Kilka uwag o germanistyce interkulturowej, hermeneutyce obcości i konflikcie kultur na marginesie lektury esejów Botho Straussa
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Some remarks on intercultural German studies, hermeneutics of strangeness and conflict of cultures when reading the essays of Botho Strauss
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The migration crisis that followed the outbreak of the war in Syria and the German openness policy (Willkommenskultur) – which has triggered somewhat critical opinions in Polish right-wing periodicals – is a good opportunity to examine the term ‘interculturality’. As early as the beginning of the 1980s, German academic circles attempted a redefinition of ‘philology’ (language studies) giving rise to ‘intercultural German studies’, associated with its most famous advocate, Alois Wierlacher. One of the premises involved going beyond Eurocentrism and abandoning traditional hermeneutics applied in traditional German humanities (Geistesgeschichte) in favor of what has come to be named the ‘hermeneutics of strangeness’ (Hermeneutik der Fremde). German literature was supposed to open to new interpretations made from the point of view of remote cultures. Much more profound changes were proposed as a consequence of the ‘cultural turn’ and taking into account the post-colonial perspective, associated with such researchers as E. Said and H.K. Bhabha. Accordingly, German studies were supposed to be given up in favor of intercultural literature studies or the trend known as ‘world literature’. Even after September 11, 2001, this conceptual and institutional development appeared to have completely ignored the diagnosis S.P. Huntington presented in 1993 as ‘the clash of civilizations.’ The ideas formulated by Botho Strauß provide a counterpoint to the German postulates of the anthropologization of the West. Given the clash of civilizations and the migration crisis, his diagnosis is extremely pessimistic: German society and culture will not survive having become separated from traditional values. A thorough perusal of his essays demonstrates the fact that academic models do not provide adequate descriptions of reality and they are actually destructive for Western societies.
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