Fear of Freedom: With the Essay, "Fear of Painting"

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Columbia University Press, 2008 - Political Science - 103 pages
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Carlo Levi was a painter, writer, and antifascist Italian from a Jewish family, and his political activism forced him into exile for most of the Second World War. While in exile, he wrote Christ Stopped at Eboli, a memoir, and Fear of Freedom, a philosophical meditation on humanity's flight from moral and spiritual autonomy and our resulting loss of self and creativity. Brooding on what surely appeared to be the decline, if not the fall of Europe, Levi locates the human abdication of responsibility in organized religion and its ability to turn the sacred into the sacrificial. In doing so, he references the entire intellectual and cultural estate of Western civilization, from the Bible and Greek mythology to Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. This edition features newly published pieces of Levi's artwork and the first English translation of his essay "Fear of Painting," which was appended to a later publication of the work. It also includes an introduction that discusses Levi's life and enduring legacy. Written as war clouds were gathering over Europe, Fear of Freedom not only addresses a specific moment in history and a universal, timeless condition, but it is also a powerful indictment of our contemporary moral and political failures.


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Lisf oj Illustrations
Authors Preface iii
Fear of Freedom and the Eternal Tendency
Ab Jove Principium i
Love Sacred and Profane
The Muses
Sacred History

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About the author (2008)

Carlo Levi (1902-1975) was born in Turin and earned a degree in medicine, though he never formally practiced and instead gravitated toward painting and was an active participant in the anti-fascist underground. Twice arrested for his politics, and eventually exiled, he wrote a memoir entitled Christ Stopped at Eboli while hiding from the Nazis in Florence. After the Second World War, Levi divided his time between painting, politics (serving in the Italian Parliament), and writing. Upon his death, he was universally recognized as one of Europe's leading intellectuals. He is buried in Aliano.About the Editor:Stanislao G. Pugliese is professor of modern European history at Hofstra University. He has been a visiting research fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the University of Oxford. He is the author of Carlo Rosselli: Socialist Heretic and Antifascist Exile and is presently writing a biography of the Italian writer Ignazio Silone.About the Translator:Adolphe Gourevitch was a Russian scholar and translator of E. A. Belyaev's Arabs, Islam, and the Arab Caliphate in the Early Middle Ages.

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