- By Maurizio Ferraris
(Photo of Charles Baudelaire: Nadar, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
"A theory of true civilization.
It rests not in gas, nor in steam, nor in table-turning.
It rests in the diminution of the traces of original sin."
The table-turning ("tables tournantes") was that of spiritualist seances, and the apothegm is Charles Baudelaire’s, from My Heart Laid Bare (1897, translation by Rainer J. Hanshe, 2017). What Baudelaire intends here is a denunciation of tekhnē and the Promethean arrogance of his age,...