Bedeutsamkeiten absurder Existenz. Über lebensbejahende und lebensverneinende Weltmythen in Wolfgang Herrndorfs "Arbeit und Struktur"

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Does a nihilist who kills himself betray his own beliefs? An unreflected answer would probably turn out positive, because a nihilist may be defined as a person who embraces all aspects of life and pain itself. But someone who escapes his sorrowful existence by committing suicide seems not to accept his own human condition and therefore cannot die as a nihilist. If this argumentation is right, human life would not be possible outside cultural contexts, for the particularity of nihilism is its large distance to and independence of culture and collectivity. In his autobiographical work "Arbeit und Struktur" Wolfgang Herrndorf portrays his three and a half years of living with brain cancer. At the same time he shows us how his originally humanistic nihilism turns into a more pessimistic one while coping with his disease. Herrndorf, in a manner of speaking, writes his own "myth to live" without being able to rely on the shelter of culture, without a "myth of collectivity". In the face of this, we must assume Herrndorf's ideological transformation from a cooperative nihilism to a pessimistic nihilism, which justifies his own death, was his sole opportunity to mentally survive the three and a half years of pain and dissolution. From this perspective, the example of Wolfgang Herrndorf and his "Arbeit und Struktur" would reveal mankind's absolute dependency on metaphysical significance and its need for individual myths to live. Despite regarding himself as a modern, secular and rationalistic human being, Herrndorf cannot overcome the necessity of the iconological translation of "reality to world". Therefore, the intent of this master's thesis is to show that all living human beings are captives of icons and their metaphysical representation, and that the endless effort of translating whole reality into a single myth to live is part of our conditio humana.
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Archival date: 2020-05-17
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