Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tell me Franz K., how it all got started?


In my humble opinion, Kafka's Das Schloss is the best embodiment the human condition in the age we call modern. Coming from a land, who is trying to come in terms with its modernization project, it has been a constant intellectual quest for me to understand what modernity exactly means, and why of all the places it started in Europe.

The classical explanations put almost all the time Europe in a special place. Modernism could only have started in Europe. And they choose a property of Europe of their ideological liking, and try to demonstrate it only existed in Europe. This is, in my opinion, a reversal of scientific method.

So the lead essay in this months CATO Unbound discussion series by Stephen Davies a fresh wind in my face. It explains the modernity as an emergent phenomenon that is in some way contingent, rather than a result of Europe's special place. This also brings the question whether or not the term Western Civilization makes sense anymore.. I recommend this article for those interested.

Maybe it would have helped K., to know how the perpetrator of his pain came into being.

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