This work is a collective reflection on the modern self as a narrative.
Modernity as a metamorphic conglomeration of permeating discourses, new
practices and institutional forms, a historical unfolding of centrifugal
and centripetal discursive dynamics of regulation and normalization offers
limitless grounds for a critical investigation. The modern self, both as
the revelation of the inner self and as a reflection of the collective,
arises from the dialogical interplay within the intersubjective
communicative space of social discourse.
The bestiary proposed in this series of articles attempts to rethink the
spectacle consisting of modern dichotomies by which the self is declined
along ontological, metaphysical, and ethical premises: the real and the
ideal, the said and the unsaid, the rational and the irrational, the bound
and the free, the familiar and the exotic, the universal and the
particular, self and world.
The reader is therefore encouraged to engage in a multiple reading of the
articles presented in this collection. As individual scholarly pieces of
inquiry, these articles provide thoughtful insights into the inexhaustible
topic of modernity and the modern subject–they tell stories of the past,
the present, and of a prospective future.
As academic works, however, they also reflect and/or unsettle disciplinary
paradigms and scholarly practices, from which they acquire legitimacy and
visibility; they conform, apply, reconfigure and/or experiment with new
grounds by borrowing from an eclectic mix of various thinkers, their
tools, and their axiomatic propositions that constitute their theoretical
and critical apparatus.
This exercise is ultimately an introspective journey in which we are placed
not only as the spectator–the one who gazes through the bars–but also the
spectacle–the beast subject to the gaze–finding itself in a predicament of
which the subject, itself, is the architect.