Thinking Through Ruins
Ruins have for a long time captured the human imagination and, in one way or another, have been inscribed in a community’s memory, history, or lore. This long-standing tradition concerning ruins – be it real or imagined, ancient or modern ones – has resulted in a multitude of reflections and creative interpretations. The discourse on ruins, steeped in tradition as it is, offers a unique vantage point to reflect upon their actual meaning in various societies and disciplines by focusing on how they have been and still are often (mis)used and employed in contemporary debates as powerful symbols and motifs. Tackling questions related to the genealogies, functions, and interpretations of ruins in literary and artistic, political and legal, philosophical and sociological discourses, this book aims at moving the discussion beyond the level of case studies. The contributors examine the perception of ruins and the discourse on decay, destruction, and reconstruction from various disciplinary perspectives, referring to a multitude of ruin-related concepts such as ‘longing’, ‘memory’, ‘trauma’, and ‘identity’.