Musil once wrote: "We are soothed by slipping a thread, that famed story thread which is also the thread of life". A thread is chaos transformed into order, a tangle that is given structure, a line that exits the labyrinth. Weaving, thinking, writing are all products of the primeval need to furnish things with a form, a direction, a meaning. In her previous work, "Philosophy in the Kitchen", Francesca Rigotti had already engaged in the patient task of exploring metaphors and language - the receptacles of ancient wisdom and hidden meanings, the graffiti of a lengthy cultural history. Developing a thought, singing praise, holding a post: these are some of the common expressions on the remote origins of which we have ceased to reflect, but which stem and found their relevance on that primary necessity which the Bible itself identifies along with the need for food - i.e., the need for a protective "second skin". Eve spun, Penelope wove, the Virgin Mary sewed and knitted. From Arianes thread to Aracnes web, from Anankes rope to Athenas tapestry skills: the volume sketches out the metaphorical construction of threads, fabrics and textures, the symbolic contents of getting dressed and undressed, which in turn evoke the inside and the outside of the human body, moral and material habits, sophistication and virtue, falsehood and truth. The volume also explores the metaphor of the net, the modern fabric that makes time vanish and space expand, that reveals the great, immanent, contemporary desire to accept neither a "before" nor an "after", neither a beginning nor an ending.
Francesca Rigotti teaches Political Doctrine and Institutions at the University of Lugano in Switzerland.