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In this article, I seek to present a “metaphorology” of the shipwreck through a literary example. As Hans Blumenberg has noted, the shipwreck has served as a metaphor for the contingency of human existence in Western culture. Building on Blumenberg’s ideas, I argue that modernity heightens contingency and destroys the possibility of a coherent, anthropocentric discourse. For Quentin Meillassoux, the modern outlook exposes the contingency and inhumanity of reality. Building on Meillassoux and Blumenberg’s work, I address ideas pertaining to contingency and the metaphor of modernity-as-shipwreck by engaging with Dan Simmons’ historical novel, The Terror (2007), based on events surrounding the failed Franklin Expedition of 1845-48. The sinister, frozen wastelands of the Arctic figure as the limit of both European humanity and rationality. In Simmons’ novel, the traumatic encounter with cultural otherness conjures up visions of an implosion of colonial ambitions, as the crew members are gradually consumed by both the harsh environment and the ancient Inuit ice demon Tuunbaq and must confront the indifferent frozen wastes of a mythological, gothic North. Simmons’ gothic North Pole constitutes an example of “extro-science fiction,” situated beyond the limits of all knowledge.
“modernity” (or of how the political, social, cultural, technological, or economic relations were organized in the west, ensuring its domination over the rest of the world [cf Malik 2017 : 56; Mommsen 1987 : 38]). It required quite a leap of faith to propose that Arabic could be French’s match. But such faith was not in short supply, as proposers of the idea also saw Arabic as the language of god, thus the world’s first-ever language conferred on humanity directly from the heavens. From this perspective, French had to be inferior to the holy language of the Quran
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SELEJDAK, J. - KONSTANCIAK, M. - MIELCZAREK, K. 2010. Chapter 3. Evaluation of technological efficiency and up-to-dateness of machines used in building industry. In Operating Efficiency and Machines Modernity. Ed. and Scientific Elaboration
Michał Lenartowicz, Emanuele Isidori and Barbara Maussier
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2. Isidori E. (2010). Pedagogy of sport in postmodern culture: perspectives for social inclusion. In A. Cunti (ed.), Revenge of the State: physical activity and sports in the Education Act (pp. 122-135). Milan: Franco Angeli. [in Italian]
3. Giddens A. (2002). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the Late Modern Age. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. [in Polish]
4. Bauman Z. (2000a). Post-modernity