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Pirandello and the dissolution of the subject: Lecture by Professor Remo B...
Mon. 13 March 2017, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm AEDT
Lecture by Professor Remo Bodei
Italian philosopher Remo Bodei will give a lecture at the Department of Italian of the University of Sydney on the great Italian writer Luigi Pirandello.
Following the positions of some French "doctors-philosophers" (Théodule Ribot, Pierre Janet and Paul Binet), who at the end of the 19th century had shattered the image of a monolithic self and of an immortal soul, Pirandello analysed in painstaking details the splitting of consciousness, by describing the occurrence of split or multiple personalities and dealing with great acumen with psychological fractures and distortions. He thus experimented with the configurations of the split consciousness of an individual, simultaneously or alternatively seduced by the soothing security of being "one", by the anxiety and the confusion of realizing to be "a hundred thousand", and by the relief resulting from the ascetic decision to nullify himself in order to be "nobody". Sixty works by Pirandello - among short stories, novels and dramas – deal with the split (duplication or multiplication), with a loss (real or simulated, such as in the novel Il fu Mattia Pascal) who turns out to be neither unique nor neat. Society ties us up to the principle of individuation because it aspires to connect us to our actions and thoughts (as preludes to action), linking us to a unique and permanent self. Nature attributes to everyone certain body features, by conferring us certain hereditary traits; society then expects to classify us according to its own parameters. Both, however, conspire to turn us into an "individual", because they – literally – expect us to be indivisible and always identical to ourselves, i.e. "intact", conscious and responsible.
Remo Bodei was born in Cagliari in 1938. A great figure of contemporary philosopy, he is currently professor emeritus at the University of Pisa, where he held the chair of history and philosopy until 2005. He is also visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was full professor between 2005 and 2011. He has been visiting professor in various European and American universities (Ottawa University, Toronto University, NYU, Université Libre de Bruxelles, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, Universitat de Girona, Universidad Autónoma de México).
His scientific interests were initially focused on German classical philosophy, on Idealism and the aesthetics of the “Goethezeit”; then, in the last decades, on culture and politics during the French Revolution, on theory and the history of passions and delusions, on delusion, on memory, oblivion, and the construction of individuality. He has published on these subjects many books, translated into different languages. Among the more recent, the most important are: Géometrie des passions (1997), Logiques des délires (2002), Destini personali. L’età della colonizzazione delle coscienze (2002), Immaginare altre vite (2013).
He speaks English, French, German and Spanish and is also an active member of many international scientific associations. He is “Grande Ufficiale” of the Italian Republic and “Chevalier des Palmes Académiques” of the French Republic.
The lecture will be given in italian.