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Stud East Eur Thought (2009) 61:5369 DOI 10.

1007/s11212-008-9068-5

Nietzsche, postmodernism and the phenomenon liogeris in contemporary of Arvydas S Lithuanian philosophy
_ Baranova Ju rate

Published online: 29 January 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Abstract This article is based on the presupposition that postmodern philosophy has been largely inuenced by Nietzsches writings. The author raises the question of how Nietzsche and postmodern philosophy are interpreted in the contemporary philosophical discourse in Lithuania. The conclusion drawn is that many philosophy ius, Sodeika, critics in Lithuania are interested in Nietzsches philosophy (Mickevic erpytyte _ , Sverdiolas, Baranova) and in the problems of postmodern philosophy S erpytyte ukauskaite yte ius, Z _ , Rubavic _, S _ , Sverdiolas, Baranova, Norkus). The (Kers article also raises a second crucial question: beyond the critics, are there any truly authentic postmodern thinkers in Lithuania? This articles main hypotheses is that liogeris philosophy is the best and perhaps the only example of original Arvydas S Lithuanian postmodern thought; it is based on, and interconnected with, the deeply inherited roots of existential thought in Lithuanian philosophical culture. The liogeris is the rst philosopher arguments for these hypotheses are as follows: rst, S in Lithuania who has tried to reason in an interdisciplinary manner, e.g. trying to overcome the modernistic distinction between philosophy and the arts (especially liogeriss philosophizing is literature, poetry, and the visual arts); secondly, S indispensable to his writingshis texts are examples of an experience of writing as thinking and thinking as writing; thirdly, following Deleuzes presupposition that liogeriss approach. the philosopher is a creator, one can see this creative aspect in S His texts show how it is possible to synthesize insights from philosophy and poetry. Keywords Nietzsche and postmodernism Lithuanian philosophy liogeris Arvydas S

J. Baranova (&) Minties 18-57, Vilnius 09224, Lithuania e-mail: juratebaranova@yahoo.com

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Nietzsche and postmodernism: the Lithuanian case rgen Habermas remarked in his book The Philosophical Discourse of As Ju Modernity, Nietzsche was the philosopher who opened the doors to postmodernity. In Western philosophy, as Martin Heidegger observed, Nietzsche was long misunderstood and misinterpreted; he was adored, imitated, criticized or exploited (Heidegger1991, p. 4). But in the second half of the 20th century, one could see that most of the postmodern philosophers devoted much attention to Nietzsche (Derrida 1985; Deleuze 1988; Rorty 1989; Vattimo 1993). Heideggers Nietzsche, published in 1961, is of crucial signicance for postmodern thinkers. In Italy, the Italian philosopher Gianni Vatimo remarked that the crude Nazi interpretations of Nietzsches concepts have begun to be outmoded (Vattimo 1993, p. 85). What is the situation within contemporary Lithuanian philosophy? Have these crude interpretations of Nietzsche also become outmoded? Compared with other philosophers of the nineteenth century, Nietzsche has quite a high prole in contemporary Lithuanian culture. Almost all of Nietzsches works have been translated or are in the process of being translated (Also sprach Zaratustra, Jenseits von Gut und Bose, Gotzen-Dammerung, Die frohliche Wissenschaft, and Zur Genealogie der Moral, Ecce homo, etc.). In April 2004, Antanas Andrijauskas organised the conference The Relevance of Friedrich Nietzsche: Theoretical Interpretations. The proceedings were published under the title Apologia of Life: Theoretical Interpretations of Nietzsche, edited by Andrijauskas, in 2006 as the second volume in a series devoted to non-Classical philosophy. Quite a few philosophy analysts have written at least one chapter on Nietzsche in their books, in regard to different problems of philosophy. In his book Steigtis ir sauga, Aru nas Sverdiolas interpreted Nietzsche as the philosopher of the break, who rejected the illusion of transcendence and began totalizing immanence (Sverdiolas 1996, pp. 193225). Donatas Sauka, in his book The Epilogue of a Faustian Age, discerns the riddle of Nietzsche as his attempts to reason otherwise ius, in his 1991 article The Will in (Sauka 1998, pp. 429442). Vytautas Rubavic Everyday Life: Ubermensch, a review of Nietzsches Collected Papers, emphasizes how Nietzsches thought is connected with the existential question of the ius seeks out the sources destiny of Western Civilization. On the other hand, Rubavic ius 1997a, of Nietzsches thought in the tradition of German Romanticism (Rubavic pp. 132141). Andrius Konickis, in his text The Great Sick Man, meditates the peculiarities of Nietzsches personality and remarks that Nietzsche was a most kind, gentle, and modest man. He also discusses Nietzsches health problems and his attitude towards women (Konickis 2006, pp. 1341). erpytyte _ interprets In her book Nihilism and Western Philosophy (2007), Rita S Nietzsche as the rst philosopher to justify nihilism from a philosophical perspective. She also remarks that, paradoxically, Nietzsche was the rst to berwindung). Her main formulate the requirement of overcoming nihilism (U interest is a reection on how Gianni Vattimo is continuing Nietzsches attempt at erpytyte 2005, 2007, p. 471). berwindung (S U ius is perhaps the only person in Lithuania to have written his Aru nas Mickevic ius 1992). In 2004, Mickevic ius published Power PhD thesis on Nietzsche (Mickevic

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and Interpretation: Proles of Nietzsches Philosophy. In these texts, he refers to his strategy for interpreting Nietzsche as contra-traditionalistic, though he agrees with Heidegger that Nietzsche was the last metaphysician, while he, on the other hand, ius tries to highlight Nietzsches attempts to avoid traditional metaphysics (Mickevic 2004, p. 17). He emphasizes Nietzsches concept of the Will to power as a modus ius stresses the for overcoming nihilism and a monistic worldview. Mickevic struggle of positive and negative powers inhabiting this concept. His main focus is on the presuppositions in the understanding of the world in Nietzsches texts. In her book Nietzsche and Postmodernism (2007), the principal question asked by _ Baranova is another one altogether. She tries to discern the reception of Ju rate Nietzsches thought in the texts of Derrida, Rorty, Bataille, Deleuze, and Foucault. She states that Nietzsches opposition to Kant (pluralism versus monism; voluntarism versus rationalism; the poetics of writing versus the clumsy expression of thought) can be considered the postmodern opposition to modernism. In the second chapter (Der Wille zur Macht: from the philosophy of Life towards postmodernism), the main hypothesis of the book is that every new interpretation of Nietzsche starts from its own premises and is often incommensurable with others. Which Nietzsche?the chapter heading asks rhetoricallyare we referring to today? Simmel interpreted him as being very close to Schopenhauer and Jaspers, as a philosopher of life; very close to Pascal and Dostoyevsky, as an existentialist; Heideggers opposite as the last metaphysician; and as a very strict philosopher who was close to Aristotle. Kaufmann interpreted the concept of Wille zur Macht as a self-overcoming; Nehamasas self-creation, with Rorty following Nehamass lead. Danto suggests an analytical reading of Nietzsche, while Vattimo emphasizes the Dionysian creative forces in his works. Even the French postmodernists, who can be considered his main followers, emphasize different aspects of his thought. Could these different Nietzsches belong to one model, or they are incommensurable? The author suggests the latter interpretation. On this basis it should be clear that Nietzsche and the problems of postmodernity have not been neglected in Lithuania. French postmodernism was the rst to reach Lithuanian readers. In 1993, the Baltos lankos publishing house published a translation of Jacques Franc ois Lyotards book The Postmodern Condition. Soon after, the same publishing house followed with the translations of three books by Michel Foucault: The History of Sexuality, Discipline and Punish, and The Order of Discourse. In 2000, the same publishers released a collection of works on religion, yte _ ) and Gianni along with a translation of short texts by Derrida (translatorKers _ Vattimo (translatorSerpytyte), and in 2007 Jacques Derridas Of Grammatology yte _ Kers _ . Books by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari appeared translated by Nijole have not yet been translated, but excerpts of their works Image-Movement and Image-Time were presented in an issue of a journal published by Baltos lankos, which was devoted to various interpretations of their texts. Aru nas Sverdiolas is the interpreter who is most interested in contemporary French philosophy, including ukauskaite _ Z _ reections on the Deleuze phenomenon (Sverdiolas 2006). Audrone ukauskaite ius (Rubavic ius 2003) have written much _ 2005) and Vytautas Rubavic (Z ukauskaite _ published Beyond the Signier on the problems of postmodernism. Z Principle: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, and Critique of Ideology, which could

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be considered as the rst answer to the challenge of Western postmodernism. In this book, she attempts to reveal the theoretical coherence and continuity between not only psychoanalysis and the critique of ideology, but deconstruction as well. ukauskaite _ , a self-avowed feminist, is also interested in the problem of women in Z postmodern culture. In 2005, she compiled and published a collection of Slavoj iz eks texts under the very intriguing title: Everything You Wanted to Know About Z iz ek, but Did Not Dare to Ask Lacan. Z In his book The Post-modern Discourse: Philosophical Hermeneutics, Decon ius concentrates not on Nietzsches roots, but struction, and Art, Vytautas Rubavic on Heideggers and Derridas deconstructive strategies as well as their attitudes towards meaning and truth in art. He analyzed the roots of postmodern discourse and the internal course of its aestheticism, which has been conditioned by the peculiarities of re-thinking artistic phenomena as well as the deconstructionist strategy for breaking down all oppositions between center and periphery. iuss intention in the book is to reveal the interactions between philosophRubavic ical hermeneutics and postmodern discourse, especially deconstruction. He looks at post-modern discourse from a hermeneutical perspective, stating that the loss of point of departure in the post-modern approach very frequently results in metaphors connected with light and pointing to Heideggerian Lichtung. Therefore, interpreters of post-modern discourse are not themselves deconstructionists. He compares Heideggers and Derridas deconstructive strategies and their attitudes ius suggests that the sources of towards meaning and truth in art. Rubavic postmodern philosophy should be traced back to hermeneutics, and not only in Kierkegaards and Nietzsches work; but on the other hand he agrees that Nietzsches account of art is also very important for hermeneutics as well ius 2003, p. 26). Rubavic ius has translated Zygmunt Baumans Global(Rubavic isation and its Consequences. A new translation of another of Baumans book, ius), has also appeared recently. The Liquid Love (translated by Almantas Samalavic publishing house Alma littera has published the German version of postmodernism, or rather the opposition to nietzschean postmodernity. In 2002 they published The rgen Habermas, and in 2004 Our Philosophical Discourse of Modernity by Ju Postmodern Modernity by Wolfgang Welsh (both translated by the veteran Nietszche translator, Alfonsas Tekorius). Returning to French postmodernism, only two of Georges Batailles novels have been translatedThe Story of Eve and The Abbot C. They were met with silence. His philosophical works The Inner Experience and the diary Guilty are still awaiting translation. Maurice Blanchot is also still relatively unknown, with the exception of _ s Baranovas book Philosophy and Literature: Contradictions, Parallels, and Ju rate Intersections (Baranova 2006). In this book, she draws the conclusion that Batailles novels differ radically from the existential and phenomenological premises in the writing of Camus and Sartre. On the other hand, she regards Batailles literary creation and philosophical meditations as rather independent lines of his thought. The book concentrates primarily on Blanchots book about Kafka. The section Franz Kafka and French Postmodern Philosophy sets forth three perspectives on Kafkas revival in contemporary philosophy. It comes to the conclusion that Blanchot based his research on Kafkas biography but, in contrast to Kristevas

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research on Proust, Blanchot laid bare the presuppositions of non-literary truth which transcend biography. Deleuze conducted his research on Proust from a different anglethat of the Writing Machine. This book starts from the hypothesis that Friedrich Nietzsche opened a new perspective on philosophy as a mode of writing, which was then further elaborated by Derrida and Rorty. The books rst chapter, A Philosopher Acting as a Writer, discusses philosophy as a mode of creation, as suggested by Deleuze. Without doubt many philosophy writers in Lithuania are interested in Nietzsche erpytyte ius, Sodeika, S _ , Sverdiolas, Baranova) and in the problems of (Mickevic erpytyte ukauskaite yte ius, Z _ , Rubavic _, S _ , Baranova, postmodern philosophy (Kers Norkus). But the question remains, is there in Lithuania an authentic postmodern thinker? liogeris and double meaning The contradiction of passion: S There were three reasons for choosing to interpret the philosophical works of liogeris. First, he is the most productive and well-known Lithuanian Arvydas S philosopher. Second, his texts testify to the originality of his thinking. One can distinguish the interpreters and critics of postmodernism from authentic postmodernists because the latter are philosophers who think independently. The rst tradition has already been discussed. Third, in my opinion he is almost the only postmodern thinker in contemporary Lithuanian philosophy who does not identify himself with postmodernity. liogeriss books testify to his productivity. In 1985, he published his Arvydas S mogaus pasaulis ir rst book: The Human World and Existential Thought (Z egzistencinis ma stymas); in 1990, Being and World (Bu tis ir pasaulis), though it was written in 19771980, which is why it can be considered his rst book. It can be described as the intellectual diary of young philosopher. His most admired work is Thing and Art: Two Sketches on the Ontology of the Artwork (Daiktas ir menas: du daikto kaip meno ontologijos eskizai), which was published in 1988. Several books appeared over a two to three year period: Post-scriptum; from Philosophical Diaries (1992); The Pools: Selections of Essays (1992); Confessions of a Conservative. The liogeriss writing into two periods: Texts of 19881994 (1995). One can divide S earlier and later. The works already mentioned are from his earlier period. It liogeris: the rst, is also possible to discern two philosophical subjects created by S from his earlier period, might be called the hunter for being. The latterthe son of Nothingness. He exemplies the trust of the philosopher for the being who is accounting for reality this side of the horizon. The main value of this subject is liogeriss works was discussed philotophy (the love for ones land). This aspect of S liogeris meditated on God, who aitis. During this period, S by Regimantas Tamos inhabits the things which are his shelter, his home, his temple, his sanctuary liogeris 1990, p. 45). The Silence of Transcendence. Fundamental Philosophical (S Questions (Transcendencijos tyla, 1996) was written as a textbook and can be considered a transitional work, though the most academic. It fully elaborates the concept of a thing. But one year later, in 1997, a new book appeared, The Names of

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Nothingness (Niekio vardai). The dark color of the cover is like a warning of impending radical change. The new concept of Nothingness, which was almost absent from his earlier hunter for being period, starts substituting for the formerly dominant concept of Being. His latest book was published in two volumes; Nothing and Is-ness (Niekis ir esmas, 2005a, b) covering almost one thousand pages. It was written after a period of silence and withdrawal from social life. liogeriss philosophy is the best and The main hypothesis of this article is that S perhaps the only example of original Lithuanian postmodern thinkingand one which is based on and closely connected with the roots of existential thought that have been profoundly appropriated by Lithuanian philosophical culture. The arguments for the hypothesis are as follows. First, he was the rst philosopher in Lithuania who has tried to reason in an interdisciplinary manner, i.e., to overcome the modernist distinction between philosophy and the arts (especially literature and the visual arts). As a matter of fact, recently, perhaps under the inuence of his liogeris has turned to photography, much admired philosopher Jean Baudrillard, S and he is even set to publish a new book, Archipelagos of Melancholy, with photo liogeriss philosophizing is inseparable from his illustrations by him. Secondly, S writings. Sliogeriss texts are examples of the experience of writing as thinking, and of thinking as writing. It is difcult to decide whether this position was freely chosen, or if it just came about as a result of an undeniable literary talent and a liogeris, without any doubt, is a philosopher rst and feeling of language. But S foremost; one who is deeply immersed in potent philosophical thought. He reasons schematically, clearly, and explicitly. It is easy to follow the main idea of his text. In his writing, he follows one very clearly stated thought that he has chosen. The philosophical treatise, in spite of its external form, is the dispersion of one thought liogeris 1990, p. 13), is how S liogeris begins the book Being and World. From this (S point of view, he is a convinced modernist. On the other hand, the style of expression he has chosen for his philosophical insights does not resemble the strict and heavy style of Kants and Hegels texts. On the contrary: sometimes he practices a semi-aphoristic and semi-essayistic form of writingthe one preferred by Nietzsche, Bataille, and Baudrillard. His book Man and World was written in this aphoristic manner, which the author himself calls an intellectual diary of his youth. Names of Nothingness was also written in this semi-aphoristic style. Likewise, in his last huge academic treatise Nothing and Is-ness, one sees inclusions reminiscent of a liogeris is a neodiaryaddressed to the author himself. Our third argumentS Nietzschean post-modern writeris that he is a typical example of a philosophercreator, discussed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in What is Philosophy? or in interviews (Deleuze 1990; Deleuze and Guattari 1994). liogeris texts could be called neoParadoxically, the philosophical subject of S Nietzschean, though against his own will. I dislike Nietzsche. I have always said, and I am going to continue to say, that Nietzsche was a fool and an endlessly unfair liogeris 2005b, p. 536), writes philosopher, maybe not even a philosopher at all (S liogeris at the end of the volume Nothing and Is-ness, repeating the same things he S expressed in the preface to the Collected Papers of Nietzsche, published in Lithuanian. Many of Nietzsches aphorisms give off a smell of chloroform and carbolic, and the incurable malice of the diseased man towards the healthy

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liogeris 1997, p. 9). On the other hand, the reader of the Collected Papers can (S liogeris translated this incurably sick mans Go notice that S tterdammerung. Why, if one considers it to be a source of illness? In his last book Nothing and Is-ness, when using the word postmodernism liogeris always places it in inverted commas, thus expressing his distance and S liogeris rather irony. In many discussions on the topic of postmodernism, S imperatively suggested no longer using this concept at all. On the other hand, liogeris reads Baudrillard with sympathy. In the book The Names of Nothingness S he even dedicates one chapter to him, naming it The Dreams of the Telehominoid. One notices many references to Baudrillard in Nothing and Is-ness. liogeris succeeds in extracting Baudrillard from the company of postSomehow, S modern thinkers, proclaiming him to be a metaphysician. As a matter of fact, liogeris explicitly opposes only the writings of Jacques Derrida, in particular his S presumption il ny a pas de hors-texte (nothing exists outside the text). But the other postmodern authors such as Deleuze or Bataille are close partners of liogeriss philosophical monologue, accompanying him with suggestive quotaS tions. Maurice Blanchot, also a friend of Nietzsche, is mentioned as well. They are all the rst neo-Nietzscheans who integrated Nietzsche into contemporary French philosophical culture. liogeris ignores these contradictions. He simply enjoys writing text; writing S with inspiration; with creativity and devotion. His writing is so passionate that it could be compared to the prayer of a religious zealot. As a writer, he postpones the moment when one should place the nal full stop, and the result is such that at the end of this writing it appears that everything written was written to refute and deny the entire sense of the writingto return to the lost Cosmopolis of things liogeris, as if he themselves, stating the meaninglessness of language and the word. S were a Zen master, suddenly announces the almost sacred authenticity of reality and liogeris, by means of powerful language, of surrounding things. It seems that S strains towards the thing as a place of being, forgetting that this reality of things shows itself more openly when one does not speak much about them, and does not repeat obsessively how important it is to experience this authenticity of reality. The proximity of reality best reveals itself in the silence of meditation when the chaotic stream of consciousness has been halted and suspended. Why was it necessary to write a huge philosophical treatise about this suspension? In my opinion, this is the liogeris has chosen; one that is main paradoxical aspect of the philosophical path S perhaps even tragic, but which imbues his works with intrigue and inner tension. Somehow, it reveals a strange contradiction: the philosopher tries to defend himself from the obsession of thinking by writing. Perhaps it is out of this contradiction that ius, reecting on this strange repugnance for language suddenly arises. Rubavic Sliogeris double attention towards language, remarks that the critique of language liogeris sometimes looks like a peculiar incantation of language. practised by S liogeris sometimes paradoxically, with the pathos of a On the other hand, S Gnostic or an alchemist, starts to glorify the magic powers of language, as if he expected the result that reality itself would respond to such a call of language liogeris texts ius 1998, p. 5). Maybe the dark philosophical subject of S (Rubavic forebodes the reasons for the free and easy development of his written text. For this

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reason he repudiates language. On the other hand, he plunged into writing as a sh plunges into the water (freely and with similar joy). He respects language, believing liogeris 2005b, p. 529) the ability of writing that one that language has to befall (S accepts as a gift. Who can know the joy experienced by the lonely thinker when left alone, face to face, with language? No one but he himself. I imagine that these joys are no less than those experienced by warriors, gamblers, politicians, adventures, speculators, sculptors, or painters. The source of this joy is always the sameunion with the other, which is very like a trout oundering on the bait liogeris 2005b, p. 532). A trout oundering on a lure is one of S liogeriss beloved (S images, expressing one of the possible variations of the other very important metaphor for himthe lightning ashes of Is-ness. For a while the philosopher liogeriss texts are penetrated by this enters into an agreement with the writer. S immense longing for reality. Philosophy is a kind of writing, Richard Rorty once wrote, dening the sketches of postmodern philosophy. This is also valid for liogeriss philosophy, in my view. S liogeriss texts, concludes Rubavic ius Contradiction is the main feature of S (1997b, p. 120). What is its source? In my opinion, in order better to understand the liogeriss thinking, it is constructive to discern the double phenomenon of S meaning which accompanies his every concept. One can see the basic split between what might be called the bright and the dark sides of his philosophical subject. The dark philosophical subject is plunged deeply into monologue, is inuenced by the passions and, sometimes, by a paradoxical fear. The bright one is open to dialogue, and explicitly includes the insights of other philosophers in the horizon of his thinking. The bright side is able to say about himself: The author knows very little, but he nevertheless knows that he himself, or his soul, is Nothingness, Emptiness, and it is mainly for this reason that all he can say is the liogeris 2005a, p. 9). stuff which is usually called inuence (S This bright side of the philosopher is open to the insights one can nd in the texts of Nietzsche and the postmodernists. But the dark side is inclined to refute these insights. Paradoxically, the dark side jealousy dethrones and debunks those thinkers whose insights are very close to those of the bright one. Sometimes the dark side writes under the inspiration of some paradoxical fear. Fear is also the most liogeris (2005a, p. 164). He also authentic ex-tuition of Nothingness, writes S remarks that the Son of Nothingness (one of his metaphors for naming his latest philosophical subject) is afraid of himself most of allof his own humanity, not the liogeris 2005a, p. 164). But the bright one writes pure inhumanity of the other (S without fear. The bright side speculates together with Nietzsche and the postmodernists. Nietzsche is second only to Plato according to the frequency with which he is quoted in Nothing and Is-ness; Nietzsche, together with Plato, Hegel, Aristotle, Kant, Heraclitus, and Parmenides is one of the everlasting partners of the dialogue which started with the philosophical tradition in this book. He nds some liogeris sees a parallel of Nietzsches ideas interesting and he reects on them. S between the return of the eons of dream, in his own conception, and the principle of liogeris 2005a, p. 18). beyond good and evil postulated by Nietzsche (S Nietzsches Human, all too Human metaphor also seems acceptable to him liogeris 2005a, p. 41). S liogeris equally agrees with Nietzsche when he interprets (S

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liogeris 2005a, p. 94). He paraphrases Socrates last words as his disdain for life (S liogeris 2005a, Nietzsches idea of dening religion as metaphysics for the masses (S pp. 131, 152). Sliogeris equates Nietzsches concept of Der Wille zur Macht with liogeris 2005a, p. 154). Heideggers idea of Dasein, or the Kantian thing in itself (S This list of the interconnections between Sliogeris and Nietzsche is not a closed one, as presented here. At least even the dark side tries to express his opposition to St. Paul, which is another return to Nietzsche, this time to the dark Nietzsche himself: Paul was the genius of hatred. The religion of love appeared out of liogeris 2005b, p. 179). By this very personal style of rejecting everything hatred (S the philosopher dislikes and the inclination to evaluate all values at one stroke, liogeris comes very near to Nietzsche: hasnt this dark philosophical subject of S liogeris learnt from the dark subject of Nietzsche? Kant thought that the worst S thing a philosopher could do was to contradict himself. But this reproach is valid only for modern philosophers. The post-modern philosopher, as a matter of fact, is not only a philosopher but also something of a poet. The creative mind of a poet is always prepared to oppose itself, it considers what it says as a banality. In my view, liogeris writes philosophical texts more by his deep architectonic thinking S reminiscent of Nietzsches than Kants style of thinking. As a poet, he resorts to negative thinking, which allows him to at once state and negate the same thing; by this he transcends the opposition between truth and falsehood. The insights of the poet are evaluated according to their power to guess the secret depth of existence, liogeris noticed that but not by a logical sequence. In his book Being and World, S the place of contradiction is not in logic, but in passion. All so called logical contradictions are altogether nonsense in the case where passion does not contradict itself, as long as it is not confronted with the rapier of another passion. As reality is replete with contradictions, the poet is like the most sensitive receptor of these contradictions and is involved in this opposition as well. I express my love and my liogeris summed up his book Being and World, as if he were a poet. hatred is how S Sliogeris criticizes himself, saying that this book is too personal, and that it contains visible traces of individuality: it lacks cold and clear reection on things; it has too liogeris much feeling and too much passion, and too little theoretical neutrality (S 1990, p. 7). All critical reproaches seem vain. Philosophical critics are not opposing liogeris in our culture (and not only in philosophy) is poets. The phenomenon of S absolutely unique. His texts show the ability and possibility of a synthesis of philosophical and poetic insights. If the postmodern philosopher could be compared with the modern philosopher by the criterion that the latter is a thinker, while the liogeris could former is not only thinker but a creator as well, my conclusion is that S be considered as the rst authentic postmodernist Lithuanian philosopher.

Philotophy: from poetry back towards philosophy liogeris is particularly interested in erauskas has remarked: S As Tomas Kac philosophical poetics. A simple poetic word is contradistinguished towards lyrical erauskas 2006, p. 176). Moreover, Kac erauskas considers that uttering (Kac liogeriss concept of theoretical scrutiny does not deal with poetry alone. It could S

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be used as a metaphor with which to model culture. In his book Being and World, liogeris meditates on the phenomenon of being, and considers that man, as a S creature directed towards things, can express himself only through things. He discerns two fundamental ontological orientations. The rst he names the orientation to being, or the place this side of the horizon, the otherthe orientation to as-if-being, or the world. The author considers that he himself is in a state liogeris is easier, between belief and unbelief. Understanding the phenomenon of S in my view, when this sphere of between is broadened. Sliogeris constantly writes and reects on the in between of philosophy and literature. The Philosopher criticizes the Poet for his far too personal view of the world. Moreover, the philosopher rebels against the literary man in himself, and against the literary man tout court, considering the latter to be but a technician in this respect; he is very close to the biochemist, the popular art star, the tuner of the bench machine, or the plumber. The literary man creates a nice articial language. He is a functionary of liogeriss view, his beloved Lithuanian writer Bronius Radzevic ius is language. In S liogeris, he despised literature. Moreover, not a man of letters. According to S liogeris 1997, p. 39). But he hated nice, non-obligatory literary chatter (S Sliogeriss own texts are rather nicely written. The author negates as it were the uniqueness of his own style of thinking. In particular, his poetical sensitivity to the liogeris with the possibility of creating a surrounding aspects of being provided S single original insight within contemporary Lithuanian philosophy: the concept of philotopia or philotophy (lotopija). Philosophy is based on love for the place where liogeris names this place as a landscape this side of the horizon, or a one lives. S liogeris 1990, meditation on the metaphysical structures of ones native country (S p. 8). This idea, in my view, has its origins in poetical feeling. The philosopher par excellence rst of all dedicates himself to abstraction: Socratesthe most beloved liogeriss textsnever and maybe the only positive philosophical hero in S abandoned his Athens. But he lived the intellectual culture of Athens deeply; he liogeris is. His teaching was was in love with the abstract idea; not with nature as S about the contemplation of abstract things, while Sliogeriss is about that which is liogeris philosophical hero strives towards things as absolutely concrete. S phenomena on this side of the horizon, not as Kantian noumena. Dasein or liogeriss real concern. Socrates impelled Plato to step beyondto being-there is S liogeris takes a step in the believe more in transcendence than in immanency. S opposite directioncarrying us towards the lost paradise of immanence. The metaphor of the Silence of Transcendence in his texts is enveloped with unfullled longing. Poetic apprehension is the most unique and the strongest side of his thought.

How might a dialogue between poetry and philosophy be possible? liogeris is inclined not only to oppose the man of letters and On the other hand, S philosopher, but also to reect upon their possible parallels and rapprochement. In liogeris states that the philosopher was always paragraph 679 of Being and World, S nearer to God than the poet because he was nearer to the truth. But in our time, the

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philosopher does not believe in truth any more; for this reason he strives to transfer language into the house of being and, at the same time, into the house of truth. As a result of this transformation, philosophy becomes literature, and literature strives to be philosophy. It seems that the philosopher is destined to draw closer to the poet, and not the other way around, because the philosopher has lost the things he had, and learned the things the poets have always known. The poets always knew that the world created by them is an as-if-being. They never tried to pronounce it as being. Nowadays, the philosopher also has to understand that as-if being remains the only remaining reality. Consciously or unconsciously, he understands his inevitable fate liogeris 1990, to be an as-if-being reporter, which means being a poet or writer (S p. 522). Here the philosopher announces his inevitable fate. The word inevitable here means loss rather than gain. But this philosopher reects wisely and clearly. He is in agreement with the man of letters and even recognizes his more primordial wisdom. The poet knew he was living in as-if-being earlier before the philosopher did. And the philosopher was doomed to learn this quite late. liogeris The tension between the arts and philosophy dominates all of S philosophical works. In this regard, the least tension is in his rst book The Human World and Existential Thought (1985). In this book, the author develops one basic idea. He divides the entire history of philosophy into two partsthe two paradigms liogeris was intrigued by the of classical and existential thinking. At the time, S existential aspects of the thinking of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Jaspers. But the liogeris left issue is not nally concluded in favor of the existential thinkers. S the power of creativity only for the thinkers of the classical paradigm. For the existentialists only consuming is left. Nevertheless, in some parts of this book liogeris indicates that he sees the possibility of a rapprochement between S philosophy and literature or the visual arts. He notices the loss of substantiality by things, which is recorded by existential thinkingthis transcendence, the pure relation and vibration of thing-free meanings that was expressed very precisely by liogeris remarks, also inuenced some existential thinkers, e.g. Rilke. Rilke, as S liogeris postulates that the same possibility of existential Marcel, Heidegger. S thinking can be experienced by philosophers, but also by writers or painters as well. The real elemental force of existential thinking is the magic play of light and e of Proust, shadows, in which, as if in one of Monets later canvasses or an epope melts, pours out, loses the subject of this thinking: things, people, events, thoughts, liogeris 1985, p. 264). These inclusions in these books acts, past and present (S remain as hints. They revealed themselves three years later in full force in the book Thing and Art (1988), in which the author devoted himself freely as if to his secret passionthe philosophical meditation on the signs of literature and the visual arts. In one of the chapters of the book, the question of the thing and the relation to it in Rilkes poetry is discussed; in anotherCezannes paintings as the end of Western liogeris poses the question whether the dialogue classical painting. In these books, S between poetry and philosophy (or between the philosopher and verse, between the philosopher and the poet) is possible at all. He answers this rhetorical question afrmatively, using examples as arguments. He mentions philosophers who by the form of the expression of their thought were as good as the poets: Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Bruno, Kierkegaard, and Schopenhauer. On the other hand, as if

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following their paths he mentions poets in whose verses there are as much wisdom liogeris 1988, p. 13). and shrewd thought as on the peaks of pure snow mountains (S These are Homer, Aeschylus, Dante, Shakespeare, and Rilke. After distinguishing liogeris nevertheless asks the poetical philosophy from philosophical poetry, S question: what is the principle of the possible contact between philosophy and poetry? What is this razor blade on which man is balanced, pouring together an liogeris 1988, p. 15). artistic view and the abstraction of thought, the author asks (S He indicates that it is a quite risky to look for them in poetry, for the danger is to make poetry the illustration of abstract philosophical principles; turning it into a cheap symbolism, using it for infantile demonstrations of the formulas of being, searching for the depths of quasi-philosophy in the places where it is absent liogeris 1988, p. 15). S liogeris is following Hegel, who warned the poet to keep his (S distance from philosophy in order not to start creating centaurs or round squares. liogeris comes to the conclusion that philosophical verse is something that Finally, S is not possible or serious. The elemental force of poetry is individual, sensitively concrete, but philosophy moves between pale logical abstractions and metaphysical liogeris agrees that some philosophical metaphors do not violate generalizations. S philosophical text, but only better reveal the essence of a reected thing. But, on the other hand, if in applying this principle the philosopher consequently begins a search for originality and inclines to an affectation for abstraction, this leads to the loss of liogeris tries to his interest in the truth. He becomes a man of letters. For this reason, S discern the murky state lying in between: neither of which is poetry or philosophy, nor their fusion, but which, at the same time, somehow includes both elemental liogeris 1988, p. 18). S liogeris powers and even ows into the ssion of text. (S compares poetry and philosophy to two islands separated by a huge stretch of water; they come into contact with each other only beneath the water in the murky depths, liogeris 1988, p. 15). If it is as two oaks touching each other with their roots (S difcult to see into this opaque depth, how might it be possible to dene where this in-between of poetry and philosophy begins? It is obvious that the answer to this liogeris himself. The possible contours of the answer question is not very clear for S liogeris notices that philosophy always speaks are better visible by an allusion; S about an ideal, one which is perhaps only partly realizable, but not realizable until the end, for this reason it is alive and shining in the horizon of the future, as the lonely star shines in the dark evening skyproclamation of hope and dawn. It is towards her liogeris 1988, p. 57). that the mistaken paths of both poet and philosopher lead (S This search for the ideal, following the terms suggested by Sliogeris himself, could be called an attempt to contemplate the phenomena of being and, following from the terms of his latest book Nothing and Is-nessa desire for reality. I do not know if the hunter for being would be successful, he says about himself, the main philosophical hero, as in his early book Being and World. We can conclude that this metaphor of the hunter of Being is rather helpful in shaping the architectonics of the point of contact between the philosopher and the poet. Both are hunters of Being, thought they hunt in different forests. liogeriss dialogue with the prose of Lithuanian writer Bronius In my view, S ius was one of the factors that brought about a cardinal change in his view Radzevic ius as the of the world; from hunter of Being towards nihilism. He names Radzevic

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author of the idea of nihilism he himself professes. The character Juozas, in ius novel Highways Before Dawn (Pries aus rio vies keliai), became the Radzevic liogeriss philosophical subjectthe son of Nothingness. literary alter ego of S liogeris compares Radzevic ius to his beloved writers of world literature: Frances S ius, Marcel Proust and the American writer Thomas Wolfe. They, like Radzevic searched for what has been irretrievably lost; they tried to embrace that which is not embraceable. One was trying to capture time; the other travelling to a lost home through the labyrinth of the endless word, but neither succeeded in returning to his eternal Ithaca. When formulating the main problem of the son of Nothingness, liogeris quotes a fragment from the second chapter of Radzevic iuss novel, S ius wrote: We are living in the world of Highways Before Dawn. Radzevic phenomena created by us; to it we apply the features of our mind and intelligence, measures, categories, but reality remains impalpable, inconceivable; there are no ius 1995, p. 235). reasons and there is no sequence of time in it. (Radzevic liogeris even discerns the colors of Nothingness when it ius, S Following Radzevic iuss fate to look into the abyss reveals itself. It seems it is white. It was Radzevic liogeris, and to contemplate how the world of of pure Nothingness, writes S pelkiai, the world of Vilnius, the Place of Things, the gleam of the Word, also the Uz earth, the sky, the body, and the soul overow with the white color of Nothingness liogeris 1997, p. 96). S liogeris also quotes insights from the same novel: No, I (S am not afraid of death. I am afraid of absolute Nothingness. I am liogeris 1997, p. 101). Radzevic iuss afraidafraidthat there is nothing at all (S hero considers Nothingness as the Nothingness of the soul itself. The Son of liogeris, also has a deep feeling that the problem of Nothingness, created by S Nothingness is not a mere theoretical game. It is an existential abyss, which can only be understood retrospectively and named with words after it has been experienced. This cunning of Nothingness was described very clearly in Radzev iuss novel. The books main hero, Juozas, distinguished all the sophisticated talk ic on the topic of Nothingness from the real experience of Nothingness: Suddenly I understood without words. Because real suffering, meaning, and goals have no words. They cannot make a person sophisticated. One can only live by them. Neither does true loneliness have words to describe it. It does not know any poetical gures, it does not seduce anyone, nor does it temptthis is a misfortune. This is ius 1995, p. 354). silence. Deadly darkness. (Radzevic How to put into words this extraordinary experience when one succeeds in liogeris wrote a book of escaping this deadly jail of the silence of Nothingness? S one thousand pages as a challenge to the omnipotence of Nothingness, opposing his powerful philosophical thinking to it. The book appeared unexpectedly, after two years spent in hell by the author, who was losing hope at times, even the hope of liogeris 2005a, p. 9). going on with life, he said (S

The Labyrinth of nothingness and the philosopher as creator liogeris himself, one can conclude that the two Using metaphors suggested by S volumes of Nothing and Is-ness represent the odyssey of a philosopher through the

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labyrinth of Nothingness. The philosopher starts his journey directing skeptics to his own insights: no sort of arguments or obvious things provide the author with any reason to think that the narrative spanning this book is something more than a myth; liogeris 2005a, p. 11). It seems in the best possible case, it is a probable myth (S that this gained wisdom takes its sources from the same presumption, as in the case ius hero: in understanding that real suffering, meaning, and goals have of Radzevic no words. One may create new concepts and enormous texts, but they do not provide any reason for believing that the secret of Nothingness has been solved. Is it possible to overcome Nothingness as Nothingness? This ironic and skeptical attitude towards the texts he creates certies the maturity of the philosophers path. The experience of the reality of Nothingness washed away all of Platos imposed self-condence of philosopher, as well as his belief in his superiority over others and his ability to pronounce the truth. It seems that this path leads back towards irony and the eternal uncertainty of Socrates. The talented man who manages to escape the grips of real Nothingness can learn from it if he is able to listen to its lessons. The book Nothing and Is-ness is the most multi-sided and paradoxical of all liogeriss texts. It is not a book written, as Richard Rorty would have said, by a S philosophy critic, but by a philosopher par excellence. It is a book about the model or picture of the world as seen by a philosopher. And the narrative of this revelation liogeris himself. Some concepts have been is told using concepts created by S borrowed from other philosophers; concepts such as Nothingness, immanence, and transcendence. Some were recruited from the sphere of theoretical physics: alpha point, quantum of Nothingness, quality of Is-ness. In some concepts one can discern the brave authorship of a philosopher, e.g. a presence of presence, ontotophic clepsydras, etc. All of the concepts are metaphors, even the philosophical concepts, liogeris. Why then does the philosopher need them? They are his tools used avers S for describing the ontological basis of existence. By means of these concepts it is possible to create one more meta-narrative. In the case where the philosopher does not accept the myth of creation of the world suggested by The Bible, he must himself create a narrative about the possible sources of the world, which is what liogeris does. He narrates, and for the purpose of clarity, draws a sketch with the S title incarnation of Nothingness: Structure of onthotopic clepsydra. One can see the red spot in the middle, which bears the name alpha point. One might guess that it could be the spot pointing to the son of Nothingnessthe books narrator. He is enveloped in the stripped sensitive horizon which is the Cosmopolis and Platos cave, understood as a language. This sensitive horizon is connected, like a sand clock, to two other balloons above it and below it, which extend towards innity. The one at the bottom is green and has the name Is-ness and Absolute transcendence. The one aboveNothingness or absolute Immanence. The two balloons are connected by the little neck of the clepsydra. All of the main and most important events occur in this neck: in this place Nothingness meets Is-ness; they blend and then merge into one another, becoming transformed into being. In the rst volume of the book On the Way to Nothing, images from the natural sciences are used to tell the story of Nothingness and Is-ness and their adventures in the little neck of clepsydra. The author contemplates these happenings as an investigator of chao-cosmos, recording what he sees. This rst chapter is

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reminiscent of a metaphysical tale, as if it were needed to ll the void of the e. It is an consciousness, and is reminiscent of Roquanten in Sartres novel La Nause optimistic bookone which shows the ability of a man to overcome the existential abyss of Nothingness through philosophical creativity. The hero created by Sartre tries to escape from things because he feels fatigued by the meaninglessness of their liogeris in his odyssey chooses the existence. The philosophical subject created by S opposite direction: he moves backwardstowards the silent eye of is-ness, and towards a absent, desired reality. The book testies to the success of the wanderer to his ability to return, albeit for a moment, to the belief in the lightning ashes of Is-ness and the positive moments of encountering transcendence. For this reason, he is able to ask himself quite bravely: what is left when nothing is left? To this question he answers: clouds, re, oceans, the green color of a blossoming tree, a sunny forest in October, a gust of wind. And at the very end, melancholy and liogeris 2005b, p. 490). The experience of wandering innocence also are left. (S through the labyrinth of Nothingness does not allow the philosopher to announce any truth as a revealed and nal pronunciation. It allows him to understand more deeply the absoluteness of sliding into disappearing moments. Great meaning comes together with disappearing meaning. Piercing into the abyss of the meaninglessness of meaning for the moment appears as the sacrice of meaning, liogeris 2005b, p. 490). One can conclude that this book is like a he writes (S challenge to Nothingness; one created not only by a powerful philosophical mind, but by a creative imagination, with the talent of a writer and storyteller as well. liogeris as the rst Lithuanian postmodernist might be Our hypothesis about S challenged because of his modernistic striving for harmony, as demonstrated by his most recent book. liogeris starts the second volume of Nothing and Is-nessOn the Way S Towards Is-ness, from a consideration of the connection between the dream and reality. He concludes that the Son of Nothingness replaces the absence of Reality by means of language. So he lives in a myth because the myth is equivalent to, liogeris 2005a, and a substitution for, the dream in the waking consciousness (S p. 25). He points to three myths: the wild, the logical, and the technological. As a matter of fact, the third testies to the eternal impulse for explaining the structure of the world, beginning with counting in the Bible (God, His Son, and The Holy Spirit), and ending with Hegels dialectical triad: thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. At the end of the volume, the narrative returns to the values of the rst period of liogeriss philosophyto the hunter of Being, to his Ithaca, his Cosmopolis, to S the word-here. In this return, the philosopher sees the possibility of experiencing the lightning ashes of Is-ness. Everything is once again related and in harmony. The second volume of Nothing and Is-ness is the story of ideas told liogeris himself. We meet Socrates, Jesus, and Descartes hermeneutically by S liogeris. It is intriguing and interesting. It is the way in which as seen by S philosophy initiates. Philosophy as a striving towards melancholic wisdom liogeris always lives on the path to Nothingness, and on the path to Is-ness. (S 2005b, p. 525).

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Conclusions 1. To reiterate, Nietzsche and the problems of postmodernity have not been neglected in Lithuania. Some philosophers have been studying French erpytyte ius, Baranova), othersItalian (S _ ), and conpostmodernism (Rubavic ek (Zukauskaite _ ). siderable attention is also paid to Slavoj Ziz The author of this article considers postmodern philosophy as prolongation of a neo-Nietzschean style of thought. I conclude that paradoxically the most liogeprominent original postmodern philosopher in Lithuania is Arvydas S ris, who presents himself as an anti-Nietzschean and anti-postmodern thinker. The arguments for this main thesis are as follows: liogeris as a philosopher ignores Kants warning: do not contradict oneself. S His thought is constantly developing through contradictions. This passion for thought creates double meaning that comes very close to the approach of liogeris case exemplies philosophy as a kind of writing. creative writers. S liogeris philosophy is the best example of the Deleuzean conception of the S liogeris is constantly experimenting philosopher as a creator of concepts. S with language and creating new concepts. He is the author of the most original philosophical conception in Lithuanian philosophy: the concept of Philotophy (the love for the place where one resides). liogeris was the rst philosopher to transcend the limits of philosophy in S strict sense. He meditated on a possible dialogue between poetry and philosophy, also philosophically reected on Rilkes poetry, Van Goghs and Cezannes painting. liogeriss nihilism can be traced to the I conclude that one of the sources of S ius. novels of the Lithuanian writer Radzevic

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