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From crisis to meaning: creativity in the Biblical narrative of Eve and the inversion by F. Kafka

    Luc Anckaert Affiliation
    ; Roger Burggraeve Affiliation

Abstract

The possibilities of creativity in human life depend on discovering the meaning of life. Franz Kafka’s story Before the Law evokes how every attempt at finding this meaning, represented as the law, comes with a crisis and can result in failure. The secret of human existence is all about intimate personal encounters. The other than myself, which is also deeply present inside myself, is not the impersonal thing that it is oftentimes made out to be. In an already published article, we presented a close-reading of Kafka’s text. We only refer to the results in the first paragraph. In this article, we read the biblical narrative on Adam and Eve as a text that is structured by the same economy – the intertwinedness of the I-Thou relation with the I-It relation. But in opposition to the Kafka narrative, the crisis is overcome and results in a new creative perspective on the human condition: the discovery of the ultimate intersubjective meaning of life. The meaning makes love and labour possible. It means that the creativity of becoming human is the result of interaction. The context of our research is a long project on developing a philosophical reading of Biblical texts that was developed at the KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. The methodology is inspired by the Talmudic readings of Emmanuel Levinas and by the philosophical interpretations of the Bible of Paul Ricœur. In this way, we introduce a non-confessional way of understanding religious texts on the creativity of becoming human.


Santrauka


Kūrybiškumo galimybės žmogaus gyvenime priklauso nuo atrastos gyvenimo prasmės. Franzo Kafkos apysaka Prieš įstatymą sukelia minčių, kaip bet kokiomis pastangomis rasti šią įstatymo simbolizuojamą prasmę, prasidedančią nuo krizės ir galinčią baigtis nesėkme. Žmogaus egzistavimo paslaptis yra absoliučiai neatsiejama nuo intymių asmeninių sutikčių. Kitas, skirtingai nei aš pats, kuris taip pat esti giliai manyje pačiame, nėra nesuasmenintas daiktas, kuris dažnai taip traktuojamas. Jau paskelbtame straipsnyje pristatėme nuodugnų Kafkos teksto aiškinimą. Pirmame skirsnyje tiesiog pateikiame prieitas išvadas. Šiame straipsnyje interpretuojame biblinį Adomo ir Ievos naratyvą kaip tekstą, kurio struktūra grindžiama tokia pat ekonomija – Aš–Tu ir Aš–Tai santykio sampyna. Tačiau, priešingai Kafkos naratyvui, krizė įveikiama ir baigiasi nauja kūrybine žmogaus būklės perspektyva, atradus didžiausią intersubjektyvią gyvenimo prasmę. Prasmė suteikia galimybę mylėti ir dirbti. Tai reiškia, kad tapimo žmogumi kūrybiškumas yra sąveikavimo rezultatas. Mūsų tyrimo kontekstą sudaro Leveno katalikiškajame universitete (Levenas, Belgija) vykdytas ilgalaikis projektas, plėtojęs filosofines biblinių tekstų interpretacijas. Šiuo atveju pristatome nekonfesinį būdą suprasti religinius tekstus, skirtus tapimo žmogumi kūrybiškumui.


Reikšminiai žodžiai: kūrimo naratyvas, dialoginis mąstymas, žmogaus būklė, Kafka, Levinas, gyvenimo prasmė, Rosenzweigas.

Keyword : creation narrative, dialogical thinking, human condition, Kafka, Levinas, meaning of life, Rosenzweig

How to Cite
Anckaert, L., & Burggraeve, R. (2018). From crisis to meaning: creativity in the Biblical narrative of Eve and the inversion by F. Kafka. Creativity Studies, 11(2), 258-272. https://doi.org/10.3846/cs.2018.1787
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Nov 27, 2018
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