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(2014) Encounters in performance philosophy, Dordrecht, Springer.

After tragedy

Jean-Luc Nancy

pp. 278-289

Five years ago, I delivered the lecture that I will take up again before you, and which until now has been published only in Greek. I delivered it in the presence of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. The conference we had been invited to was dedicated to tragedy "in the past and in the present", or "from the Ancient Greeks until our times", and it is the extension "until our times' that persuaded me to accept to speak on a subject which I have rarely expressed myself on, because I always left the field entirely to Philippe. I had another reason for being in Stagira: at the same time, we were paying homage to an old colleague of ours, Jean-Pierre Schobinger, a professor in Zurich and a great friend of Greece, who had recently died. Today, it is to Philippe himself to whom we pay homage — to Philippe, whose death is not exempt from the tragic, which he made the dominant tonality of his thought and life — of his life which was always too painfully conscious of heading towards death. It was also distressing to him — as it was to an entire tradition whose tenacity and endurance never cease, in spite of everything, to astonish me — to know that he had arrived so late after tragedy: that is to say, after this moment that we believed to have been blessed with knowing how to say — to sing, to play, to interpret — the curse of the mortals. In referring to this Greek moment, or to an even earlier one, Homer could say that the gods foment the ruin of men in order to be sung.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137462725_14

Full citation:

Nancy, J.-L. (2014)., After tragedy, in L. Cull & A. Lagaay (eds.), Encounters in performance philosophy, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 278-289.

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