Clemens van Loyen
Clemens van Loyen received his BA degree in Philosophy in 2008 from the Hochschule für Philosophie SJ in Munich. In 2010, he obtained his MA degree in Romanic Philology, Political Science and Sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (LMU). He studied Brazilian literature for one year at the Universidade de Espírito Santo (UFES). As a scholarship recipient (DAAD and CAPES), he was a German lecturer at the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) and the Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco (UNIVASF).
He is presently pursuing a PhD in the doctoral program of American History (ProAmHist) at the LMU. His dissertation is provisionally entitled: “O maior filósofo brasileiro do século 20”? – Vilém Flusser in Brazil: A Brazilian-Central European Intellectual History.” Recently he has been to São Paulo to study the connection between Flusser and Alice Brill on behalf of the Global Archives Project of the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach.
Articles of Clemens van Loyen
Der mühsame Auftakt einer publizistischen Karriere: Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert. Versuch einer subjektiven Synthese
This text is a part of my dissertation titled “Vilém Flusser in Brasilien. Eine Anthropophagie des Geistes”. It takes up Rainer Guldin’s reflections on Flusser’s Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert. Versuch einer subjektiven Synthese (cf. Flusser Studies, Nr. 20), a Flusser text which must be regarded as the foundation of his thinking and further writing. Flusser’s epochal title points to historicity. However, Flusser does not pursue an objective approach to history. He undertakes an anthropological introspection of the human being, considering its ‘products’, such as culture, language, philosophy, science, and religion. I draw philosophical and historical connections to two existentialist thinkers: Karl Jaspers and Gustavo Corção, both mentioned as ‘authorities’ by Flusser in a letter to Ernesto Grassi. In the last part of my article, I relate Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert to Flusser’s famous essay on Brazil: Brasilien oder die Suche nach dem neuen Menschen. There, Flusser is not only influenced by Hegel’s dichotomy of history and non-history, but also by notions from both Grassi’s and Keyserling’s Südamerikanische Meditationen. These ‘traditional’ notions are not uncritically adopted but “anthropophagically” converted into new Brazilian ideas.
Translation as an Act of Freedom – Vilém Flusser’s Philosophy of Translation
In this text I want to define Flusser’s notion of translation. The basis for my essay are his writings on language and translation. Focussing on the power and strength of language I will relate these writings to Ernst Jünger’s book Lob der Vokale which Flusser mentions in the bibliography of Língua e Realidade. In the first part of my text I deal with the aspects of linguistic domination and submission that arise when Flusser uses a specific language. They are two sides of the same medal. In the second part I discuss Flusser’s methods of translation more precisely. At this point I will take up his concept of ‘fragrancy’ (fragrância) which points in the same direction as Walter Benjamin’s ‘way of meaning’ (Art des Meinens). Lastly I argue that Flusser’s translation activities have to be understood within his dialogical concept of freedom as an opening towards the other.
A positividade da negação: o exílio de Flusser no Brasil
This text contextualizes Vilém Flusser’s exile in Brazil during the turbulent period of the civil-military uprising of the 1960s, both historiographically and philosophically. It focuses upon the Flusserian network and the discussions of his intellectual constellation. Flusser’s philosophical thoughts are examined through earlier writings including the books History of the Devil and Phenomenology of the Brazilian, in addition to essays published in newspapers, and to his personal correspondence. Interdiscoursive relations are further examined in reference to the writings of Ernesto Grassi and Ernst Jünger. Although Grassi and Jünger arrived in Brazil under different circumstances, they nevertheless introduced concepts that were somehow compatible with Flusser’s narrative of Brazilian history. Special attention is drawn to Flusser’s notion of “progress” and “history” in relation to the Cold War period.