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Jude Sein – Being Jewish – Ser Judeu / Spuren des Jüdischen in Vilém Flussers Denken

These two short essays try to retrace some of the main interrelated nodal points of the Jewish dimension in Vilém Fusser’s thinking and writing: Bodenlosigkeit, Heimatlosigkeit, nomadism, exodus, desert, sand, dune, tent, wind, bit, grain of sand, swarm, Sabbath, epoché, mysticism, nothingness, Pilpul, Talmud, polysemy, multilingualism, and translation.

Jude Sein (PDF 261.89 KB)
Spuren (PDF 328.14 KB)

O tradutor e a janela: Entre o método e a prática

This paper addresses the issue of how to use translation as a method to understand archives. To this end, this paper proposes an intersection between Vilém Flusser’s reflection about his own writing method and the artistic experience of Mabe Bethônico as translator of the archives of the geologist and geographer Edgar Aubert de la Rüe.

O tradutor e a Janela (PDF 340.45 KB)

Imagem como língua: uma leitura flusseriana

This article explores the concept of language as shown by Flusser in his book Língua e Realidade in order to explain that it is a comprehensive and symbolic structure which can be undertood in a restricted or in a broad way.

Imagem (PDF 154.33 KB)

Translating Space: On Rivers, Seas, Archipelagos and Straits

This paper explores possible convergences between translation and geography focusing on a series of spatial metaphors that try to break free from the simple idea of separation and opposition. Languages are viewed not as radically differing self-contained cultural continents existing on separate shores or riverbanks but as moving and constantly intermingling currents and heterogeneous interlinked archipelagos. Instead of the metaphor of the river that has to be crossed in the course of translation, the paper focuses above all on the metaphor of the strait which stresses the very difficulties of translation highlighting the absence of any easy binary division.

Translating Space (PDF 406.14 KB)

O mundo novo da língua no itinerário de Vilém Flusser

When Vilém Flusser reached Brazil as a Jewish fugitive in the early 1940s, he didn´t know any Portuguese, and he faced a long and difficult path of nearly twenty years until he published his first article in the language of the new tropical world. From this painful experience with a new form of thinking, and by practicing a constant dialog between his Jewish-Czech-German culture rooted in Prague and the Portuguese language, he discovered that whatever he thought in Portuguese was informed by a specific Portugality or Brazilianness, that every language has its reality and that this new language and culture didn’t fit in with the categories of his youth. In this process, Flusser turned to one of the most important philosophers, including some of the most important intellectuals like Guimarães Rosa, who recognized the special character of the Portuguese language and who contributed fundamentally to the development of an authentic Luso-Brazilian philosophy.

Mundo novo (PDF 213.53 KB)

De Flusser a Benjamin – do pós-aurático às imagens técnicas

This text presents some elective affinities and differences between the works of two powerful media theoreticians of the 20th century: Water Benjamin and Vilém Flusser. Both authors have shaped original perspectives on the relationship between art and technology. While holding a special place for the theory of photography, both have reflected upon the history of writing and its transformations during Modernity. In addition, both Benjamin and Flusser dedicated important texts to the question of translation and the philosophy of language. This text also examines the differences between the Benjaminian theory of writing and image reproduction connected to his concept of post-auratic images, and, on the other hand, the Flusserian theory of technical and post-historical images.

De Flusser a Benjamin (PDF 156.83 KB)

Translating Multilingual Life

This essay reexamines the cultural implications of the act of translation through three quotations from Portuguese into English from Vilém Flusser’s 1992 philosophical autobiography Bodenlos. In retranslating this multilingual life, this act once again displaces preconceived notions not only of philosophical “groundedness,” as Flusser has called it, but also of the very possibility of cultural centrality, to say nothing of authenticity. Moreover, through the continued recirculation of such textual fragments beyond the strictly perceived boundaries of ‘the language in which they were written,’ such transcultural acts may well provoke yet another series of divergent interpretations, especially when read against the backdrop of a New Coast: a geographical zone mapped out by way of a new set of interconnected cultural experiences and markings of multilingual life.

Multilingual Life (PDF 128.56 KB)

Verwurzelung und Bodenlosigkeit – Strukturelle Fremdheit bei Vilém Flusser

The paper delivers a reading of Flusser’s Concept ‘Bodenlosigkeit’ (groundlessness) with respect to the Husserlian concept of ‘Lebenswelt’ (life-world). By examining the connection between ‘Bodenlosigkeit’ with its complementary term ‘Verwurzelung’ (rootage), ‘Bodenlosigkeit’ is illustrated as Flusser’s idea for what current phenomenological approaches call ‘structural foreignness.’ ‘Structural foreignness’ functions as an important premise for Flusser’s subsequent philosophy of dialogue and communication.

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