862 research outputs found

    A Minor Subject: Habit and Subjectivity in Modernist Literature and Philosophy

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    In this essay, I intend to investigate some of the aspects of the resurgence of habit at the dawn of the twentieth century by touching upon a series of paradigmatic texts of the modernist canon and by investigating their debts to and consonances with the contemporary philosophies of habit. My thesis is that during those decades – seen as a mere chapter in the longer history of modernity – the philosophical and literary theme of habit served not only as a way to understand and represent the ordinary dimension of life, but also as a means to develop an idea of human subjectivity that could mediate between the centrifugal and the centripetal tendencies that permeated the competing ideologies of the time. The crisis of subjectivity that characterized modernism and which has often been simplistically represented as a disintegration of the subject into irredeemably broken fragments, should rather be seen as the development of a dialectical idea of a “minor subject”, that is, an open, dynamic, multilayered subjectivity still endowed by a certain malleable consistency. Both modernist literature and its philosophical counterparts found in the “minor subject” (here in the sense of “subject matter”) of habit, the opportunity to investigate and represent the porosity between activity and passivity, volition and determinism, individual identity and social structures, that characterize this idea of subjectivity. I focus on three different representative – though not exhaustive – facets of the issue. In the first section, relying on Virginia Woolf's work, I highlight how some of the narrative techniques developed by Modernist writers can be seen as an attempt to give a plastic representation to the blurred boundaries of subjectivity as captured in the everyday existence of their characters. I then connect these innovations to the theory of habit of Samuel Butler, whom Woolf identified as one of the harbingers of modernity. In the second section I focus on Marcel Proust to discuss how modernist writers proved to be able to combine two opposed views of habit: on the one hand, the view of habit as purely mechanical and leading to inauthentic life; on the other, the idea of habit as essential to the human being's potential for self-perfecting and creativity. The third section is dedicated to addiction, seen as a form of habit in which the subject is radically torn between opposite forces. Following insights from Sigmund Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I interpret Italo Svevo's Zeno's Conscience as a meditation on how such a torn subjectivity manifests the essential incompleteness of the human subject and life's insuppressible nostalgia for the inorganic. Virginia Woolf’s blurred boundaries, Marcel Proust’s ambiguous authenticity, and Italo Svevo’s split selfhood are three interconnected facets of the modernists’ interest in the “minor subject” of habit. Investigating the interaction between the philosophical and the literary discourses on habit at the dawn of the twentieth century can contribute to a more nuanced reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the history of thought but also to the contemporary philosophical debate. Almost exactly one century later, the renewed interest in the theme of habit mirrors a situation in part similar to what characterized the ideological landscape of the time, as now too it is concerned with the attempt to reimagine a “minor subject” that mediates between the postmodern pulverization of identity and the temptation of reaffirming anachronistic forms of strong subjectivities.In this essay, I intend to investigate some of the aspects of the resurgence of habit at the dawn of the twentieth century by touching upon a series of paradigmatic texts of the modernist canon and by investigating their debts to and consonances with the contemporary philosophies of habit. My thesis is that during those decades – seen as a mere chapter in the longer history of modernity – the philosophical and literary theme of habit served not only as a way to understand and represent the ordinary dimension of life, but also as a means to develop an idea of human subjectivity that could mediate between the centrifugal and the centripetal tendencies that permeated the competing ideologies of the time. The crisis of subjectivity that characterized modernism and which has often been simplistically represented as a disintegration of the subject into irredeemably broken fragments, should rather be seen as the development of a dialectical idea of a “minor subject”, that is, an open, dynamic, multilayered subjectivity still endowed by a certain malleable consistency. Both modernist literature and its philosophical counterparts found in the “minor subject” (here in the sense of “subject matter”) of habit, the opportunity to investigate and represent the porosity between activity and passivity, volition and determinism, individual identity and social structures, that characterize this idea of subjectivity. I focus on three different representative – though not exhaustive – facets of the issue. In the first section, relying on Virginia Woolf's work, I highlight how some of the narrative techniques developed by Modernist writers can be seen as an attempt to give a plastic representation to the blurred boundaries of subjectivity as captured in the everyday existence of their characters. I then connect these innovations to the theory of habit of Samuel Butler, whom Woolf identified as one of the harbingers of modernity. In the second section I focus on Marcel Proust to discuss how modernist writers proved to be able to combine two opposed views of habit: on the one hand, the view of habit as purely mechanical and leading to inauthentic life; on the other, the idea of habit as essential to the human being's potential for self-perfecting and creativity. The third section is dedicated to addiction, seen as a form of habit in which the subject is radically torn between opposite forces. Following insights from Sigmund Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I interpret Italo Svevo's Zeno's Conscience as a meditation on how such a torn subjectivity manifests the essential incompleteness of the human subject and life's insuppressible nostalgia for the inorganic. Virginia Woolf’s blurred boundaries, Marcel Proust’s ambiguous authenticity, and Italo Svevo’s split selfhood are three interconnected facets of the modernists’ interest in the “minor subject” of habit. Investigating the interaction between the philosophical and the literary discourses on habit at the dawn of the twentieth century can contribute to a more nuanced reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the history of thought but also to the contemporary philosophical debate. Almost exactly one century later, the renewed interest in the theme of habit mirrors a situation in part similar to what characterized the ideological landscape of the time, as now too it is concerned with the attempt to reimagine a “minor subject” that mediates between the postmodern pulverization of identity and the temptation of reaffirming anachronistic forms of strong subjectivities

    A Minor Subject: Habit and Subjectivity in Modernist Literature and Philosophy

    Get PDF
    In this essay, I intend to investigate some of the aspects of the resurgence of habit at the dawn of the twentieth century by touching upon a series of paradigmatic texts of the modernist canon and by investigating their debts to and consonances with the contemporary philosophies of habit. My thesis is that during those decades – seen as a mere chapter in the longer history of modernity – the philosophical and literary theme of habit served not only as a way to understand and represent the ordinary dimension of life, but also as a means to develop an idea of human subjectivity that could mediate between the centrifugal and the centripetal tendencies that permeated the competing ideologies of the time. The crisis of subjectivity that characterized modernism and which has often been simplistically represented as a disintegration of the subject into irredeemably broken fragments, should rather be seen as the development of a dialectical idea of a “minor subject”, that is, an open, dynamic, multilayered subjectivity still endowed by a certain malleable consistency. Both modernist literature and its philosophical counterparts found in the “minor subject” (here in the sense of “subject matter”) of habit, the opportunity to investigate and represent the porosity between activity and passivity, volition and determinism, individual identity and social structures, that characterize this idea of subjectivity. I focus on three different representative – though not exhaustive – facets of the issue. In the first section, relying on Virginia Woolf's work, I highlight how some of the narrative techniques developed by Modernist writers can be seen as an attempt to give a plastic representation to the blurred boundaries of subjectivity as captured in the everyday existence of their characters. I then connect these innovations to the theory of habit of Samuel Butler, whom Woolf identified as one of the harbingers of modernity. In the second section I focus on Marcel Proust to discuss how modernist writers proved to be able to combine two opposed views of habit: on the one hand, the view of habit as purely mechanical and leading to inauthentic life; on the other, the idea of habit as essential to the human being's potential for self-perfecting and creativity. The third section is dedicated to addiction, seen as a form of habit in which the subject is radically torn between opposite forces. Following insights from Sigmund Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I interpret Italo Svevo's Zeno's Conscience as a meditation on how such a torn subjectivity manifests the essential incompleteness of the human subject and life's insuppressible nostalgia for the inorganic. Virginia Woolf’s blurred boundaries, Marcel Proust’s ambiguous authenticity, and Italo Svevo’s split selfhood are three interconnected facets of the modernists’ interest in the “minor subject” of habit. Investigating the interaction between the philosophical and the literary discourses on habit at the dawn of the twentieth century can contribute to a more nuanced reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the history of thought but also to the contemporary philosophical debate. Almost exactly one century later, the renewed interest in the theme of habit mirrors a situation in part similar to what characterized the ideological landscape of the time, as now too it is concerned with the attempt to reimagine a “minor subject” that mediates between the postmodern pulverization of identity and the temptation of reaffirming anachronistic forms of strong subjectivities.In this essay, I intend to investigate some of the aspects of the resurgence of habit at the dawn of the twentieth century by touching upon a series of paradigmatic texts of the modernist canon and by investigating their debts to and consonances with the contemporary philosophies of habit. My thesis is that during those decades – seen as a mere chapter in the longer history of modernity – the philosophical and literary theme of habit served not only as a way to understand and represent the ordinary dimension of life, but also as a means to develop an idea of human subjectivity that could mediate between the centrifugal and the centripetal tendencies that permeated the competing ideologies of the time. The crisis of subjectivity that characterized modernism and which has often been simplistically represented as a disintegration of the subject into irredeemably broken fragments, should rather be seen as the development of a dialectical idea of a “minor subject”, that is, an open, dynamic, multilayered subjectivity still endowed by a certain malleable consistency. Both modernist literature and its philosophical counterparts found in the “minor subject” (here in the sense of “subject matter”) of habit, the opportunity to investigate and represent the porosity between activity and passivity, volition and determinism, individual identity and social structures, that characterize this idea of subjectivity. I focus on three different representative – though not exhaustive – facets of the issue. In the first section, relying on Virginia Woolf's work, I highlight how some of the narrative techniques developed by Modernist writers can be seen as an attempt to give a plastic representation to the blurred boundaries of subjectivity as captured in the everyday existence of their characters. I then connect these innovations to the theory of habit of Samuel Butler, whom Woolf identified as one of the harbingers of modernity. In the second section I focus on Marcel Proust to discuss how modernist writers proved to be able to combine two opposed views of habit: on the one hand, the view of habit as purely mechanical and leading to inauthentic life; on the other, the idea of habit as essential to the human being's potential for self-perfecting and creativity. The third section is dedicated to addiction, seen as a form of habit in which the subject is radically torn between opposite forces. Following insights from Sigmund Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I interpret Italo Svevo's Zeno's Conscience as a meditation on how such a torn subjectivity manifests the essential incompleteness of the human subject and life's insuppressible nostalgia for the inorganic. Virginia Woolf’s blurred boundaries, Marcel Proust’s ambiguous authenticity, and Italo Svevo’s split selfhood are three interconnected facets of the modernists’ interest in the “minor subject” of habit. Investigating the interaction between the philosophical and the literary discourses on habit at the dawn of the twentieth century can contribute to a more nuanced reconstruction of a pivotal moment in the history of thought but also to the contemporary philosophical debate. Almost exactly one century later, the renewed interest in the theme of habit mirrors a situation in part similar to what characterized the ideological landscape of the time, as now too it is concerned with the attempt to reimagine a “minor subject” that mediates between the postmodern pulverization of identity and the temptation of reaffirming anachronistic forms of strong subjectivities

    Michelangelo, l'architettura e le altre arti

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    L’Accademia Nazionale di San Luca dedica a Michelangelo, in occasione del quattrocentocinquantesimo anniversario della sua morte e a cinquanta anni dalla storica mostra del 1964, un incontro internazionale per celebrare il Maestro, invitando alcuni tra i maggiori studiosi buonarrottiani a fare il punto sull’architettura michelangiolesca e sui suoi rapporti con le altre arti. Figlia della medesima intelligentia delle altre arti, ma priva della possibilità di rappresentare direttamente la figura umana, l’architettura ha coinvolto Michelangelo in tutte le fibre della sua personalità, suscitandone la concettualità simbolica, la passione morale, l’espressione formale, la riflessione costruttiva. Introdotto da prestigiose lezioni magistrali, e dall’esecuzione al liuto dei madrigali musicati su testi buonarrotiani, il convegno tratterà dunque del ruolo anomalo, nel contesto della cultura rinascimentale, assegnato da Michelangelo all’architettura nei confronti non solo di pittura e scultura, ma anche del disegno e dell’ornato dell’opera del quadro. Nella tavola rotonda conclusiva, i membri dell’Accademia Nazionale di San Luca discuteranno infine del rapporto tra contemporaneità e Michelangelo, e della mutata relazione tra arti e architettura nell’odierno contesto culturale

    Il sistema Trauma Tracker - individuazione e analisi di parametri vitali acquisiti da monitor multiparametrico.

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    Lo scopo della presente tesi è lo studio e la progettazione di un sistema Hands-Free applicato in ambito Healthcare, volto ad aiutare il personale sanitario nello svolgimento delle mansioni lavorative. Il progetto, denominato Trauma Tracker, ha avuto origine grazie alla collaborazione con medici ed infermieri dell'ospedale Maurizio Bufalini di Cesena. In particolare, il sistema in prodotto si prende carico della compilazione del report finale contenente tutte le operazioni svolte sui pazienti nell'ambito del Pronto Soccorso, riducendo così notevolmente le possibilità di errori dovuti a fattori umani. Durante le fasi di sviluppo e progettazione sono state aggiunte ulteriori funzionalità al sistema, fino a farlo diventare vero e proprio oggetto incantato, in grado di esibire proprietà finora inimmaginabili in questo campo di applicazione. Trauma Tracker, almeno in queste prime fasi, non si propone come uno strumento immediatamente utilizzabile sul campo e pronto ad affiancare i medici, poiché necessiterebbe subito di qualità come robustezza ed affidabilità a livelli estremamente elevati. Per questo motivo il progetto è stato trattato come un "Proof of Concept", ossia un prototipo che ha lo scopo di dimostrare la fattibilità di tale sistema nella realtà, e di verificarne l'utilità una volta applicato in uno scenario concreto. L'argomento trattato ha quindi una grande importanza, poiché getta le basi di una tecnologia che un giorno potrà aiutare medici ed infermieri a svolgere al meglio l'impegnativo compito di salvare vite. In questa tesi, è stato approfondito in particolare il sottosistema utilizzato per il riconoscimento dei parametri vitali dal monitor multi-parametrico posto nei diversi reparti ospedalieri. Esso ha richiesto lunghe fasi di implementazione e collaudo per ottenere dei risultati soddisfacenti, che alla fine sono stati raggiunti

    Cormac McCarthy's The Stonemason and the Ethic of Craftsmanship

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    The Stonemason (1995), Cormac McCarthy\u2019s first published play, is a sustained meditation on the values of the ethic of craft as opposed to mere work, as well as on the difficult application of such values to reality. On the one hand, craft is represented as the quintessential value; on the other, it is measured against the real world in which values have to be constantly renegotiated in order to be useful. In this essay, I analyze how the tension between the ideal of the \u201ccraftsman hero,\u201d represented by Papaw, and Ben\u2019s attempt to live up to it traverses The Stonemason through three distinct if intertwined levels. First is the individual level, at which craft is intended as Ben\u2019s personal experience of learning from Papaw how to lay stone upon stone as he struggles to hold his family together. Second is the social level: stonemasonry is one element of the economic system which is the battlefield for the struggle between the effort of the oppressed to improve their position and the ever-renewing ways in which the oppressors defend and exercise their power. Finally, there is the symbolic-mythical level: here stonemasonry is seen as the archetypical craft embodying a view of the world as the product of either a benevolent or an evil God. It is in the tension between the ideal and the reality of craftsmanship as it crosses these three dimensions that one can appreciate the full scope and complexity of McCarthy\u2019s ethic of craft

    \u201cDer Mench [sic] ist ein Gewohnheitstier\u201d: Beckett and Habit

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    Habit plays an ambiguous role in Samuel Beckett's oeuvre: on the one hand, as Beckett claims in his essay Proust, habit is merely considered as \u201cthe guarantee of a dull inviolability\u201d, a protective screen dividing the subject from reality; on the other hand habit, as the area of friction between activity and passivity, is the object of extensive meditation and a pivotal element in the representation of Beckett's characters. In this paper I intend to investigate this ambiguity in the light of F\ue9lix Ravaisson's and Maine de Biran's philosophical reflection on the theme of habit and through a reading of the short story All Strange Awa

    Postoperative delirium in kidney transplant patients

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    Delirium, also known as acute brain failure, is a medical condition characterized by recent onset of confusion, fluctuating awareness, disorganized thought, with memory and attention impairment. Post-operative delirium (POD) generally arises 1 to 3 days after surgery, in 25-37% of the hospitalized patients and in > 65% of those admitted to intensive care unit [1]

    Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the "Narcissus" Between the Work Ethic and the Refusal of Work

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    In this essay, I investigate the role played by the work ethic in The Nigger of the \u201cNarcissus\u201d. I interpret the novel, in the wake of Fredric Jameson and Giuseppe Sertoli, as a political allegory expressing Conrad's views on the crisis of the value of work which took place during the fin de si\ue8cle. The novel represents an idealized pre-modern organic community, based on discipline and work, and embodied by the crew of the Narcissus, as it is attacked by the evil forces of degenerate modernity, embodied by the two antagonists James Wait and Donkin and their refusal of work. On the one hand, Wait stands for the turn-of-the-century decadent culture, which was undermining the Victorian faith in work. On the other hand, Donkin stands for contemporary social movements and criticism of the labour system of the time. By analysing the way the ethic of work and its discontents are represented in The Nigger of the Narcissus, and by highlighting the ambiguous stance taken by the narrator and the author in the face of it, I intend to show how, in spite of his veneration of work, Conrad was well aware that such an attitude was quickly becoming anachronistic. The organic community in which the Victorian worship of work could be a meaningful social experience rather than a mere glorification of profit and social climbing was on the wane, and a new and more modern ethic of work had to be invented
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