Of a Removal

Walter Schubart, Europe and the Soul of the East

  • Roberto Masiero


A book written in 1938 by a German jurist, philosopher and essayist, Walter Schubart, emerges from a tragic past that we deem distant, and forces us, more than eighty years later, to question problematically our present day. The profound contradictions of that time have not been resolved, and the same spectres for the same and new nightmares play on the scene. The text is reread and interpreted to bring out what were for Schubart the crucial junctures of the conflict not only between Russia and Europe but also between West and East, in search of a possible synthesis glimpsed by the author himself when in the conclusion he uses a metaphor: Europe is the vat, Russia the wine, each needs the other. The current geopolitical context is certainly not moving in that direction. But have other perspectives or other ways of interpreting such conflicts and thus other implicit solutions presented themselves between those two worlds? Poignant from this point of view may be the intense work of Pavel Florensky – considered only very marginally by Schubart. In the interweavings of theology, philosophy, science, linguistics and art, Florensky opens up to a profound reworking of both Western and Eastern culture, showing that the conflict can be recomposed on the scene by getting rid of spectres.


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How to Cite
Masiero, R. (2024). Of a Removal. Critical Hermeneutics, 7(2), 227-269. https://doi.org/10.13125/CH/6101