The present collection includes chapters on Hofmannstahl, Lukács, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Weber, Derrida, Schmitt, Canetti, and Aeschylus. Written between 1978 and 2006, these essays engagingly address the most hidden tradition in European political thought: the Unpolitical. Far from being a refusal of politics, the Unpolitical represents a merciless critique of political reason and a way out of the now impracticable consolations of utopia and harmonious community. Drawing freely from philosophy and literature, The Unpolitical represents a powerful contribution to contemporary political theory.
A lucid and engaging Introduction by Alessandro Carrera sets these essays in the context of Cacciari's work generally and in the broadest context of its historical and geographical backdrop.
Massimo Cacciari has been Dean of Philosophy at the Università San Raffaele in Milan and has served three times as mayor of Venice. He was also a member of the European Parliament in 1999. His books in English include Architecture and Nihilism, Posthumous People, The Necessary Angel, and The Unpolitical.
Alessandro Carrera is Director of Italian Studies and Graduate Director of World Cultures & Literatures at the University of Houston. He has edited Italian Critical Theory (Annali d’Italianistica, 29), and Music and Society in Italy (Forum Italicum, 49).
Massimo Verdicchio is professor of Italian and comparative literature at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Naming Things, Reading Dante Reading, and The Poetics of Dante’s Paradiso.
Saviano tells of huge cargoes of Chinese goods that are shipped to Naples and then quickly distributed unchecked across Europe. He investigates the Camorra's control of thousands of Chinese factories contracted to manufacture fashion goods, legally and illegally, for distribution around the world, and relates the chilling details of how the abusive handling of toxic waste is causing devastating pollution not only for Naples but also China and Somalia. In pursuit of his subject, Saviano worked as an assistant at a Chinese textile manufacturer, a waiter at a Camorra wedding, and on a construction site. A native of the region, he recalls seeing his first murder at the age of fourteen, and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to aid an eighteen-year-old victim who had been left for dead in the street.
Gomorrah is a bold and important work of investigative writing that holds global significance, one heroic young man's impassioned story of a place under the rule of a murderous organization.
Though drawing on philosophers of Europe’s past, Cacciari calls not to resist Europe’s sunset but to embrace it. Europe will have to open up to the possibility that in few generations new exiles and an unpredictable cultural hybridism will again change all we know about the European legacy. Though scarcely alive in today’s politics, the political unity of Europe is still a necessity, however impossible it seems to achieve.