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Marieke Mueller

As an attempt to formulate epistemological boundaries (“que peut-on savoir d'un homme, aujourd'hui?”), for which Gustave Flaubert becomes a test-case, L'Idiot de la famille (1971-1972) can be seen simultaneously as the exemplification of a method and as a re-assertion and further development of Sartre's theory of subjectivity. This article proposes to approach the issue of Sartre's notion of human subjectivity in L'Idiot from the particular angle of the idea of “destiny.” It will be argued that the term “destin” provides a focal point for multiple visions of subjectivity as it contains at least three layers of meaning: firstly, Sartre's representation of Flaubert's idea of his life as predetermined destiny; secondly, Sartre's analysis of destiny as a situation created by others; and finally, an understanding of destiny which is close to the notion of the project. It will be argued that precisely the mutual interdependence of these terms is an expression of Sartre's conception of alienation and the possibility of freedom.

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Spanish Imperial Destiny

The Concept of Empire during Early Francoism

Zira Box

The aim of this article is to analyze the meaning of the concept of empire during the first years of the Francoist regime and try to clarify the different meanings that the various political and ideological groups that were part of the dictatorship gave to this concept. As will be explained, it is possible to find two main meanings for the concept of empire. The first one was linked to the notion of Hispanidad and was developed by the Catholic and counter-revolutionary groups; in this case, empire was defined through the Catholic religion and the missionary role that Spain had played in the discovery of America, the moment that marked the beginning of the Spanish Empire. The second meaning was developed inside the Falangist party. It contained fascist values and was linked to an ideal of expansionism that would support specific policies. The aim here is to differentiate these meanings by paying attention to the different contexts in which they were produced.

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The Allotted Share

Managing Fortune in Astrological Counseling in Contemporary India

Caterina Guenzi

Anthropological studies on causality in South Asia in the past decades have focused mostly on local idioms of 'mis fortune', with very little attention being paid to ideas of 'fortune' and 'luck'. This article, based on fieldwork carried out among astrologers and their clients in Banaras, shows that astrology provides an ideological framework for the conceptualization and management of fortune in present-day urban India. According to astrologers' analyses of horoscopes, 'destiny' (bhāgya, lit. 'allotted share') is conceived as a form of wealth acquired at birth that can be augmented or diminished as a result of planetary influences and personal choices. The author suggests that, beyond the Sanskrit tradition, the semantics of destiny can be linked to decisionmaking processes and values of achievement that mark the lives of middle- and upper-class families in contemporary India.

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Peter Gow and Margherita Margiotti

In this article, the authors explore the meanings of fortune among two peoples of Greater Amazonia. Luck, chance, and destiny play little role in the ethnographic record of this extensive region, and it is worth asking why this should be so. Two ethnographic cases are presented—the Kuna of Panama and the indigenous people of the Bajo Urubamba River in Peruvian Amazonia. The first describes what the ethnographer finds instead of elaborated discourses of luck and destiny in the Kuna conception of the person, while the second examines why the people of the Bajo Urubamba do not make use of such notions, which they are aware of from neighboring Andean people. The article concludes by looking at wider correlates of the Greater Amazonian concept of luck and the person in forms of social transmission and subsistence choices.

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Elizabeth Mittman

In the following article, I sketch two major pressures driving this film's peculiar recuperation of traditional representations of femininity alongside the rhetoric of equal rights. The first is the development of a Cold War politics of consumption, which, as recent research has shown, was crucial for national and cultural identity formation in the period of reconstruction after World War II. If, in the 20th century, political citizenship was "recast as consumer behavior," the postwar context of divided Germany offers a particularly powerful example of the complex imbrications of ideological and material cultures. As Ina Merkel's work amply illustrates, the competitive discourse of East versus West shaped GDR consumer culture from the outset. In addition, the implicit tension between the austere ideal of a new socialist producer nation and its population's unbroken, modern drive toward consumption appears to be at least superficially resolved along gender lines. Following prewar cultural formations, consumers were gendered as female, in contrast with male-identified producers. Thus, women could be mobilized as symbolic warriors along the battlefront between two economic systems. Frauenschicksale refers us repeatedly to the precise terms of this conflict.

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Common Humanity and Shared Destinies

Looking at the Disability Arts Movement from an Anthropological Perspective

Andrea Stöckl

This article will bring together two strands of anthropological theories on art and artefacts, the disability arts movement and the phenomenological approach to the study of material things. All three of these different perspectives have one thing in common: they seek to understand entities – be they human or nonhuman – as defined by their agency and their intentionality. Looking at the disability arts movement, I will examine how the anthropology of art and agency, following Alfred Gell's theorem, is indeed the 'mobilisation of aesthetic principles in the course of social interaction', as Gell argued in Art and Agency. Art, thus, should be studied as a space in which agency, intention, causation, result and transformation are enacted and imagined. This has a striking resonance with debates within the disability arts movement, which suggests an affirmative model of disability and impairment, and in which art is seen as a tool to affirm, celebrate and transform rather than a way of expressing pain and sorrow. I will use case studies of Tanya Raabe-Webber's work and of artistic representations of the wheelchair in order to further explore these striking similarities and their potential to redefine the role of art in imagining the relationship between technology and personhood. I will finish by looking at Martin Heidegger's conceptualisation of the intentionality of things, as opposed to objects, and will apply this to some artwork rooted in the disability arts movement.

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I Samuel 9:1–14

Saul's Destiny Fulfilled – A Meeting of Parallel Worlds

Neil Janes

In B. Berakhot 48b1 the discussion of the gemara turns to ask why, in I Samuel 9:13, the women, who Saul finds drawing water, give such a long answer to his question. There are three possible answers given, which seem to provide lenses through which we are able to read the narrative of I Samuel 9:1-14. The first answer offered is that, 'women are fond of talking'. This appears to be a most basic reading of the narrative, suggesting that within a given text it is possible to identify essential universal characteristics within the figures of the text.

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Helge-Ulrike Hyams

‘Habent sua fata libelli’– books have their own destiny. This is true for all Jewish books but particularly for those which were brought together to form the ‘Hyams Collection’. These books have a threefold destiny.

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Vincent von Wroblewsky

With the publication of Anti-Semite and Jew immediately after the war, Sartre became the one major French intellectual who considered the specific destiny of the few Jews who came back from the extermination camps. Why only Sartre, a Frenchman with a Christian background? He later explained that he was shocked by the heavy but audible silence accompanying the survivors. But many others would have been able to perceive this silence. Why Sartre?

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Daniel L. Tate

According to Harries, ‘Sartre ... has to reject whatever belongs to facticity as binding my freedom in an essential way.’1 Indeed, he argues that Sartre’s commitment to such a radical freedom results in a profound misinterpretation of the human condition that places consciousness at odds with its own embodiment, ultimately demonising the sensuous. This misinterpretation is exacerbated by Sartre’s insistence that human freedom is destined to the futile task of producing the missing synthesis of consciousness and being, a destiny that sends consciousness on the impossible quest of providing its own foundation.