Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
Translators’ Introduction: On Franco Cassano’s Southern Thought
In 1996, with the publication of Southern Thought, which we present here in the English translation with four additional essays, Italian writer Franco Cassano became widely recognized as one of the most important voices in the contemporary Italian and European intellectual scene. In this engaging...
Preface to the English-language Edition
The basic idea for writing Southern Thought is very simple. It has been many centuries since the South has spoken in the first person because others have been speaking in its place. The civilization that has been speaking for and representing the South is the one that, during these centuries...
Prologue: Parallels and Meridians
Since its publication in January 1996, Southern Thought has elicited a wide range of responses, from unconditional approval to suspicious opposition, from requests to translate its categories into concrete political terms to expressions of ironic skepticism. Many of its arguments have also been...
Introduction: For a Thought from the South
To rethink the South some preliminary observations are in order. The most important is that we must stop thinking of its pathologies simply as the consequences of a lack of modernity. We must reverse our point of view and believe that in the South of Italy, with all probability, modernity...
Part I. Mediterranean
1. Going Slow
We must go slow like an old country train carrying peasant women dressed in black, like those who go on foot and see the world magically opening ahead, because going on foot is like leafing through a book, while running is like looking at its cover. We must go slow and love the pauses that...
2. Of Land and Sea
What do the sea and epistemology have in common? Is the relationship between land and sea purely accidental, or is it rather a determining and underrated factor for the birth of Greek culture? And, if this relationship exists, what is the meaning of the sea for Greece, for Greek philosophy...
Part II. Homo currens
3. Thinking the Frontier
‘‘A small county is a country that was once great and remembers it,’’ said Georges Simenon in a short and wonderful story titled Frontiers.1 It is on the frontier that one measures the full and terrible restlessness that runs through human history....
4. The Fundamentalism of the Rat Race
The question is inevitable: When we talk about relationships ‘‘between’’ cultures, do we in fact place ourselves outside them, like an unconnected and impartial judge (as the word ‘‘between’’ would suggest), or do we play the old game where one of the sides disguises itself as the third? If I start...
Part III. The Friction of Thought
5. Albert Camus: The Need for Southern Thought
God is not center stage, but it is not true that everything is allowed; on the contrary, the exact opposite is true: ‘‘If God does not exist, nothing is permitted.’’1 God is not present, but there is the sun (‘‘At the center of my work there is an invincible sun’’),2 and nihilism does not win in any of its...
6. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Life as Oxymoron
There is still a large crowd milling around Pasolini, different people with different questions. My question is very simple: What allowed Pasolini’s prophetic vision? How is it possible that a poet (‘‘I sense the problems of the moment; I am not a scientist who does research . . . I am a writer’’)1...
Part IV. Other Essays on the Mediterranean
7. Europe and Southern Thought
It is not by chance that philosophy was born on the sea, when the word ‘‘being’’ came into existence, floating between being and nothingness; when ‘‘becoming’’ became a word charged with a cognitive sense, calling into question truths that had been so strong as to never have been doubted...
8. Cardinal Knowledge
North: It rules from above. The place of cold and of the winter solstice, of industry that delays gratification because its flowers will blossom only with the heat. The place of austerity and of the ability to wait, of restraint and control over the world and oneself. It is discipline and planning; light that...
9. Against All Fundamentalisms: The New Mediterranean
Italy becomes a unified State very late, in the second half of the nineteenth century (1859–60), and the problem of national unity monopolizes its political and cultural attention for a long time. Italy arrives to unity after an extremely long period of divisions, without an autonomous presence...
10. Thinking the Mediterranean
To think the Mediterranean today means, first of all, to deconstruct the perspective of a clash of civilizations and turn this struggle into the goal of a whole historical epoch. The adjective Mediterranean contains a cultural and political program, because it describes a sea that unites and...
Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012
OCLC Number: 820126620
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean