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The fire as a source of life

The Fire and the Tale
Georgio Agamben brings the reader on track to the essential questions of the transforming power of literature – the relation to the mystery of life itself. 

Agamben's latest book consists of a series of essays that revolve around the relationship between art and life. What is at stake in the literature? Is there a fire that our narratives have lost but that the writer is trying to rediscover? What is this philosopher's stone that the author, with the passion of an alchemist, tries to evoke in the furnace of words? The Fire and the Tale deals with literature, the mystery of language, the creative act (poetic act), the difficulty of reading, from the book to the screen, and the relationship between writing and life. The book brings the reader on track to the essential issues of literature as the transforming power – the relationship to the mystery of life itself.

The loss of the fire. We are surrounded by literature and fiction from all sides. Never before have so many books been published, but literature itself is just one form of communication among many. Literature as a life-forming utopia, on the other hand, as an experiential force, has lost its significance. When, according to Agamben, humanity moves step by step further and further away from the sources of the mystery of life, it is because we gradually lose the memory of what the tradition of literature has taught us about fire. . .

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Alexander Carnera
Carnera is a freelance writer living in Copenhagen.

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