Michel Serres

Roma, il libro delle fondazioni

edited and translated by Roberto Berardi
pages: 288
format: 16 x 22,5 cm
date of publication: November 1991
binding: paperback
language: Italian
isbn 98877570334


What are the origins of the construction of power, of the use of violence as a conscious instrument, of bloodshed as the foundation of the collective, which form the basis of the thought and practices of our civilisation? When Rome decided to build the Capitol, a human head with an intact face was discovered beneath the foundations. It was as though the soldier depicted in the foreground of the work by A. Caron (1521-1599) opening the book, standing in triumph on a round podium, had just found it. The exhibition shows how one shows a trophy. One might say that these battles, these assassinations take place on the plinth, on the very supports of the monuments. These fundamental battles are the subject of this book, called the Libro delle fondazioni (Book of Foundations). Foundations of stone walls on flesh, foundations of the city, of its history, its culture, its spectacles, its politics: but also of our own. An essay in the philosophy of knowledge, this book is a search for reality distorted by ideological formations, and traces the possible outlines of a knowledge and a thought constructed outside the fury of verbal struggles and the delimitations of power. These are the terms of a culture, nature, civilisation, which here, in negative and in positive, find a new determination.