We live immersed in imagery that associates light with goodness, knowledge, truth and justice. What about darkness? Are falsehood, ignorance and obscurantism its only accompanying traits? Yet, if things are always bathed in light, one ends up intoxicated by illumination that damages eyes and minds, unable to perceive the beauty of a starry sky. So why not think of the dark as a separate entity, a moment of calm and mental distillation, an individual experience that restores the self? Exploring pages drawn from Homer, Leopardi, Lucretius, Diderot, Rousseau and Novalis, up to contemporaries like Andrea Camilleri, the author unveils darkness and encourages us to seize it. Let’s take back the black night and exchange it for the white night, to be enjoyed after having illuminated streets and store windows, opened shops and warehouses and stalls.
Francesca Rigotti teaches at the University of Lugano and formerly taught at the University of Göttingen.
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