Schopenhauer and Beckett: Trauma of Modernity and Comedy of Incarnation
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cultural trauma

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Sidorov, A. (2020). Schopenhauer and Beckett: Trauma of Modernity and Comedy of Incarnation. Corpus Mundi, 1(4), 34-55.


The culture of modernity grows out of the traumatic experience of “European nihilism” and “the death of God,” i.e. the break with tradition and the collapse of a universal ontological and social order. One of the manifestations of the cultural trauma of modernity was the emergence of subject-object dualism, as a result of which the disembodied human subject was opposed to the impersonal and unconscious material world, which includes his own body. The problem of nihilism as a trauma of the crisis of meanings has been solved, since the era of romanticism, in a series of attempts to overcome the anxiety of the emptiness of the formal autonomy of the subject and to understand the paradoxes of incarnation. The aim of the article is to analyze the problem of corporeality in the context of the new European subject-object dualism in the work of S. Beckett, as well as in the philosophy of A. Schopenhauer, which had a decisive influence on Beckett. As a result of the research, a special way of working out the new European trauma of disembodiment was formulated, which consists not in a conservative striving to restore what has been destroyed and not in a revolutionary overcoming, but in an aporetic, deconstructive experience of undecidability and hesitation on the border of the subject-object split, which allows maintaining the "promise of happiness" and hope for redemption without shying away from the experience of disillusionment inherent in modernity and maintaining a presence of mind in the comedy of incarnation. The philosophical and artistic understanding of the problem of corporeality in the works of Schopenhauer and Beckett is one of the essential answers to the modern crisis of the foundations of life.
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