This is the final volume in the "Aesthetics Lexicon" series that Il Mulino inaugurated in 1995 under the direction of Remo Bodei. The series comprises 22 volumes divided into three sections, respectively devoted to the various arts, the history of aesthetics, and its key concepts. This new entry on the tragic is part of the section on key concepts, which already includes volumes by Bodei on beauty, Saint Giorns on the sublime, Ceserani on the fantastic, D'Angeli and Paduano on the comical, Bozal on taste, Moretti on genius, and Ferraris on imagination .
Modern philosophical thought concerning the tragic entails keeping one's distance from its apparent specific object, i.e., tragedy. Indeed, modern culture had developed the "tragic" as a philosophical idea, whereas in ancient and pre-modern times "tragedy" was a literary form. After having made this fundamental distinction, the authors offer the reader a historical-conceptual review that, starting with Nietzsche's key contribution and the post-Nietzschean debate on the tragic and the Dyonisiac, supplies the backdrop for understanding a new reading of the pre-modern tragic (Plato, Aristotle, Horace), the salient features of the "philosophy of the tragic" (Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer), up to recent 20th-century developments (Gadamer, Severino, Steiner).
Carlo Gentili teaches Aesthetics at the University of Bologna.
Gianluca Garelli is a researcher in Aesthetics at the University of Florence.