|Titre : ||West of Eden, East of the Chessboard : Four philosophical looks upon the Unknown / auteur(s) : Rouben SHOUGARIAN - |
|Editeur : ||Gomidas Institute, London|
|Année : ||2010|
|Imprimeur/Fabricant : ||Taderon Press|
|Description : ||15,5 x 23 cm, 207 pages, couverture illustrée en couleurs|
|Collection : || |
|Notes : || |
|Autres auteurs : |
|Sujets : ||Armenian international relations -- US politics|
|ISBN : ||UL£ 16.00, US|
|Lecture On-line : ||non disponible|
Foreword to Chapters I and II.
Things will not be necessarily continuous,
The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterized as a pause.
There will be some things that people will see.
There will be some things that people won't see.
And life goes on.
The Situation. A poem by Donald Rumsfeld. Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing. (From The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld, compiled by Hart Seely).
The first two chapters of this book will probably stir up a lot of questions about why we chose to resort to a gregarious discussion of somewhat vague and dubious abstractions. The philosophical message contained in them might be viewed as absolutely pointless, whereas the whole idea and the concept behind it could be labelled as a worthless effort or a mental exercise on a nonexistent subject with no audience to address it to. But the subject does exist, and it is by no means a remote abstraction, relevant only for a tea party small talk, or the dead poets' society. Its nagging importance is forcing its way up to the list of the present day challenges and their root causes, which did not seem a priority in the bygone century. The subject dealt with in these chapters is in need of serious attention and unconventional analysis, which, I believe, cannot be provided with the help of the ordinary operational tools and notions of today's political science and sociology. It needs to be enriched by the unprejudiced study of the evolution of the human consciousness, responsible for the shaping of societal values, and animated by the vital links to the various aspects of spiritual activity.
The style of the first chapter, which was meant to focus on the sociological and philosophical causes behind the contemporary American political mind-set and decision-making, might be criticized as too literary, too sophisticated, too artistic and too exuberant with various allusions and names. The links to American literature and the cultural realm at large could be questioned as well. The parallels drawn to the present day Russia will surely make more than a few eye-brows rise and might be considered as fictional. In a humble anticipation of all possible criticism, as well as of an almost certain reproach, that a thirty-odd page discourse is too long and too boring for a time-pressed American or even a more tolerant and patient European reader, the following should be stressed. This kind of a style is chosen on purpose, for we designed it to be an indivisible part of the content, although never sacrificing the latter to the former.
The same goes right for the second chapter, which was conceived and drafted as a concrete piece of detailed literary criticism, allegorically bridged to the problems of modern time politics. Both chapters can also be read and perceived as stand-alone pieces. However, in the long run they are parts of the whole. And while literature is undoubtedly much more than a spicy side-dish in the first piece, which still puts the emphasis on societal problems, national mind-set and politics, it definitely grows to be the main course in the second, never diminishing to the supporting role of a comfortable audio-visual aid. It is a world in itself, where answers can be found to the questions posed by the fields other than literature. That is why Anne Rice's exceptional talent is scrutinized with a dexterity, which could seem relevant rather for the narrow field of modern literary criticism, than for a symbiotic discourse on some past and present socio-political realities of the Euro-Atlantic world.
Both chapters expect the reader to be inwardly active, because not only the ideas and thoughts but also their colorful anthropomorphic entourage and the self-imposing allusions were intended to provoke an electrifying aesthetical dialogue with an anonymous interlocutor, whom all of us grow up to locate inside ourselves. In fact, there is hardly a word, a name or a quotation, that has been used without purpose or reason, whereas the natural spontaneity of the discourse was kept unharmed by the plot unfolding itself in keeping with the individual rules of artistic inspiration. This is very much in line with a confession George Orwell made in his essay Why I Write: "What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, 7 am going to produce a work of art.' I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. "
While the philosophy of Chapter I is mainly focused and based upon the types and the role of human will in decision-making, Chapter II observes the ancient myths, legends, religious texts and the literary metaphors in the context of the evolution of human consciousness, types of thinking and character. The never-ending biblical standoff between necessity and freedom is viewed from different angles.
In fact, the second piece has been derived and conceptually deduced from the first one. It takes the practical advantage of the philosophical abstractions given in Chapter I and its Afterward. Here again, the subject itself, the associative parallels, the metaphors and the allegories might seem quite unusual, but so is the time we are now living in.
The one-polar world reality with its new challenges, dangers and unpredictability calls for a new thinking, new political and philosophical mentalities and a new approach to the emerging problems, the effects of which could be devastating if their root causes are not thoroughly studied; and if the international community, the US in particular, is not properly motivated and mobilized to face the pressing ordeals of the new millennium. Under the present circumstances, in order to safeguard the long-term secure, sustainable and dignified existence, one has to elaborate and implement a short-term survival strategy. The physical survival is only a part of the problem. It can become a part of the solution only if a simultaneous spiritual survival is secured, which should be nourished by the socio-cultural riches of the past, as well as the courage to stand against the fetish of its petrified dogmas. This will help to build a future, based upon the best traditions of old times as well as a conscious ability and a free choice to graduate beyond them.