MILLET Yves, Le goût du monde (The Flavour of the World), in ’Labirinti della mente. Visioni del mondo. Il lascito intellettuale di Elemire Zolla nel XXI secolo’, Grazia Marchiano Editor, Societa Bibliografica Toscana Edizioni, Italy, pp. 163-171.
Le goût du monde est à la fois le goût que l’on peut avoir pour le monde dans sa réalité physique et géographique ; goût souvent exprimé ou revendiqué par les poètes ou les écrivains et que l’on nomme parfois écrivain-voyageur. Il peut être également exprimé ou être l’objet de réflexion de la part de chercheurs ou de philosophes. Mais le goût du monde paraît être tout autant le goût, la saveur particulière dont le monde, dans l’expérience de sa rencontre, peut être le révélateur. L’un peut-il aller sans l’autre ? Il est un fait cependant que lorsque la saveur est revendiquée pour elle-même, la nature du regard trouve une acuité autre et que les mots ou les concepts changent.
The Flavour of the World - English abstract
The flavour of the world can be understood both as the taste for the world that some writers or thinkers feel and express, and the flavour of the world that it is possible to experience. This relationship between flavour and knowledge provides us with the connecting thread to write an indirect homage to Elemire Zolla’s thought.
What is noteworthy about such a great thinker is the expanse of his intellectual geography. However, from our point of view, nothing will explain his broadness of intellect (going from modern American or European literature to shamanism, philosophy of culture or science of archetypes and mystique) unless we understand that there are few flavours in the world that have not been experienced by him. To assume the relationship between knowledge and flavour, we must use the additional notion of plurality. In fact, having aversion to boundaries and compartmentalization in knowledge – like Zolla had – has as its counterpoint a taste for diversity.
The present paper can be viewed as a montage of different voices with a possible resonance with Zolla’s work : Victor Segalen for his aesthetics of plurality, William James for the presupposition of his ‘will to believe’, J.M.G. Le Clezio for his notion of ‘material ecstasy’, Edouard Glissant for his ‘philosophy of Relation’ and so on. In the first part, we will deal with the notion of flavour of the world and both the presupposition and method that it requires. The presupposition is the idea of a common, pre-individualistic world from which the individualization of the living emerges. The method we will advocate is listening, understood as being the capability of a harnessing of the singularity of this very individualization process.
As a consequence, the second part will deal with the possibility of an Imago mundi stemming from the previous analysis. Since this Imago mundi has the necessity to represent as much as possible of the plurality of different cultures, assuming for instance a bridge between Eastern and Western sensibilities, the motives of interlace and the specific distance and proximity mode of an awareness regarding the living world is assumed to be one of the most relevant traits and means for understanding the contemporary world.