The aesthetic thinking of Robert Kalivoda. Chapter from the archeology of Czech Marxism Cover Image
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K estetickému myšlení Roberta Kalivody. Kapitola z archeologie českého marxismu
The aesthetic thinking of Robert Kalivoda. Chapter from the archeology of Czech Marxism

Author(s): Roman Kanda
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Ústav pro českou literaturu Akademie věd České republiky
Keywords: aesthetics; literary theory; Marxism; structuralism; dialectics; ideology; Kalivoda Robert; Mukařovský Jan

Summary/Abstract: Using the method of archeological description and inspired by the ideas of Michel Foucault, the author of this study presents the aesthetic thinking of Marxist theorist Robert Kalivoda (1923−1989). This study focuses particularly on an analysis of Kalivoda‘s text “Dialektika strukturalismu a dialektika estetiky” — “The dialectic of structuralism and the dialectic of aesthetics”, which makes up the first part of his book “Moderní duchovní skutečnost a marxismus” — “Modern intellectual reality and Marxism” (1968). Together with Karel Kosík and Ivan Sviták, Robert Kalivoda belonged to a generational group of Marxist philosophers who from the latter half of the 1950s endeavoured to open up Marxism to critical stimuli as well as to other non‑Marxist methodologies over the course of time. Kalivoda‘s aesthetic thinking developed at the crossroads of two discourses: Marxist and structuralist. Using structuralism Kalivoda criticizes the Hegelian foundation of Marxist aesthetics and the principle of “reflective reading” — while stressing the semiotic nature of the artistic work. On the other hand Kalivoda also uses Marxism as an instrument for criticizing structuralism wherever he believes that Jan Mukařovský diverges from a radically formalistic standpoint and espouses phenomenological inspiration in an undesirable manner. Kalivoda was not attempting a historical reconstruction of the theoretical development of structuralism, but he was presenting his own interpretation of this scholarly view. Kalivoda‘s efforts were motivated by the philosophical aim of destroying metaphysics and creating a post‑metaphysical dialectical theory. This study attempts to set Kalivoda‘s aesthetic thought in context inter alia by means of short comparisons with 1960s structuralist thinking, particularly with the ideas of Květoslav Chvatík and Milan Jankovič.

  • Issue Year: 62/2014
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 527-548
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Czech