Chapter

Postmodernism's Relation to Evil

Keith Doubt

in Understanding Evil

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780823227006
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235872 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823227006.003.0008
Postmodernism's Relation to                 Evil

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This chapter focuses on Peter Handke's A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia, which speaks about evil from a postmodern perspective. Handke wants to teach his readers that there is never an authentic relationship between an image and its significance except the randomness of its construction. The picture of the unrestrainedly crying face of a woman does not necessarily reflect sincere grief or authentic sorrow. The truth that Handke heralds is that there never is an essential or integral relationship between a sign and what is signified. This is the notion of pragmatic intelligibility, which, according to Handke, is true for not only others' but also his own representations. Handke's advantage is simply that he embraces this postmodern epistemology that insists upon the randomness of what we assume we understand and disavows any principled character of discourse.

Keywords: Bosnia; evil; postmodernism; Peter Handke; image; pragmatic intelligibility

Chapter.  5544 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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