Living holds us between two places. It expresses what is most elementary—to be alive—and the absoluteness of our aspiration—finally living! But could we desire anything other than to live? In The Philosophy of Living, François Jullien meditates on Far Eastern thought and philosophy to analyze concepts that can be folded into a complete philosophy of living, including the idea of the moment, the ambiguity of the in-between, and what he calls the “transparency of morning.”
Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, this volume asks poignant questions about what it means to be alive and inhabit the present. Jullien develops a strategy of living that goes beyond morality and dwells in the space between health and spirituality.
One of the most influential cultural movements of the past century, surrealism has been extensively studied within the framework of its contributions to art and literature—but its pivotal role in the development of intellectual ideas, both political and philosophical, has yet to be fully explored. Featuring writings from the 1920s up to the late 1990s, this anthology—the first of its kind in English—finally reveals surrealism’s diverse scope, its deep contributions to the history of ideas, and its profound implications for contemporary thought.
Including essays by leading surrealists and other major writers on the movement, the volume addresses the key themes of identity, otherness, freedom and morality, and poetry. The texts uncover, among other things, the significance of surrealism for the antifascist and anticolonialist movements and the various manifestations of surrealism in the years after World War II. Giving space to the many different voices that made up the movement, and placing them for the first time within a clear and coherent historical framework, The Surrealism Reader radically revises the popular understanding of what, and when, surrealism was—making this book an essential reference for students, scholars, and all those interested in the central place of surrealism within twentieth-century thought and culture.
In This Strange Idea of the Beautiful, François Jullien explores what it means when we say something is beautiful. Bringing together ideas of beauty from both Eastern and Western philosophy, Jullien challenges the assumptions underlying our commonly agreed upon definition of what is beautiful and offers a new way of beholding art.
Jullien argues that the Western concept of beauty was established by Greek philosophy and became consequently embedded within the very structure of European languages. And due to its relationship to language, this concept has determined ways of thinking about beauty that often go unnoticed or unchecked in discussions of Western aesthetics. Moreover, through globalization, Western ideals of beauty have even spread to cultures whose ancient traditions are based upon radically different aesthetic foundations; yet, these cultures have adopted such views without question and without recognizing the cultural assumptions they contain.
Looking specifically at how Chinese texts have been translated into Western languages, Jullien reveals how the traditional Chinese refusal to isolate or abstract beauty is obscured in translation in order to make the works more understandable to Western readers. Creating an engaging dialogue between Chinese and Western ideas, Jullien reasseses the essence of beauty.