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The Origin of the PoliticalHannah Arendt or Simone Weil?$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276264

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276264.001.0001

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(p.42) 8 Forces
The Origin of the Political

Roberto Esposito

, Vincenzo Binetti, Gareth Williams
Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that the Iliad constitutes the most perfect example precisely because nothingness can be perceived there in all its meaningful resonance. Weil's definition of the poem as the “picture of God's absence” (Notebooks, Vol. II-A, 405), as “misery of the man without God” (Notebooks, Vol. I- C, 229) should not be interpreted merely in terms of lack. It should be interpreted in the sense of the powers that fill and inhabit, of the plenitude that installs itself most optimally in the absence of God, or, rather, as that absence itself in its most terribly “positive” expression, as the content of Abandonment: “The Creation is an abandonment. In creating what is other-than-Himself, God necessarily abandoned it” (First and Last Notebooks, 103). It is in such abandonment that the dominium of force emerges and imposes itself. The Iliad gives the most complete expression to this dominium.

Keywords:   Simone Weil, Iliad, creation, force, nothingness, philosophy

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