A Collaborative Autobiography
Gianni Vattimo, a leading philosopher of the continental school, has always resisted autobiography. But in this intimate memoir, the voice of Vattimo as thinker, political activist, and human being finds its expression on the page. With Piergiorgio Paterlini, a noted Italian writer and journalist, Vattimo reflects on a lifetime of politics, sexual radicalism, and philosophical exuberance in postwar Italy. Turin, the city where he was born and one of the intellectual capitals of Europe (also the city in which Nietzsche went mad), forms the core of his reminiscences, enhanced by fascinating vignettes of studying under Hans Georg Gadamer, teaching in the United States, serving as a public intellectual and interlocutor of Habermas and Derrida, and working within the European Parliament to unite Europe.Vattimo's status as a left-wing faculty president paradoxically made him a target of the Red Brigades in the 1970s, causing him to flee Turin for his life.; Left-wing terrorism did not deter the philosopher from his quest for social progress, however, and in the 1980s, he introduced a daring formulation called "weak thought," which stripped metaphysics, science, religion, and all other absolute systems of their authority. Vattimo then became notorious both for his renewed commitment to the core values of Christianity (he was trained as a Catholic intellectual) and for the Vatican's denunciation of his views. Paterlini weaves his interviews with Vattimo into an utterly candid first-person portrait, creating a riveting text that is destined to become one of the most compelling accounts of homosexuality, history, politics, and philosophical invention in the twentieth century.
Analogies 1. Incipit 2. Last Things 3. Closeness 4. The Untied Shoelace 5. Rorschach Test 6. Plateau Rosa 7. Being 8. Epochs 9. The Impossible Return 10. Debut 11. On the Banks of the Neckar 12. "Mad, utterly desperate study" 13. Vampires 14. Paradigms 15. Popular Novel 16. Oratory 17. Catholic Action 18. Beyond the Horizon 19. Working-class School 20. Demonic Possession 21. Ulcer and Mao 22. The Dream of a Thing 23. Take a King and Thrash Him 24. Porta Palazzo 25. From Heidegger to Marx 26. The Movement 27. State of Grace 28. The Bicycle Left Behind 29. Lukacs's Slippers 30. Forced Out 31. In America 32. The Two Boys 33. Death Threats 34. Revolutionary Moralism 35. Weak Thought 36. Roots 37. Terraces 38. A Safe Pair of Hands 39. The Volunteer for Weak Thought 40. The World 41. In History 42. In Human Conversation 43. Barbarians 44. Science's Positive Side 45. Obituaries 46. Obituaries Two: Cacciari 47. Obituaries Three: Eco 48. Under a Bad Sign 49. With the Younger Son 50. The Frankfurt School 51. The Rich Fiancee 52. The Little Old Lady in New York 53. Almost a Mayor 54. The End of Prehistory? 55. Joachim of Fiore 56. At a Certain Hour 57. Return to Christianity 58. Some Reality, Please 59. If Stalin Had Been a Nihilist 60. Evil, What a Pity 61. If I Weren't God 62. Compline 63. The Treasure Chest of Being 64. Flashes Envoi Acronyms