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Ruins have always captured the human imagination. In one way or another, they have been inscribed in a community’s memory, history, or lore. In the literary history of the Arab world and of Western Europe, there is a long-standing tradition concerning – real or imagined – ruins.
Both its challenging complexity and aesthetic aspiration have resulted in a multitude of reflections on ruins, interpretations, and creative dealings, which again manifest themselves in a plenitude of scholarship, philosophical treatises, literary texts, and pieces of art. This discourse of ruins offers a unique vantage point to reflect in a pioneering publication upon the importance of ruins today – and upon their meaning for our respective societies, disciplines, and fields of scholarship. Ruins carry very different notions, however, since they function as very powerful symbols and motifs, they also have been and still are often (mis-)used and employed in contemporary debates.
The interdisciplinary volume focuses on the importance of ruins, the way ruins are looked at, interpreted and (mis-)used in literary and artistic, political and legal, philosophical, and sociological discourses.
Enass Khansa, Konstantin Klein, Barbara Winckler (eds.): Thinking Through Ruins, Kulturverlag Kadmos 2022.