The Love and the Thought About the Literature in the Twentieth Century
To conceive the literature, the way we know it in our civilization circle, and literature in general, a lot of prerequisites must be fulfilled. When the historians and theoreticians of literature, philosophers and estheticians think, they tend to add great significance to their studies. Meanwhile, in the world in which we are living today, the results of their thinking would have much less significance if through the centuries the illusion of such necessity of this kind of thinking were continuing. The interpreters of literature are therefore attentive keepers of this tradition, but the end of the twentieth century brought them in a very difficult position. Today they look like some new scholasticians: knowledge has never been so perfected, while the social need of it so little, in case it still exists. It seems like we are closer and closer to the truth of our profession, just a little bit more and we can determine the “gender” of the angels of literature – by all chances they are beautiful women souls – and how many soft angels bodies could be called and placed on the “top” of a verse, we are already ready to determine and in details describe what are the narrative “syllogisms” in which one can see the writer’s thought and the function of the literature structure can be proofed, we are still glittering debate how between two equally attractive “layers” of meaning the reader fix upon, and so on… These are all familiar, for this occasion just little adjusted motives of a long time ago scholastic, yet they sound so convincing as a cynical description of knowledge collected by interpreting the literature. In that way the importance of the scholasticism was extinguishing as a style of thinking, in that way today a style of critical thinking about the literature is dying out. A generation of interpreters is extinguishing, which itself and its work consider oneself very dignified, even because it opens the road for its own end, and a kind of thinking is extinguishing due time end of its social necessity.
And yet, with different knowledge is filled this difficult and unpleasant century, in which the human confidence has found on much harder challenges then once upon time it were the wild hordes from East, with whom the creator has wiped a way civilizations like a rough move with sponge, or rearrange the contours written on the map of the world. When it is about the literature, a long way has been passed in understanding how from a ritual and myth significance the word has come to an artistically expression, and how the artistically expression from a privileged keeper of the sublimate meaning has become an example of a good writing. Still it has not all ends on it, but in this century the literary expression has again return to the everyday. In the everyday, the decreased literary means has given powerful weapons for advertising and marketing, or has deduced to expressionless form of bestseller and books that are read in the metro.
We are far from the beginning of the literature and from the basic questions that arise here, and without answers on relation between literature and love, as well as the relation between contemporary thinking about literature toward the problem of love, can not be. Why love is not decisive subject of contemporary thinking can be understood only if ones meets the antique literary. The Homer’s question, that old puzzle, does not at all deranged the build image on the root of the Western Literature, a row in which there is no apparent doubts: Homer Epics, Ionic lyrics, Athena’s play: respectively, myth, historiography and philosophy, and then dialogs prose and early love-adventurous story. When the order is determined, it is said more then just a chronology, it is said that when something necessary has spoken and initiate that from one spiritual sphere has come to the other, from one artistic expression to the other. It is not only that today rarely we are searching for these answers, because it seams like in the contemporaneity is caught the sum of literary genre and artistic expressions like some sort of necessary cluster that will never more change, but also the old dilemmas have slowly been forgotten, as the horizon of humanitarian questions in studying literature has been left out. The methodological poetry twilight has darken the basic questions, and especially the one that only matters: why poetry today. This question, however, can not be answered from just contemporaneity, because the contemporaneityis never whole and therefore with difficulty can understand the causes and consequences.
Therefore the thinking of contemporary appearances must always grasp in the past, hence the thinking of the literature in the twentieth century and the inseparable difficulties, in which it is, can not be understood unless seeing how those difficulties have originated.
The literary thinking that in spite of all challenges has insisted on one very important task – to discover the artistic form of literature and with it to provide its position among the theoretical and critical verbal genres, has abandon the idea of wholesome, only in which could be understood the meaning and purpose of that form. In the same swing, the thought about the literature by rule omit to espied that the very way of its own judgment it is too much connected with the questions, that are determined by tradition to whom it belong, and much less with opportunities which are subject of its studying leaves open. It was acceptable as long as the tradition is understood very broadly, however, when the thought of literature its own tradition recognize only as thinking about the literature, then the study subject is limiting so much that the basic meaning and purpose of study.
From Plato and Aristotle, and those who seams less significant not even to mention, until today, the literature by rule is understood only in one way: either as verbal form, or as social function of esthetic activity. Maybe that’s why it is easily forgotten that all of that, which could always obviate the crisis of studying literature and limiting today’s need to bring in question each certainty of that study. Poststructuralism, deconstruction, feminism, new historicism, dark esthetics – all of that is not more radical than that challenge of research which came from Nietzsche and Heidegger, even Adorno and Horkheimer, but it seams that the direction was changed, the vector of scrutiny, so the community of the interpreters of literature found themselves wondering, because they do not always need to look at the literature from the same linguistic and formative perspective. The situation has, however, just now become alarming, because the doubts do not rise in scarcity of interpretations, but in its abundance, in which serious deliberation decay easiest.
Is there, however, some hidden possibility to talk about the literature in a different way? Let’s say beyond the image that Hegel’s triad myth – religion – philosophy, which in the literature would look like myth – religion – literature, then meaning of the literary form and literary expression remain connected to oblivion (Heidegger) or trace (Derrida), simulation (Baudrillard) or dislocation (Foucalt), cleavage (Lyotard) or demobilization (Sloterdajk).