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Chapter 31. Vulgar hermeneutics

In Goethe’s Götz von Berlichingen one can find – assuming one has the explicit version – one of German literatures most famous quotes:  „Mich ergeben! Auf Gnad und Ungnad! Mit wem redet Ihr! Bin ich ein Räuber! Sag deinem Hauptmann: Vor Ihro Kaiserliche Majestät hab ich, wie immer, schuldigen Respekt. Er aber, sag’s ihm, er kann mich […]

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Chapter 30. What we breathe is what we are

Who inhales? The question of who is speaking, writing or reading can be focused on the subject that breathes. But how do I breathe and what do I inhale while e.g. I am reading? If there is a burning candle on my desk, then I will inhale the burnt particles (carbon dioxide) of the wax. […]

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Chapter 29. Semiotic protest

Aristoteles once described six forms of government dividing them into three good and three bad forms: monarchy is good, tyrannis is bad, aristocracy is good, oligarchy is bad. And finally, democracy is good, ochlocracy is bad.  While those opposition seem to fit quite well onto a white paper giving the impression that there is a […]

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Chapter 28. Guerilla Hermeneutics – Becoming a respirateur

“I like living, breathing, better than working. I don’t think that the work I’ve done can have any social importance whatsoever in the future. Therefore, if you wish, my art would be that of living: each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral. It’s a sort of constant euphoria.”1 What Marcel […]

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Chapter 27. 0 and 2: Object-Oriented writing

There seems to be a mutual logic in some of the most dominant practices and theories. It is the binary logic of on and of, zero and one. In psychoanalysis one could transfer that logic onto Freud’s “fort” and “da”, the play he saw his grandson was playing after his mother has left him. Suggesting […]

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Chapter 26. Interpretation is interpretation is interpretation

Interpretation must not come to an end. Such a sentence seems to be the shibboleth of all humanities written in capital letters above the entrance of any academic institution. It resembles a machine, a perpetuum mobile which is continuously working fueled by thoughts of young and old intellectuals.  Hermeneutics must not come to an end, […]

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Chapter 25. Breathwork with Goethe

In 1819 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote a breathing exercise:  „Im Athemholen sind zweyerley Gnaden: Die Luft einziehen, sich ihrer entladen. Jenes bedrängt, dieses erfrischt; So wunderbar ist das Leben gemischt. Du danke Gott, wenn er dich preßt, Und dank’ ihm, wenn er dich wieder entlässt.“ This last verse of the poem “Talismane”, which is […]

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Chapter 24. Consent and hermeneutics

Consent derives “from the Latin consentire — literally, and almost perversely, ‘to feel together’”, as a New York Times article1 describes. During this summer semester the term “consent” came up in my Seminar “Schreibweisen der Liebe” and I asked my students if they can imagine to use the term consent as an analytic approach to literature? Are […]

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Chapter 23. “It is almost dry” – Being gentle within capitalist consumption.

In an interview on Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon Pusha T explains the title of his new album: “It is almost dry”. The phrase means, that the masterpiece you are making is almost ready, yet it is not. Everyone keeps asking the artist, when it will be done. It is obvious that the phrase relates […]

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Chapter 22. The sublime Code

After the end of writing, as announced by Catherine Malabou, grammatology has found its end before it even started. The inflation of the term “writing” not only in the humanities, but also in hard sciences like biology, genetics, cybernetics, etc. let to a diffusion what writing is, and what is that which is written. Especially […]

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