Thursday, January 15, 2009

Correspondence: Mara and Leo on Austria

i will comment later. i am sounding like you then.
How could you ever like my book? So analytical !!!
Yours is poetry, protest, disgust, pain...but not melancholic...
This is just an anticipation
And for the same, just a remark: can non-germans be more german than german? made more personal, i could interpret Cohen so well, becasue i am definitevely a german jew and you Hölderlin with Nietzschean overtaste because you are a austrian (? )
Let me think more about it.
Nice you will be closer. Who knows...we may finally meet personally.
un beso
La Mara

About the book:
After so many attempts I discovered that I am not a good essay writer but that am a very very talented letter writer, and I am pefecting the technique that Benjamin left behind.

Your book is obviously very different because we were trained differently, I have behind it Hegel, hermeneutics and Christian theology. Plus I never liked phenomenology.

I think there is something awkward about this concept of Deutschentum, somehow I think at least from the perspective of culture that non-Germans have been the best interpreters and insiders of German culture precisely because of their position of outcasts and this causes a mirror effect, or a chiaroscuro.

As far as Hoelderlin goes, when I read him just like whenever I engage with Hegel or Schelling I know they are definitely gentiles, but if there is anything absolutely Christian about time is the atemporal fascination with eschatology, however, I cannot be considered Christian in the philosophical sense because I don´t believe in eternity as natural theology devised it, regardless of the great weight that theology and specially Patrology has for me.

My use of Hoelderlin then is fully technical, that is, I want to create the impression of illness to open the chapter since we are dealing with the end of times and nothig as precise as illness to define the personal experience of the eschaton, that is, mental illness.

I could have used Nietzsche in a different way but I didn´t because he´s my Holywood star in another chapter dealing with the music of Wagner and ethics.

On the other hand I do have this great share of Catholic Austrianness in my work, that you can see in my desperate love for the pathos of avant garde and for the theatrical nature of politics and specially not only in my work but also in my practical life and political views, my outright disgust about liberalism. That is why I can engage with Augustine but not with Aristotle.

The interesting here to notice here is that for example there was a particular kind of avant garde in Vienna because Austria is not a nation, there is nothing to bind them together but their radical opposition to German Liberalism... This is the endless topic of what we call Austrian literature, whatever that can mean in reality. Take Franz Werfel writings on the Virgin Mary, it is a protest to German culture presented in its most viciously aestheticized form. Austria has never divorced its Catholic roots because only the believe on Catholicism as universality can cure that sickness of being no one in the world, it is an opposition to the Aufklaerung and the secularity, all what I also share.
The taste is definitely not Nitzschean, but it is tained with the decadence of my spiritual Zeitwelt, which is la haute moderne autrichene.

From Lehmann on Katechon

Yes, this text is much better. Actually I really enjoyed reading it. Obviously in writing letters you manage to organize your reflections best, something that seems very likable to me: your heart truly speaks to your friends. And the way in which you integrate the quotations in the running text is also very convincing. It's like bringing the old texts back to life, to make them speak again, and that's more then just producing a commentary, it documents a real living with the texts (apart from the influence that Benjamin might have here?). Concerning the content I can not go into detail now. Many things you draw on are familiar to me from our talks in Jerusalem. You indeed have an eschatological mind (not to call it apocalyptic). And when your "I" talks about visiting the theater in Jerusalem in 2001 he does so with the voice of a very old, distinguished gentleman. That's also you, coming from the 20ies.Best regards, Sandra