LeBlanc, John Randolph Books
About the author: John Randolph LeBlanc (Ph.D., Louisiana State University) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Tyler where he teaches political theory and American constitutional law. He has published scholarly articles on the intersection of politics and art in Literature and Theology, Southeastern Political Review, and Contemporary Political Theory as well as on the interplay of political theory and literary theory in Strategies: Journal of Theory, Politics, and Culture.2004 0-7734-6567-7
This work of political theory traces, for the first time in a book-length work, the critical development of the idea of creativity in politics through the intellectual relationship of Simone Weil and Albert Camus. Assessing their separate but complementary attempts to bring aesthetic considerations of beauty and order to bear on an ethical conception of political life, the book calls into question both a purely aestheticized picture of reality and postmodern tendency to see reality as a discontinuous discourses by emphasizing that which Weil and Camus believed the activities of labor and art share in common: the capacity and obligation to transform our perspective while respecting our physical and metaphysical limits. Taken together, the work of Weil and Camus offers a prelude to the formulation of a self-consciously creative form of citizenship, critically respectful of established forms of political discourse and being, but willing to supplement or replace outdated forms with more appropriate ones. In this comparative analysis, creativity emerges as a basic reorientation to political phenomena. Their emphasis on the creative forces the analysis beyond their critiques of totalitarianism, where works on their political thought usually focus, revealing a shared need to assert a positive, non-dogmatic vision of political action. The creative suggests a temperament, extant in the work of the artist and in a re-conceived notion of labor, that both Weil and Camus believed could be usefully applied to the problems of modern politics.