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A story of our wasted time

Existentialisterna. A story of freedom, being and apricot cocktails
Forfatter: Sarah Bakewell
Forlag: Albert Bonniers (Sverige)
Existentialists stared at the emptiness in the white eye – and still tried to preserve their humanity. Göran Rosenberg reads a brilliant story about a bunch of philosophers who remain current even today.

When Nietzsche's fool towards the end of the 1800 century rushed around with a lit lantern in the middle of bright dan and shouted "God is dead! God had already been dead for a long time, but only the fool (or Nietzsche) seemed to have grasped what it meant. What it meant to the fool (and Nietzsche) was the end of the certainty of man's place in existence and the beginning of endless wanderings in empty nothing for something to hold on to.

When the fool saw that the people around were just staring at him in amazement and not grasping anything, he threw the lantern into the ground so it crashed and went out.

"I'm coming too soon," he said.

Hannah Arendt. About thirty years too early in particular. With World War 1914, the social and moral order in Europe broke apart and millions and millions of people again were forced to stare blank in the white eye, and the fraudulent bubble of external certainty and confidence burst with a bang.

"The days before and after the First World War are different, not as the end of an old and the beginning of a new era, but as the day before and after an explosion," wrote Hannah Arendt, who was eight years old when the world exploded, and twenty-seven when the Nazis pulled the ground off her feet and nothing was left to hold on to, and just over forty years when in her headache, The origin of totalitarianism, tried to put into words what it was that had happened.

Hannah Arendt belonged to those who very well understood what the fool (and Nietzsche) had meant. Many others also understood it and tried to put into words what it was. . .

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