Arquivo para June 5th, 2024

Experience, narratives and vision of the future

05 Jun

In the chapter that Byung-Chul Han deals with the poverty of the experience of modernity, remembering that it is not just about digital life as it predates it, he tells the fable of a man on his deathbed who tells his children that there is a treasure hidden in his vineyard (pg. 31), and after digging a lot, they finally understand that the vines in those lands produced more than any other (Han, 2023, pg. 31), in an important detail he explains that “it is characteristic of the experience that it can be narrated from one generation to the next” and this is what has been lost in the storytelling narrative.

Narration presupposes tradition and continuity (Han, pg. 34) and it is this that “creates a historical continuum” while the poverty of experience is “animated by the pathos of the new” that “generalizes the new barbarity and transforms it into the principle of the new: Descartes belonged to this lineage of builders, who based his philosophy on a single certainty – I think, therefore I am – and started from it” (pages 34 and 35).

Paul Scheerbart reminds us that in his essay Glass Architecture “he talks about the beauty that would arise on Earth if glass were used everywhere” (pg. 38) and curiously, modern architecture is full of this “metaphor” (I also remember here the architecture (pg . 38), and they give a special aura as a means to the future, but as Han explains: “the future is an appearance of something far away” (page 39) that only the present cannot confer, this is a ‘feeling’. beginner”, which does not stay on the surface and which conceives a “different way of life”.

Exhausted late modernity is alien to the “beginner’s feeling” (page 40), “we profess nothing”, we are “comfortable” with convenience and like (idem), “information fragments time… reduced to a strip narrow view of current things”, I would add that we do not have reading, knowledge and reflection on previous things that made the history of culture and knowledge itself, not reduced to the Cartesian fraction of reason.

We are in a culture of “problem solving… in the form of compressed time” (page 41), but the author does not let slip a vision of the future: “life is more than solving problems… those that only solve problems no longer have a future… the narration reveals the future, only it gives us hope” (page 41).

The narrative is present in the background of different cultures, from religious to social and political, people built them more than their rulers and emperors who succumbed to them, Napoleon did not leave an imperial France, but a resigned one, Bismarck and Hitler did not leave a superb Germany, but knowing where philosophy found its roots, the colonial submission of the Americas and Africa, in the East there are still lapses of colonialism, leaving peoples more fighting and in search of their own narration, there is life beneath the dust that dictators and colonizers wanted to reduce us, I also remember the Eastern and Western cultures of religious narration, they are no less important, they support them.

Of course, there is also storytelling in this environment, false prophets and “pastors” who seek religious enslavement, but the biblical and oriental teaching is different and as it is a narration it cannot be confused with stereotypical and segmented reading, they also suffered from Cartesianism and idealism, when these “fake religious people” who demand a “modern narrative” that takes account of current storytelling.

Already at that time, Jesus was being asked about the existence of eternal life. He remembers the burning bush passage in which Moses had spoken directly to God (Mc 1,26): “As for the fact of the resurrection of the dead, have you not read in the book of Moses, at the burning bush, how God said to him: ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’?” and instead of denying the ancient narrative, it reaffirms that it is part of the tradition and that a new reality was already being written there.

Han, B.C. (2023) A crise da narração. Transl. Daniel Guilhermino. Brazil: Petrópolis, Vozes.