The interest and originality of Merleau-Ponty’s humanism lie, in my view, in the unveiling of the repressed origin of humanity in the domain of art and the expression of the body more generally. Merleau-Ponty was able to perceive an example of this recursive movement toward the inhuman in Cézanne’s works. “I owe you the truth in painting”, said Cézanne. In effect, Cézanne gives us the truth of humanization in painting. None better than Merleau-Ponty allows us to hear Cézanne’s voice today. Through the echo of this voice, he allows us to found a new humanism, a humanism that bears the memory of the inhuman, that lifts up the repressed but without effacing it, all while presenting us with the invisible in the visible and exposing the profundity of the human being. This humanism of upheaval is that of the appearance of humanity to itself in a hazardous constellation of signs and in the adversity of non-sense (as repression) set in equal distance from the shameless humanism of Merleau-Ponty’s predecessors and the postmodern antihumanism of those who came after him.

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