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By Witold Gombrowicz

Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969), novelist, essayist, and playwright, used to be essentially the most vital Polish writers of the 20 th century. A candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968, he used to be defined through Milan Kundera as “one of the good novelists of our century” and by means of John Updike as “one of the profoundest of the past due moderns.”

Gombrowicz’s works have been thought of scandalous and subversive by way of the ruling powers in Poland and have been banned for almost 40 years. He spent his final years in France educating philosophy; this booklet is a sequence of reflections according to his lectures.

Gombrowicz discusses Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Heidegger in six “one-hour” essays and addresses Marxism in a shorter “fifteen-minute” piece. The text—a small literary gem packed with sardonic wit, superb insights, and provocative criticism—constructs the philosophical lineage of his work.

Witold Gombrowicz is the writer of Ferdydurke, Trans-Atlantyk, Pornografia, and Cosmos, the 1st on hand from Yale college Press. those, with his performs and the three-volume Diary, were translated into greater than thirty languages.

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Extra resources for A Guide to Philosophy in Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes

Sample text

40 philosophy in six hours spective, the human mind seems like something created by two different elements which never meet each other. Man is precisely this hole. Again a formula from Hegel which will give you an idea of his rather complicated language: man is the principle through which the world’s reason arrives at self-awareness. Let us now take a look at Hegel’s logic. It is presented grosso modo in the following way: I assert that nothing exists, but because I assert it, then at least my assertion exists.

Husserl’s method has been compared to the way to eat an artichoke, that is, that I observe a notion in my consciousness. Example: the color yellow. I try to reduce it to its purest state, like the artichoke, leaf after leaf. And when we finally reach the heart, we throw ourselves upon it and devour it. Phenomenology is a descent to the most profound notion, the last notion of a phenomenon, and when it is purified, we throw ourselves upon it and swallow it by direct intuition. I remind you that intuition is direct knowledge without reasoning.

1. Schopenhauer’s metaphysics (first part of the book) is not valid today (I know that noumenon is intuition, the will to live), formulated in this way. 2. No doubt the aristocratic aspect of this philosophy. For Schopenhauer, there are mediocre men and superior men. He insulted the mediocre ones. 35 witold gombrowicz 3. He was against life (his philosophy was against it), whereas one can derive some very useful things about politics from Hegel, as Marx did. Schopenhauer sought renunciation, he sought to kill the will to live.

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