Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris

Discourse on Voluntary Servitude 1546—2008

The publication was accompanying an exhibition „Jean – Michel Alberola. Echoes and Phantoms 1968” during ⅩⅦ Ars Cameralis Festival and was initiated by the artist.

„Just like Machiavelli, with whom he differ less that it might seem, La Boétie touches in Discourse… the secrets of power. He forestalls liberal political philosophers (Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau) by adding downrightness, which lets him to reject an ideal vision of considering the relations between the state and a citizen as transparent. 

(…) Discourse… exceeds the frames of traditional political discourse. The fascination it excites comes from the fact, that the work lays the foundation for a study of the relation reign—subjection in the intimate interpersonal relations. A tyrant is not only a political category, it is also mental and „metaphysical”. 

(…) What La Boétie writes about fear, abjection, kindness, fawning, humiliation, meanness, alienation of the mediators (courtiers, deputies) seems so accurate  — and so current!  — it causes sobering shiver on you back. Tyranny is always ready to be revealed in a partially acceptable relation of vassalage. 

Séverine Auffret

About the author:

Étienne de La Boétie — born November 1, 1530 in Sarlat (Périgord) as a third child of Antoine de la Boétie, a royal official of the Périgord region and Philippe de Calvimont. At first Étienne was taught by an uncle, a wise cleric who got him interested in literature, Greek and Roman virtues, and law. In the age of 16 he has already translated few Greek works. In 1554, La Boétie obtained a title of the counsel in the Parliment of Bordeaux. Involved in the mitigation of conflicts between Catholics and Huguenots, he took part in a military mission, which made him ill. He died on August 18, 1563 in Médoc, in the presence of his close friend Montaigne, whom he entrusted all his works and library. 

Details of the publication:

Translation: Krzysztof Matuszewski

Edited by: Marek Zieliński

Publisher: Cultural Institution Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris

Year and place of publishing: Katowice 2008

Bilingual edition: Polish and French


Publication was initiated by Jean-Michel Alberola and was accompanying artist's exhibition Echoes and Phantoms of 1968, during ⅩⅦ Ars Cameralis Festival. 

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I order

Discourse on Voluntary Servitude 1546—2008

  • Author: Étienne de La Boétie
  • Page number : 128
  • Sizes: 15,5x11cm
  • Category: Art book
  • ISBN: 83–922555–4-2

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