658.2 José María Pérez Gay: A bridge between German critical thinking and Mexico

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:05 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Héctor Raúl SOLÍS GADEA , Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico
José María Pérez Gay is one of the most lucid mexican essayists who can not go unnoticed when making a balance on the possibilities of Latin America’s contemporary criticl thinking. His lucidity might be based on the fact that his intellectual sensibility was forged when making contact with the European critical culture, more specifically, German and Austrian. Pérez Gay’s most important work can be read as an effort to reconstruct the milestones of the Central European thinking and history by interlacing the political-cultural facts with the manifestations of the philosophical and literary conscience of Germany and Austria. Throughout his work, Pérez Gay revises among other authors , the work of Herman Broch, Karl Kraus, Joseph Roth, Elias Canetti, Robert Musil, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas, Peter Sloterdijk. He reads them with a framework that tries to understand the transformations propelled by the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century, and that not always favored a coincidence between the promises of reason, civility, peace and freedom. As a background of his work we find the breaking of the Nineteenth Century European world, the moral crises of modernity, the attempts of democratic construction and the catastrophe that totalitarism and intolereance meant.

This paper aims to tryout an interpretation of some of José María Pérez Gay’s work in order to explore the roads of his intellectual sensibility and the perspectives that are offered to critically analize the Mexican and Latinamerican present.