On Wednesday, February 7 at 7 pm, French philosopher and professor emeritus at the University Paris VIII in Saint-Denis, Jacques Rancière, will present his lecture The Politics of Fiction.
Jacques Rancière (b. 1940) is a French philosopher and professor emeritus at the University Paris VIII in Saint-Denis. He deals with the relationship between politics and philosophy, Marx’s concept of the proletariat, the concept of equality and matters of pedagogy and aesthetics. He was a student of Louis Althusser at the École Normale Supérieure, and worked with him on the well-known anthology Reading Capital (1968). His book Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy (1995, 2011) was also published in Czech. His major works include Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art (2013) and The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (1987).
The Politics of Fiction
The democratic revolution in fiction is not a great invasion of the masses onto the scene of history. On the contrary, this revolution comes at a moment when the order that helps arrange events is the same order that makes something happen to those to whom nothing is meant to happen. This is the paradox in which the political aspect of literature lies. We would often be happy if politics made fighters take things by storm and accompanied only the victorious movement of a historical process. But maybe their history is far from History with the capital H; maybe these politics really upset a time in which we envision such storm-taking and victory. It may be why Walter Benjamin emphasized this “upsetting”, when he deemed it important to separate “the tradition of the oppressed” from the time of the victors with which Marxist science had originally connected him, and to say that dialectics is not only the forward motion of time, but also its halting or staggering. Before Benjamin, many literary works had pointed to this phenomenon creating the fiction patterns of something of an upheaval of the temporal order. These fiction patterns are opposites of historical victories; rather, they stand at the edge of time where the dividing line between passive and active individuals is obliterated.
Admission free of charge. The lecture will be interpreted into Czech. The lecture takes place in the Small Hall of the Trade Fair Palace.