Monday, May 14, 2012

Hegelarious

Andrew Cohen:

In the profundity of this beginninglessness and endlessness, it became apparent that death was an illusion and that everything that exists and does not exist—the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown—is all inseparable from this one inconceivable mystery. The majesty and glory of those few moments are impossible to describe in words—it was like the whole universe suddenly became conscious of itself in me.

Reading this piffle reminded me of der meisterpiffler, G.W.F. Hegel. That, in turn, reminded me of Dieter Roth's brilliant artwork in which he chopped up the paperback edition of Hegel's complete works, combined the result with spices and lard, and presented it in sausage form. And I would be remiss in not sharing the commentary my friend Arthur offered on it:

I found Dieter Roth's Hegelian literaturwurst totally hegelarious. It captures the indigestible Teutonic bulkiness of Hegel's notoriously awkward prose, not to mention the thick pseudo-science and post-mystical rationalism of his thought, according to which we shouldn't inquire too much into the details of how the sausage of Absolute Spirit is made; the grinding process of the Dialectic will make things turn out for the best--or wurst. Speaking of wurst, it is Hegelian to hold that by naming a thing we negate its particularity (its partial, undialecticized existence) and sublate it into the realm of Geist. Hence Edgar's words in King Lear take on a world-historical significance: "The wurst is not, so long as we can say, 'This is the wurst.'"