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.