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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 26, 2008

Philosophy and Literature

Alec Gordon
Pages 51-56

The Philosophical Poetics of Counter-World, Anti-World, and Ideal World
Some Reflections

What might the project be of lyric poetry in late global capitalism in the early years of the new millennium which acknowledges both a post-romantic and modernist lineage, and which faces the critical challenge of postmodernist theorizing? This paper endeavors to respond to this question forwarding the Adorno-inspired viewpoint that the praxes of individual lyric poems reveal orientations of affirmation or negation be they intended or not. The thesis is stated that the “arguments” of modern poets are creative litigations posing counter-worlds, constituting anti-worlds, and projecting ideal worlds. The philosophical anthropology that informs this thesis focuses on the homo duplex conception of man as a double being—as a unique human individual and as members of the human species socialized into the social life-world. Thus a counter-world privileges the human subject in society as homo externus, whereas an anti-world centers on the human subject as homo internus opposed, at odds, or turned away from the external social life-world. These reflections finally concentrate on Northrop Frye’s idea of a “third order of experience” that, in his words, contrasts with “an existing world and a world which may not exist but is pointed to by the articulate orders of experience... this world is frequently called… an unborn world, a world that never quite enters existence.”

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