Rethinking the metaphor of light: María Zambrano in dialogue with Jacques Derrida and Hans Blumenberg

History of European Ideas 44 (7):913-924 (2018)

ABSTRACTThe notion of metaphor has been broadly discussed during the twentieth century as an essential and necessary part of language and history. This article examines the theoretical dialogue that links the centrality of the metaphor of light in the work of María Zambrano with reflections on this topic by Jacques Derrida and Hans Blumenberg. Through various formulations of this metaphor across different works, Zambrano presents the metaphor linked to poetic reason as not reducible to a mere rhetorical ornament or to a concept. By articulating alternative metaphors to the imperative of clarity as the blinding light of Occidental reason, Zambrano introduces a solid critique to rationalism and introduces the metaphor of the Dawn as a new form of knowledge. This new intonation of the metaphor of light opens up an unexplored direction in Spanish thought not only by thinking the metaphor of light through poetic reason and its critique to the philosophical tradition, but also by assuming the political implications of this metaphor and criticizing its heliopolitical configuration. Indeed, Zambrano states the significance of the metaphor of the sun linked to the sacrificial structure of history, particularly of Spain, and its necessary overcoming as the possibility of a radical democracy.
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DOI 10.1080/01916599.2018.1516990
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