The Art of Distances or, A Morality for the Everyday
The Art of Distances or, a Morality for the Everyday shows how British, French and German writers have dramatized the dilemmas of the ethical life with others in the twentieth century, and taken up the challenge of imagining new forms of community. Framed by an encounter between the thought of Theodor Adorno and Roland Barthes, the study traces an exemplary arc from 1933 to 1999, bringing together works of fiction, philosophy, critical theory, autobiography, social reportage and anthropology authored by deeply intriguing or controversial figures such as George Orwell, Paul Morand, Henry Miller, Elias Canetti, Iris Murdoch, Walter Benjamin, Annie Ernaux, Günter Grass, and others. Negotiating the ethical and the political, the role that intellectuals can, or should assume in the conflicts and debates of their time, trying to find adequate forms to express their dilemmas, these writers share a sustained attention to the question of the ideal distance between oneself and others in an age deprived of a shared morality.
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