Publication details

Contemplating literature with Jan Patočka : phenomenology as an inspiration for literary studies



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Bohemica litteraria
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Jan Patočka; Paul Ricoeur; Milan Jankovič; Zdeněk Kožmín; phenomenology; aesthetic experience; lifeworld; movements of human existence
Description The study details Jan Patočka's contribution to literary studies and aesthetics. In the first part, the author examines links between Patočka's aesthetic views and his concept of three movements of human existence, namely the third movement of breakthrough or truth. According to Patočka, art reveals the meaning of existence and it also has the ability to remind us of the phenomenal nature of our lifeworld. In regarding art as a place where truth happens (truth in the meaning of Heidegger's aletheia), Patočka also foreshadows Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic concept of "productive reference". In the second part, the author analyses Patočka's influence on other Czech literary scholars, namely Milan Jankovič and Zdeněk Kožmín. While exploring the issue of meaning in a literary work, Jankovič was inspired by Patočka's aesthetic views and his concept of freedom in Negative Platonism. Like Patočka, he stresses the temporal aspect of meaning, its ontological openness and the category of freedom. Kožmín takes into account the wider context of Patočka's philosophical views. He regards the aesthetic experience as an existential event, which puts meaning to the forefront, together with modalities of the human experience of space and time.

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