We explain what existentialism is and what its representatives and authors are. Also, its general characteristics and impact on art.
Existentialism is a philosophical current dedicated to the analysis of the human condition , taking individuality, emotion, the search for the meaning of life and existence, and the life goals of each person as preponderant values .
Existentialism originated in the 19th century , and it lasted until the middle of the 20th century , approximately. During this time, cultural, academic, scientific and mostly social changes took place, putting the questioning of being, knowledge , and subjectivity versus objectivity at the center of the analyzes .
See also: Pantheism .
The current of existentialism originates in Germany and soon spread to the rest of Europe and then to the world , from the general feeling of abandonment and questioning. After the greatest wars of the century, people were deprived of homes, jobs , money and even cities , with their values and ideologies destroyed and at the mercy of the basic questioning of this philosophy .
As a general trait, existentialist positions translate into pessimistic thoughts and attitudes that induce a sensation of noticeable unease. In particular, some authors such as Kierkegarrd allude to anguish, making a clear distinction between it and fear, specifying that, unlike the latter, anguish is not produced or focused on a defined object and is developed precisely in that "existing ”Without guarantees.
There are many artistic manifestations throughout history that have been influenced by existentialism. As high points in this regard we can mention most of Kafka's literary works , Sartre's writings and, more recently, many Ingmar Bergman's films.
The literature is one of the most expressive artistic fields of existentialism. The characters leave the conventional , beauty and happy endings, and enter the dark plots of personal analysis and inadequacy in society . Some outstanding works are:
The choice is one of the key points on which existentialist thinking is based . In simple words, it is affirmed that the human being, unlike animals and plants , does not remain immutable to the environment in which he was born and lived. For this reason, he does not resign his existence to what appears or does not appear in front of him. On the contrary, its mere "existence" gives it freedom and at the hand of it, the possibility of choosing and making decisions .
Although the term 'existentialism' was coined in the 20th century and after the World Wars , its origins can be traced back to great thinkers who brought to light the analysis of the meaning of life and the existence of being:
For existentialists, the person is not 'part of a whole' , but is a whole and individual entity. It is not belonging to the human race that defines existence, but essence and thought.
In this current, existing is not only being in the world , but relating to the environment and others, which allows the person to model 'his' world, understanding it through his own experiences.
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