How can one recognize what one did not know? Mnemosyne and the art of the twentieth century

Carbone, Mauro

"In a page of his posthumous book entitled The Visible and the Invisible (1964), the French
philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) writes: “As the ethnologist in the face of
societies called archaic . . . must describe a mythical time where certain events ‘in the beginning’
maintain a continued efficacity; so also social psychology, precisely if it wishes to really know
our own societies, cannot exclude a priori the hypothesis of mythical time as a component of our
personal and public history”. For Merleau-Ponty it is precisely this mythical time that is evoked
in the works of Proust and Freud, or in the attention for simultaneity that characterizes modern



More About This Work

Academic Units
Italian Academy
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University
Italian Academy Fellows' Seminar Working Papers
Published Here
March 30, 2011