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Call for Papers n. LXIII/1 – Fantasy, reverie, monstrosity

Deadline: November 1, 2023

The editorial board of the philosophy journal «Il Pensiero» selects original contributions in the form of essays and reviews for the issue dedicated to the topic:

Fantasy, reverie, monstrosity

Human imagination has always been engaged – in addition to understanding reality for what it appears to be, i.e. for what appears more or less clearly and distinctly of it – to imagine another and disconcerting reality generated by the fantastic deformation of our ordinary experience, even if our daily existence is perhaps already haunted by monsters and improbable creatures – at least according to Rodolfo Wilcock: probably, it’s just a matter of knowing how to recognize them! In any case, one thing is certain: Western literature, art, myth and philosophy of every era are populated by monsters. The Middle Ages, for example, was a breeding ground for monstrous creatures; but the Renaissance was, too. In truth, prodigious beings and beasts of various kinds have continued to haunt our civilization even in more recent times: suffice it to consider, in the nineteenth century, some of the well-known “creatures”, now part of the collective imagination – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson or Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Then think, in the middle of the twentieth century, of Franz Kafka’s stories, or of the great protagonists of the surrealist avant-garde: the monstrous creatures of Max Ernst or Leonora Carrington, but already those of Alberto Savinio, and the “monstrously beautiful” disturbing creatures, imagined by Boris Vian in Et on tuera tous les affreux. Or finally, to come to our own literary tradition, Dino Buzzati’s dragons. (But the unconscious tilled by Sigmund Freud would also prove to be full of monsters). Perhaps, therefore, the monster and the monstrosity have to do with something that concerns the most essential and intimate spheres of the human psyche. And perhaps monstrous are also the most incredible and improbable speculative architectures to which Western thought has been able to give shape: from G.W.F. Hegel’s Absolute Spirit to Emanuele Severino’s Original Structure. Only apparently “rational”, therefore. From this very extensive material, which the Journal intends to probe by hosting research that unfolds its richness but above all explores its theoretical virtualities, at least one question emerges, which can serve as the leitmotif of the volume: if the lógos has not always needed to mask the monstrous originally guarded by it and therefore to make believe, believe only, that the real is made up only of logical and very clear consequentiality, but above all very normal, relatedness.


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