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TITLE OF DOCUMENT:

The worrying guest

NAME OF AUTHOR(S):

Galimberti U.

NAME OF PUBLISHER:

Feltrinelli

LANGUAGE OF DOCUMENT:

Italian

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

KEYWORDS:

Worrying guest – nihilism – consumer society – instability – inner joy

DOCUMENT TYPOLOGY:

Book

TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION:

Parents, Teachers, School Directors.

SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION:

Over 100 pages

DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS:

Nowadays guys feel like fish out of water – says Galimberti – not only for their inner crisis but because of the “worrying guest”, the nihilism, that “influences their feelings, mixes up their thoughts, cancels their perspectives and future goals, weakens their soul and passion”. Nietzsche asks: “What does Nihilism mean?” and so we answer that the supreme values lose their power. Why are we saying that? In short chapters Galimberti describes the birth and the presence of this “worrying guest” in our society. In their work the “age of sad passions”, the Argentinian philosopher and psychoanalyst Migues Benasayag and the child and adolescent psychiatrist Gérard Schmit speak about the effects of nihilism on adolescents. They realized that for most of the people their pains did not have a psychological origin, but they “reflected a widespread sadness which is present in our society and which is associated with a feeling of instability and insecurity”. The future is no longer perceived as a promise but as a threat. This threat erodes the values of our society. The optimistic vision of the world disappeared, as well as the awareness that the history of human beings is linked to the idea of progress and salvation. Pollution, social inequalities, economical disasters, new illnesses, violent actions, lack in tolerance and racism, selfishness, uncontrolled and wild speculations, wars have cause the destruction of our world collapsed in a disorientating instability and insecurity. Without the hope for the future, the lack in authority and in peer relationship, young people are left alone with their anxious feelings. Identity – which is an absolute need for everyone – is created if we accept the other people. If we do not acknowledge this relationship, if family and school are absent, young people will follow the way of sexual abuse, of alcohol and drug addiction, of a “fast electrifying and thrilling music”. Young people will pay the price of the consequences because they are not able to face reality and so the frustrating experiences lead them towards the hell of vices. The need to find a way of escape with the abuse of sex or drug is the remedy for people rejected from society.Galimberti says: “Teenagers are looking for entertainment because they are not able to be happy and to enjoy themselves. However this joy is above all an inner joy, so it is acknowledged and accepted and they overcome frustration”. Galimberti then focuses on the analysis of other features that characterize the attitude of teenagers: emotional illiteracy, the fading of an affection, the desert of emotions, the lack in strength of mind; and then the advertising of intimacy, the temptation of drugs such as heroine, ecstasy, cocaine, homicide and suicide, anguish, curse and the nihilist insanity.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT:

The author focuses on typical attitudes of teenagers that range from clubbing and the abuse of drugs to less relevant events. These events have something in common, the inability of school and families to communicate and interprete the feelings of teenagers. He clearly gives hints on the causes of certain attitudes: the drug can be considered the explosion of energy; it is not the desire to fill in an empty space in the inner consciousness. All these assumptions are created according to Nietzsche’s philosophy, without considering the ethic moral phylosophy. These situation is caused by mass media which have the main task to increase and reinforce the idea of the consumer society and consumerist culture without considering the moral values and ethic moral society. The main idea of the book is about nihilism which attacked teenagers; on the other hand the teenagers who significantly contributed to create a better society are not mentioned.

NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION:

Don Milani

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