University of São Paulo, Brazil
Eva Batlicková earned an M.A. in Philosophy and Portuguese Language and Literature at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. She lives in Brazil and studies at the Jewish Studies Department at the University of São Paulo (USP).
Articles of Eva Batlicková
Até a terceira e a quarta geração: a experiência do holocausto como fundamento das teorias de Vilém Flusser / Unto the Third and Fourth Generation. The Experience of the Holocaust as the Basis of Vilém Flusser’s Philosophy / Do třetího i čtvrtého pokolení
This essay focuses on the fundamental significance of the Holocaust in Vilém Flusser’s life and thinking. In his still unpublished Até a terceira e a quarta geração (Unto the Third and Fourth Generation) written in the early 1960ies, the problem of Nazism is explicitly thematized and linked to the development of Western society. The abandonment of a religious view of the world in the Renaissance led to the loss of a grounding sense of reality, which was filled up by science (the new religion) and later on by nationalism. These developments eventually led to the First and the Second World War, as well as to Auschwitz and Adolf Eichmann as the ideal representatives of the apparatus and the functionary.
Saul segundo Flusser
This paper will focus on the first text of Vilém Flusser maintained until today. It is the play Saul, written by the thinker at the age of fifteen or sixteen, in 1935 or 1936. The drama, filled with an anguishing existential atmosphere, was written in Prague, the city dangerously neighboring Germany, where the Nuremberg anti-Semitic Race Laws had just began to come into force. In his first work, the author had already built up a dialectical structure, characteristic of his later texts. His very peculiar dialectics, however, does not generate a synthesis, much to the contrary; it generates another dialectics, which instead of limiting, broadens the reflection. In Saul, darkness is opposed to light, Saul to David, the Bible to the twentieth-century. In Flusser’s play, the elements obtain unconventional meanings: darkness is connected with feminine, with nature, with mythos and reconciliation; in turn light, which represents the Universal God, is related to violence and suffering. Saul is an errant character with flaws, weakness, and is deeply human, while David, with his perfection, is perverse. In the last scene, the biblical poetic world of lamentations and hymns cedes place to the prosaic universe of the twentieth-century. The dry, ironic and scientifically objective style of the dialogues between a physician and a man “in leisure clothes” dominates the stage on which lies Saul’s body. This brief text presents excerpts from the play and contextualizes it in light of Flusser’s later works.
A insustentável leveza de pensar: Jogos, joguinhos e jogaços de Vilém Flusser
This article seeks to disclose the strategies used by Vilém Flusser for writing his texts while living in Brazil. After presenting the basic elements of his Brazilian „performance“, we turn our attention to the controversies around him – why was he rejected by many contemporary scholars, why was he subjected to severely ironic criticism by professional critics and – at the same time – aroused great interest among a vast number of readers? Starting from the analysis of his book “Language and reality“ and from three essays, we try to show that the philosopher developed the practice of playing a particular kind of game as a clear and sophisticated strategy to get across an emotional and eloquent meaning through his work. In the last pages of his book “Brazilian Phenomenology," written shortly after leaving Brazil for good, he introduces the behavioral characteristics of a new man, the “homo ludens" whose involvement with society displays structure of a game: neither to win, nor to avoid defeat, but to play with the purpose of changing the rules of the game. Studying the works of Vilém Flusser, we reach the conclusion that he himself used this third type of action, crossing through the traditional discourse of western science, causing the indignation of professors, irritating journalists and fascinating readers.