Encounters with Bergson(Ism) in Spain: Reconciling Philosophy, Literature, Film and Urban Space

Encounters with Bergson(Ism) in Spain: Reconciling Philosophy, Literature, Film and Urban Space

Encounters with Bergson(Ism) in Spain: Reconciling Philosophy, Literature, Film and Urban Space

Encounters with Bergson(Ism) in Spain: Reconciling Philosophy, Literature, Film and Urban Space

Synopsis

Driven by a dual analysis, Encounters with Bergson(ism) in Spain looks at French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) in Spain--his more or less direct influence on Spanish letters--and also at Bergsonism in Spain--the more indirect resonance with his methodological posture--articulated through Spanish texts as well as theoretical approaches to film and urban space. Through this twin investigation, one part historical and the other part methodological, Benjamin Fraser seeks to broaden the scope of interest in Bergson's philosophy, to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of Bergson's thought, and to insist upon the relevance of Bergson's methodological premise to two of the most important cultural studies disciplines today--film studies and urban geography.



Following an eclectic and interdisciplinary methodology that the French philosopher himself advocated, Fraser reconciles works by some of the most notable twentieth-century authors and critics with compelling aspects of Bergsonism. From novelists Pio Baroja, Miguel de Unamuno, Juan Benet and Belen Gopegui to filmmakers Victor Erice ( El sol del membrillo), Alejandro Amenabar ( Abre los ojos) and Carlos Saura ( Taxi), as well as urban theorists Henri Lefebvre and Manuel Delgado Ruiz, this work takes up philosopher Gilles Deleuze's call for a "return to Bergson," pushing past the established boundaries of interdisciplinary to what lies beyond.



Fans of Bergson from all disciplines will also be eager to read English translations of Bergson's lectures at the Ateneo in Madrid the 2nd and 6th of May 1916, included here as an appendix.

Excerpt

BERGSON(ISM) in spain

A “return to Bergson” does not only mean a re
newed admiration for a great philosopher but a
renewal or an extension of his project today, in re
lation to the transformations of life and society, in
parallel with the transformations of science. Berg
son himself considered that he had made meta
physics a rigorous discipline, one capable of being
continued along new paths which constantly ap
peared in the world.

–Gilles Deleuze (Bergsonism, 1966, p. 115)

We gauge the significance of a doctrine of philos
ophy by the variety of ideas which it unfolds.

–Henri Bergson (quoted in Chevalier
1969, p. 74)

This book is driven by a dual analysis. It is a look at French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) in Spain–his more or less direct influence on Spanish letters–, and also at Bergsonism in Spain–the more indirect resonance with his methodological posture articulated through explorations of Spanish texts as well as theoretical approaches to films and urban space. Through this twin investigation, one part historical and the other part methodological, this work is meant to broaden the scope of interest in Bergson’s philosophy, to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of his thought, and to insist upon the relevance of his methodological premise to two of the disciplines most important to cultural studies today–film studies and urban geography. This is ultimately to recover the call made by Gilles Deleuze for a “return to Bergson.”

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