The psychological process of emotional identification with the hero is the dominant paradigm of Western literary civilization since its description in Aristotle’s Poetics as the basic mechanism of reader’s/spectator’s reception of works, and its adoption as the primary vector of that moral edification praised in classical antiquity and in the Christian tradition as an essential anthropological function of literature.Founding gesture of literary modernity from at least the nineteenth century, through an innovation that will be theoretically formalized in Bertolt Brecht’s dramaturgy of estrangement, the break with this paradigm implies a radical change not only in the anthropological discourse conveyed by literature and in the interpretation of its role as moral agent, but also in the theological discourse implicitly or explicitly developed by literature.With final reference to the work of two writers symbolizing this evolution, such as Flannery O’Connor and Clarice Lispector, the essay focuses on the theological core of the estrangement poetics, with its blocking of the empathic identification with the protagonist: it is through the intolerable, repulsive deformity (moral and aesthetic) of a human being that redemption manifests itself as the unpredictable and humanly impossible occurrence of Grace, as an incomprehensible abyss in which transcendence makes her way, overthrowing all reasoning, all expectation, all logic. Because redemption is Grace, not Law.
|Translated title of the contribution||Redemption and deformity: the poetics of strangeness as the theological discourse of modernity|
|Number of pages||66|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Apr 2021|
|Event|| I Colóquio Teotopias, 2019: “Trazida ao espanto da luz”. Centenário do nascimento de Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen - Unibersidade Católica Portuguesa !, Porto, Portugal|
Duration: 8 Nov 2019 → 9 Nov 2019
- Flannery O’Connor
- Clarice Lispector