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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter was originally published as a preface to a collection of Italian translations of texts by and interviews with Carl Schmitt. It shows how each text offers an image of Schmitt that can best be seen in light of what Walter Benjamin called the "now of knowability": in a constellation formed by the decisive political problems of Schmitt’s time. The challenge these texts thus propose is akin to that of finding figures hidden in a landscape painting. The chapter argues that the hidden figures in Schmitt’s works designate those points at which their contemporary relevance is greatest. Only in this constellation can the crux of Schmittian exegesis-that of a fascist thinker who continues to concern contemporary society profoundly-be fully experienced.

Keywords: jurist, state of exception, katechon, Epimetheus, Benito Cereno, jus publicum Europaeum, Foucault, Weiss

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