Awakenings: A Translation of Gabriel Marcel's Autobiography

Awakenings: A Translation of Gabriel Marcel's Autobiography

Awakenings: A Translation of Gabriel Marcel's Autobiography

Awakenings: A Translation of Gabriel Marcel's Autobiography

Synopsis

French intellectual Marcel's (1889-1973) autobiography veil?/> was published in 1971 by Gallimard, Paris. An English translation by Peter S. Rogers is being brought out in light of the impact his work has had on postmodern thought. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

The time is ripe, as we move into a new millenium, for publishing an English translation of Gabriel Marcel's autobiography, En chemin, vers quel éveil?, because of the renewed relevance and importance of his life and his creative productions to the contemporary world and to the post-modern situation. Since creativity is the primary dimension of the mystery of being, giving rise to all three instances of his creative production, music, drama, and philosophical reflection, the relation of his autobiography to his entire productive projects is clearly tied to the unifying thread of creativity. For creativity produces the life and the account of that life in his autobiography, just as it gives rise to musical compositions, to dramatic works, and to philosophical reflections and their expression in writing. The renewed need for his call to a sense of being is made more acute in light of the serious danger of suppression of the sense of being today in a way more threatening than in Marcel's own time. This renewed relevance of Marcel's invitation to reflect on the sense of being is what I intend to establish, thus showing indirectly how this autobiography, and indeed, his entire work, can serve as a call to us all today to be, to think, and to create artistically.

One cannot help being impressed with Marcel's familiarity with the history of philosophy, especially that in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a special reference to the idealism in France in the early part of the twentieth century. And to some extent, it is precisely his struggle with this form of idealism that makes even his earliest work relevant at the brink of the new millenium. His book on Schelling puts him at the core of the recent post-modern dialogue, since the romantics and idealists between Kant and Hegel serve as the . . .

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