Czeslaw Milosz "Theodicy"
Artwork: Ryszard Druch
Evil can be examined and contemplated; one can analyze its sundry categories and variations. One can consider the legal and moral aspects of human actions, that bear the marks of evil and reflect on their metaphysical sense. One can avoid evil or - if it has a sociopolitical character - fight it. Not only are all of these possibilities realized in interhuman communication, they have been expressed in literature and the arts since time immemorial. Depending on the historical climate, the artistic impulse has oscillated between moral persuasion and the contemplation of eternal truths. Persuasion predominates in times of crisis, contemplation in times of stability. With a little luck, one can always find oneself in some enclave or other, in which the process of stabilization seems to take the upper hand over everything that leads to disintegration and disruption. It is in those times, after a period of moralistic feverishness that one can calmly observe the more turbulent spots on our globe. For intellectuals living in Berkeley, Paris, or Cracow this set of circumstances has additional cognitive value: the evil observed from afar begins to look different than that which they have experienced personally.