Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Translator’s Note

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pp. vii-xii

In line with my translations of Agamben’s The Fire and the Tale (Stanford University Press, 2017) and What Is Philosophy? (Stanford University Press, 2017), as well as Adam Kotsko’s translation of The Use of Bodies (Stanford University Press, 2015), I have here rendered the verb esigere as “to demand.” The reader should bear in mind, however, that esigere...

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1 Demon

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pp. 3-18

In Macrobius’s Saturnalia, one of the characters participating in the symposium attributes to the Egyptians the belief that four deities preside over the birth of every human being: Daimon, Tyche, Eros, and Ananke (Demon, Chance, Love, and Necessity). “The Egyptians also use the caduceus’s significance to explain the generation of people, which is called...

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2 Adventure

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pp. 19-42

In the prologue to one of Chrétien de Troyes’s most astonishing poems of chivalry, Yvain, the protagonist introduces himself as follows:

“Je sui,” fet il, “uns chevaliers
qui quier ce que trover ne puis;
assez ai quis, et rien ne truis.”
“Et que voldroies tu trover?”
“Aventure, por esprover...

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3 Eros

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pp. 43-64

Before trying to define this experience of being, we need to dismiss the modern conceptions of adventure, which run the risk of obstructing our access to the original meaning of the term. The end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern age in fact coincide with an obscuration and devaluation of adventure. In their dictionary, the Brothers...

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4 Event

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pp. 65-84

In 1952, Carlo Diano published the essay “Forma ed evento,” possibly his most ambitious theoretical work, in Giornale critico della filosofia italiana. Here he opposes form—Plato and Aristotle’s eidos—which is in itself accomplished and unchangeable outside of any relation, to the event, which is always inscribed into a relation and can never be...

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5 Elpis

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pp. 85-92

Every human is caught up in the adventure; for this reason, every human deals with Daimon, Eros, Ananke, and Elpis. They are the faces—or masks—that adventure—tyche—presents us with at each turn. When adventure is revealed as a demon, life appears to be marvelous, almost as if an extraneous force supported and led us in every...

Bibliography

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pp. 93-94