the most recent scholarship to endure at the contexts, conception, and perform of such use, and abuse, of the classical past.Athens in Paris explores the ways that the writings of the traditional Greeks performed a decisive half in shaping the highbrow tasks of structuralism and post-structuralism--arguably the main major currents of considered the post-war period. Miriam Leonard argues that thinkers in post-war France became to the instance of Athenian democracy of their debates over the function of political subjectivity and moral selection within the lifetime of the trendy citizen. The authors she investigates, who comprise Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Vernant, have had an incalculable impact at the course of classical experiences over the past thirty years, yet classicists have not begun to offer due awareness to the the most important position of the traditional international within the improvement in their philosophy.
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Extra info for Athens in Paris: Ancient Greece and the Political in Post-War French Thought (Classical Presences)
He Wnds himself trapped between the poles of ‘religious thought’ and the new development of ‘political practices’. 39 The hero has an incipient notion of political subjectivity, he is ‘actively committed, facing up to the consequences of his actions’ but his accession to the new order remains ‘incomplete’. For Vernant, this identity is speciWc to the historical development of Athens as a democratic polis in the Wfth-century: 37 39 Vernant (1988c), 53; (1972d ), 46. Hegel (1902), 297. 38 Vernant (1988c), 79; (1972d ), 70.
Tragic man’s gradual enlightenment recalls the tropes of the Hegelian Oedipus. Like Hegel’s Oedipus, Vernant’s political man has not yet reached a full sense of his own subjectivity: But neither the individual nor his internal life had acquired enough consistency or autonomy to make the subject the centre of the decision from which his actions were believed to emanate. 41 Vernant’s Wfth-century individual, then, can only exist in his relation to the civic community which deWnes him. There is a lack at the centre of the individual who can only be deWned in relation to the wider community.
For Vernant, tyrannos and pharmakos, unlike ‘ambiguity’ and ‘reversal’, can only be understood with reference to a historical engagement with Wfth-century b c e Athens. Where New Criticism and Structuralism’s lack of politics results in an ahistorical reading, Vernant’s political Oedipus is dependent on an appeal to history. Vernant, though, presents the reader with an important paradox—a paradox which is central to my attempt at situating him within a certain intellectual genealogy. Vernant’s writing appealed to many classicists because he seemed to contrast sharply with other ‘theoretical’ writings on antiquity which were seen as forcing 46 47 48 Vernant (1988a), 126; (1972a), 116.