Samuel Weber


The feelings of isolation and uncertainty experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic may refer us back to two historical accounts of the plague: the ancient one in Athens described and discussed by Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War; and the Black Death that ravaged Florence in 1349, giving rise to Boccaccio's masterpiece, The Decameron. In them, a political model of hasty decision and discourse (in terms of judgement and action) is contrasted with a literary model that valorizes the working of time and space in the reflection of events. Benjamin's critique of the “expansive tendency” in pseudo effective political discourse and Derrida's emphasis on the “feeling” for and with the animals provide a double theoretical ground for further understanding Boccaccio's “frictional” storytelling, setting the affective and the singular experience at the heart of what can be called a “politics of compassion.”


plague,frictionality,compassion,dem Wort Versagte

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