Alberto Bonchino

«... not by power, but by spirit». Gustav Landauer as interpreter and translator of Étienne de Le Boétie's «Discourse of Voluntary Servitude»

  • Abstract

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Keywords: : Renaissance, (Neo)Romanticism, Revolution, Mysticism, Germany at the fin de siècle.

The article argues that the core of the Discours de la servitude volontaire - written by the French poet and humanist Étienne de La Boétie (1530-1563) - was profoundly influential and inspiring for the political and philosophical thought of the German-Jewish thinker, anarchist, and politician Gustav Landauer (1870-1919). Such affinity of thought might have led Landauer to translate La Boétie's essay and circulate it within the revolutionary climate of the early 20th-century Germany. Furthermore, the article provides a better understanding of Landauer's theoretical concept of revolution and throws light on the editorial transmission of La Boétie's Discours in Germany.

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