István Bárány


Senior Lecturer of Art Theory and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Paul Celan Visiting Fellow
(September – November 2015)


Plato: Parmenides (Ancient Greek > Hungarian)

As part of Atlantis Publishers’ new edition of Plato’s complete dialogues with commentaries in Hungarian, I am translating the Parmenides of Plato. During the two-thousand year dominance of the Neoplatonic tradition, the Parmenides was considered the consummation of the Platonic philosophia perennis. Today, the Parmenides is seen as a challenging passage-way between the so-called „middle” and „late” dialogues, and modern readers appreciate its highly enigmatic character. Its dramatic setting is a fictional, almost farcical, drama, its protagonists – Parmenides, Zeno, Socrates – seem to offer a kind of doubly-inverted and grotesquely absurd history of philosophy. The puzzle of its complex and well-structured argumentation about the being and not-being of the One and Many flies in the face of all interpretations from nonsensical amusement to Russelian paradoxology.