Reflections on a Shipwrecked Life

Saitya Brata Das

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Today our existence is shipwrecked more than ever before. All the values that hitherto governed our life have now lost their sense and ground. Bereft of any dwelling, our existence is thrown on the desert of exodus. Today the philosopher no longer dares to provide maxims - pure forms of universality - that can be filled up specific acts, or from which specific acts can be deluded. This can either be an occasion of despair or joy; this can also be an occasion to seize the lightning flash of beatitude liberated from constraints of the law. Having to undergo a shipwrecked life and surviving it can truly be an-archic life, life given to the perils of the sea and to its demonic weather, without certitude. We don't have to think this perild of temporality as a dialectical passage that continuously gives us back the identical and the necessary. What we need to think is the radical contingency of the event that gives us, without necessity, the possibility and actuality of the wholly otherwise.

This book is a collaboration of a writer with an artist. Together they reflect, and yet each on his and her own manner - her images and his aphorisms - of what welcomes the lightning flashes of a beatitude to a shipwrecked life, and what redeems it, without submitting the idea of redemption to the necessary logic of a determinate law.

Saitya Brata Das

Saitya Brata Das teaches at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is associated with the UFR Philosophie, Université de Strasbourg, France, and with Maison des Sciences de L'Homme, Paris, where he was Post Doctorate fellow during 2006-2007. His first book-length study called The Promise of Time: Towards a Phenomenology of Promise was published by Indian Institute of Advanced Study.