Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2020
Es ist etwas ganz Seltsames passiert ist: zum erstenmal in zehn Jahren habe ich mehr amerikanische als deutsche Leser. Deshalb gibt es hier zur Feier des Tages heute mal einen Post auf Englisch. Der ist allerdings nicht neu, der stand hier schon am 6. Oktober 2019. Mein Freund Yogi war über das Lob des St Olaf College in Northfield (Minnesota), wo er mal Professor gewesen war, so erfreut, dass er den Emeritus Norman Watt gebeten hat, den Post ins Englische zu übertragen. Und er hat das dann auf einer seiner Seiten veröffentlicht. Ich klaue mir das einmal zurück und stelle es am National Leon Day hier hin. Das St Olaf College (das in Fitzgeralds Great Gatsby erwähnt wird) ist ein kleines College, aber es hat einen hervorragenden Chor und die wahrscheinlich beste Kierkegaard Bibliothek der Welt. Und mit Kierkegaard sind wir natürlich beim Existentialismus.
elsewhere in this blog. And: non, je ne regrette rien
Montaigne en allemand; her brilliant introduction to existentialism has also been translated into German. Sarah Bakewell recounts the story of existentialism with wit and intelligence, offering a fresh take on a discipline often deemed daft and pretentious, as Andrew Hussey wrote in the Guardian.
Left Bank: Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris 1940–1950. It’s a bit superficial and not on Bakewell’s level, but it is still a good portrayal of the customs and morals of the period.
Film Noir and French poetic realism (as in ✺Le jour se lève and ✺Le Quai des brumes). This actually wasn’t so far off the mark, since in the meantime there was a book with the title Existentialism, Film Noir, and Hard-Boiled Fiction.
Mods, as the English called their youth culture. When I heard Juliette Gréco in Berlin in 1962, I was wearing my good blue English suit from the best haberdasher in my home town.
Christian Dior and Jacques Fath. And French films, too, were often nothing more than existential philosophy on celluloid. In ✺A bout de souffle, Jean-Paul Belmondo says: Suffering is completely idiotic. My choice is nothingness. That’s not much better, of course, but suffering is a compromise. I want all or nothing. From this moment on, I know this definitively. This attitude is very close to existentialism.
Heidegger, who always looked like a little gnome on his walks through the woods of philosophy. In his well-documented, 920-page long biography, Olivier Todd described Camus as an elegant dandy and ladies’ man— the philosopher of the absurd in the role of Don Juan. I had no idea about that at the time. When I read Camus back then, I understood more about Camus than I did about women.
Jacques Prévert (photographed by Robert Doisneau above) in the original was one thing (I knew all his chansons which Juliette sang by heart). To read Camus was the other. He created sentences that you could ponder. How miserable the philosophy classes in school were in comparison to his works! I read Camus, although there was a lot that I didn’t understand. Or that I understood incorrectly. But when you’re eighteen, there’s a lot that you do understand, even if you don’t understand it. You can’t really live if life has no meaning.
Jazz in Paris by Gitanes, it’s because of the book pictured above. Yogi sent it to me from America after the author had given it to him. With a dedication, and now it’s mine. I started in on it immediately, because it’s a pleasure to read. The book was published by Harper Collins last year and has received justifiably good critical comments.
Kierkegaard in the Present Age and The Quotable Kierkegaard, and he is co-author of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard. He is a Kierkegaard expert, and you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him that he is also good at something else that is quite different. At one time he was a boxer and he is still a boxing trainer today. Philosophers aren’t necessarily associated with that sport, although we of course should mention that Thomas Hobbes still played tennis in his old age. When Sartre was still teaching in secondary school, he taught his pupils boxing, which he had learned himself as a university student. Whether Heidegger really said I was left halfback with FC Messkirch, I don’t really know. But we do know that in his youth Albert Camus was goalkeeper with Racing Universitaire d’Alger. Speaking of that time, he said ultimately, all that I know most confidently about morality and human responsibility I owe to football.
Kierkegaard library in the world is owing to the professor pictured above. His name is Howard Hong, and although he himself does not have a Wikipedia article, the library that he established certainly does. This Internet lexicon apparently does not know what it is doing. For a description of his life, then, here is his obituary from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Kierkegaard on my own, as you can see from my reading list for the year 1962. Kierkegaard and Camus never appeared in my university philosophy courses. In the German universities of the late ’60s, only second-class thinkers such as Marx and Hegel were represented. If I had not heard lectures by Gabriel Marcel, there would have been absolutely no highlights in the course of my university studies.
Arthur Schopenhauer. She suggested Hegel to me, and all I could think was: yuck! If you read the post on Hegel in my blog, you will see why. And I still hadn’t even mentioned Jürgen Kuczynski’s wonderful quote about Hegel’s historically convoluted explanations. We finally agreed on the topic of the social contract in Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. It’s a nice topic, agreed, but it’s simply not Kierkegaard. One doesn’t even need to study philosophy to read Kierkegaard, because he’s among the philosophers like Schopenhauer (whose works he hadn’t really examined until shortly before his death) whom one can read without outside help. Every reader will understand him differently, but he is a pleasure to read. Because he is actually a poet.
Hommes, femmes: Mode d’emploi is an instruction booklet for living with a woman. Marino’s Existentialist’s Survival Guide is an introduction to the history of existentialism, which for English critics is frequently nothing more than a fashion, a spiritual expression of the pain of existence. Andrew Hussey formulated this in The Guardian with a nice touch of irony: French philosophy, for all its fag-waving sexiness, is also mostly pretentious and daft. No philosophy has exemplified this more than existentialism, the movement that dominated cultural life in Paris after the Second World War.
Sartre narrated by Stephen Fry very much. One viewer wrote about an Introduction to Kierkegaard on YouTube, I so wish I had read some of Kierkegaard’s works when I was a teenager, because if I had, a lot of my life would have been a whole lot clearer to me. This is something that readers of Marino’s book could also say.
Los Angeles Review of Books: By steering through issues that bear on us personally, and revealing their disruption and augmentation of his life, Marino avoids purely abstract, academic exposition. Classes in existentialism and existential psychology are popular because, apart from vocational promises, they offer a personal relevance all too absent in lectures devoted solely to impersonal facts and techniques. While Marino’s grasp of the literature is impeccable, his verve and wit as a writer stand out, and his self-revelations are not self-promotions.
It is nice when philosophers say such things about their colleagues, rather than writing, for example sentences like: Hegel, a trite, insipid, disgustingly repulsive, ignorant charlatan who scribbled away with incomparable gall, absurdity, and nonsense, which is trumpeted by his venal adherents as immortal wisdom and accepted as such by ignoramuses . . . has resulted in the intellectual ruin of an entire scholarly generation. I would have liked to say this to my philosophy lecturer back then, but I did want to pass my oral exams, after all. The above-quoted passage, incidentally, is by Arthur Schopenhauer.
Eingestellt von jay um 10:52
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