Tuesday, July 9, 2013

On Heidegger’s Anti-Americanism

On Heidegger’s Anti-Americanism

            In 1935, someone sneered at Martin Heidegger “Back so soon from Syracuse, Professor?”  The jest invokes Plato’s flirtation with the tyrant Dionysius I, the ruler of Syracuse described in the Greek philosopher’s Seventh Letter.  In 1933, Heidegger joined the Nazi party, denounced his Jewish mentor, Edmund Husserl, and rejected his Jewish lover, Hannah Arendt.  He delivered a infamous speech, rapturously supporting National Socialism, the so-called Rektoratsrede, upon his appointment to the position of Rector at the University of Freiberg.  By 1934, Heidegger was disenchanted and quietly withdrew from the party – hence, the sneer.  Hannah Arendt later wrote that Heidegger was like a fox “so utterly without cunning that he couldn’t avoid falling into snares and, in fact, couldn’t even distinguish a trap from other things...”   Heidegger didn’t apologize for his adventures in Syracuse.   In fact, throughout World War II, he habitually wore a swastika and seems to have supported Hitler’s regime. 
            In this light, Heidegger’s remarks about America delivered in his famous lecture series on Hoelderlin’s poem Der Ister are both interesting and important:
We know today that the Anglo-Saxon world of Americanism has resolved to annilhate Europe, that is, the homeland (“Heimat”), and that means: the commencement of the Western world.  Whatever has the character of commencement is indestructible.  America’s entry into this planetary war is not its entry into history; rather, it is already the ultimate American act of ahistoricality and self-devastation.  For this act is the renunciation of commencement and a decision in favor of that which is without commencement.  The concealed spirit of the commencement in the West will not even have the look of contempt for this trial of self-devastation without commencement, but will await its stellar hour from out of the releasement and tranquility that belong to the commencement. 
Heidegger interprets history not chronologically but as an process that devolves from the original radiance of revelation in pre-Socratic thought descending into the darkness of technology from which the world awaits its salvation.  When technology is banished, salvation occurs in the terms of mankind’s return to what it “essential” and what is “destined.”  History’s slow revolution toward the light requires patience and waiting.  But
being able to wait is not an actionless or thoughtless letting things come and go, it is not a closing of one’s eyes in the face of some dark forboding.  Being able to wait is a standing in that which has already leapt ahead, a standing in what is indestructible, to whose neighborhood desolation belongs like a valley to a mountain.  Yet could such a a thing ever happen without, through the pain of sacrifice, the historical humankind of this commencement first becoming ripe for whatever is of the commencement as its own?
These words were spoken in the summer semester at Freiburg University in 1942.  The lectures were first published in 1984 in German.   This translation comes from section 11, Part Two, the review to The human being: the uncanniest of the uncanny.  (The entry song of the chorus of elders (in Antigone) and the first stationary song.) 54-55, McNeil and Davis.
            I have said Heidegger’s remarks are interesting and important.  Europe has long renounced Nazism.  But Heidegger’s anti-Americanism flourishes among European intellectuals.  Heidegger’s critique of America, accordingly, outlived the regime in which it was spawned and is perfectly respectable on the darkest of all dark continents, Europe.  The great German poet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, the philosophers Theodor Adorno and Jurgen Habermas, and, most recently, Gerhard Schroeder, in his (unsuccessful) bid for re-election as German chancellor have all denounced America in terms that are generally consistent with Heidegger’s critique.  And so, for this reason, I think it is interesting to decipher some of what Heidegger is saying.
            Heidegger purports to lecture on Friedrich Hoelderlin’s ode Der Ister.  The poem was probably written in 1802, perhaps remains incomplete, and exists in various drafts.  Heidegger’s misreading of Hoelderlin’s odes is famous and systematic.  Hoelderlin, as a patriotic German, asserts that the ancient Greek gods will return to bless the world, following the course of rivers upstream into the poet’s own Schwabian homeland – the Ister is an archaic name for part of the Donau or Danube River.  Der Ister is part of a series of river poems, including odes to the Rhine and the Neckar with similar themes – the poet invokes the gods of Greece and, therefore, invites them to take up residence at the headwaters of the German rivers in the familiar landscape of Schwabia.  Hoelderlin proposes a fusion of Greek and Catholic religion that will take place in Germany when the radiance of the pagan gods illumine the truths of Catholicism.  Heidegger reverses Hoelderlin’s meanings – he inverts the direction of the current, as it were, to render Hoelderlin’s river odes as lamentations upon the absence of the Greek gods from our world.  The poems demonstrate an absence in our world, the absence of Being which Heidegger terms Seinsvergessenheit (“the forgetting of Being”) – human beings will only dwell in the truth when the original radiance of the world, signified by the gods of Greece, return.  It suffices to observe that Hoelderlin’s late poems are very difficult and obscure – there are elements that support Heidegger’s misreading of the poems in these texts, but, in general, critics conclude that the philosopher’s interpretation of this poetry is opportunistic, primarily a platform for his ideas and not those of the poet.  Certainly, Heidegger’s selection of the poet as a basis for wartime lectures is similarly opportunistic.  Hoelderlin was a staunch German patriot and a strong advocate for the unification of the Deutsche-speaking principalities into a single nation.  A number of his poems are rather naively, and rabidly, nationalistic and he is the author of a tragedy, Hermannschlacht (“Herman’s Battle”), an account of the battle of Teutoburgerwald in which the Teuton, Arminius, destroyed a Roman army and preserved Germania for the Germans.   The unproduceable, jingoistic Hermannschlacht has always been a touchstone for far-Right politics in Germany.  Thus, Heidegger’s study of Hoelderlin, a writer approved by Nazi ideologues, renders his lecture series beyond official reproach – it is, in fact, a part of the Wehrmacht’s war effort.
            Heidegger views Der Ister as a study in the origins of human thought.  Heidegger’s analysis is historical; he believes that human thought is “timely” or “untimely” (to use Nietzsche’s formulation) – in any given epoch only certain thoughts or ideas will be accessible to human understanding.  Heidegger argues that Der Ister provides us with access to certain thoughts in which human consciousness has originated – an originary radiance that a poet can “think” and, indeed, summon to understanding, but which has otherwise vanished from the world.  Heidegger’s proclaims a radical destitution in the world, a destitution that the war has made precisely visible and manifest in the intervention of American and Soviet forces.  This radical destitution brings to mind or consciousness the absence of any coherent understanding of Being.  When humans sense that they are bereft, destitute, without dwelling or roots, the stage will be cleared and ready for the return of the Greek gods – that is, the return of the original or initiating radiance that existed at the dawn of thought. 
            Hoelderlin, Heidegger claims, dramatizes this in his assertions that people must dwell beside rivers.  Dwelling, in Heidegger’s exegesis of the 1802 poem, is comprised by journey outward and staying or remaining within what is familiar (heimlich or homely).  A river both flows, providing a basis for journeying, and, yet, also establishes places or locations where it is propitious and good to dwell.  Thus, the river encompasses the dual nature of human thought – it dwells lovingly on that which is familiar and, at the same time, journeys outward imaginatively to encompass that which is unfamiliar or unheimlich (“uncanny” literally “un-homely”). 
            At this juncture, we grasp Heidegger’s first critique of Americanism.  Americans are rootless – they are perpetually traveling through wastelands that they have made or discovered, but lack any real or meaningful dwelling.  Heidegger sees Americans as perennially and destructively restless.  We are always underway, setting sail, “lighting out for the territories” to avoid the “blessings of civilization” as Mark Twain would have it.  The ceaseless motion of Americans is imagined as its fundamental history – rootless disenfranchised Europeans arriving in a New World, then, conquering that place by continuous immigrations and pilgrimage westward, disinheriting the Indian tribes were originally dwelt on the continent. 
            For Heidegger Americans are without any concept of origins.  We came from nowhere.  We are going nowhere.  One day, we will colonize the barren emptiness of outer space or the moon – both places where human beings are not supposed to dwell, desolation that is beyond the “measure” or limit appointed for human beings.  This ceaseless motion is reflected in our Revolution – a war or mortal combat against any notion of our commencement or initiation in Europe.  The American revolution is a radical act of self-founding – but in Heidegger’s view self-founding equals self-devastation.  No one can be free of history.  Americans claim to be ahistorical, but, in fact, this claim is merely nihilism – America is founded in a crime, it’s inhabitants are those not fit to survive in European civilization, and, in fact, the destiny of America is finally to dramatize the dissolution of history throughout the world.  American nihilism is the final stage of history, which is the oblivion and forgetfulness of history, the deceitful and catastrophic claim that we are self-made and that we can progress in the oblivion of history. 
            Thus, American ahistoricity, its radical disavowal of its roots in European civilization attacks Europe.  This is the “stellar hour” of destiny, when Europe (read “Germany” and the heritage of the Greeks) comes under assault by the ahistorical nihilism of the Americans.  In fact, as Heidegger notes, the “planetary battle” proceeds on two fronts.  The Americans are advancing on European civilization from the West; the Soviet Bolsheviks attack from the East.  Germany and the legacy of the Greeks is caught in history’s pincer – squeezed between Americanism and Bolshevism.  
            “Bolshevism is only a derivative kind of Americanism,” Heidegger announces (sec. 13,
p. 70).  Americanism, which is the origin of Bolshevism, is based in technology.  Technology subjects human beings to the hegemony of the “machine” – people live through “machinery” and “its destructive essence” as abstracted from the physical world (sec. 19b, p. 114).  The machine is an armor that prevents us from touching, or comprehending the world in which we live.  Machines are hard, grey, immobilizing – in this way, they contrast with the essence of dwelling, that is the hearth, over which Hestia, the classical hearth-goddess presides.   The holy is the opposite of machine-technology.  Heidegger initiates the Green movement in this, and other writings, an ecological principle that he thinks incompatible with the cold, calculations of both Bolshevism and Americanism:
(Mother Earth is poeticized by Hoelderlin  as) (l)ike Hertha green – green is what determines the goddess Earth and is thus itself determined by the holy and is “holy green”:
                        And holy green, witness of the blessed, profound
                        Life of the world.
                                    Citing Hoelderlin’s The Wanderer at sec. 26, p. 159.
            Heidegger’s critique of Americanism is expressed in peculiar counter-intuitive terms.  He argues that machine-technology is “everywhere metaphysical” and, even, “spiritual”:
It is a fundamental error to believe that because machines are made out of metal and material that the machine era is “materialistic.”  Modern machine technology is “spirit,” and, as such, is a decision concerning the actuality of everything actual.  And because such a decsion is essentially historical, machine technology will also decide this:  that nothing of the historical world will return.  It is just as childish to wish for a return to previous states of the world as it is to think that human beings could overcome metaphysics by denying it.  All that remains is to unconditionally actualize this spirit so that we simultaneously come to know the essence of its truth.
                        (Sec.10, at p. 53; compare with Heidegger’s scorn for those who interpret the
             National Socialists as if the ancient Greeks were “already National Socialists”)
                          Sec. 14 at 86)
This is a key passage in the lectures and central to Heidegger’s thought.  Heidegger locates the original turning away from the radiance of Being in the metaphysics of Aristotle.  Metaphysics to Heidegger represents a turning away from that which is physical.  Beings are physical, tangible, present, they  “presence” to use Heidegger’s jargon and are unmistakably here.  We turn aside from this fundamental relation to the physical when be begin to conceptualize the world – that is, build a prison of abstractions around things.  One way in which we abstract things is by quantifying them; we measure.  We also take things apart – that is divide and dissect them.  These kinds of functions are the essence of science and, therefore, the origin of technology.  Yet, all of these functions, which seek to measure the qualities or characteristics of things, represent a turning away from the essence of the thing – namely that it is, that it is present, that something (“Being”) allows it to shine forth to us as something originally radiant, indissoluble, and whole.  To Heidegger, measuring and quantifying is endless; it is Ungeheuer – that is, monstrous in the sense of without measure.  Technology and science break things down infinitely; everything is dissolved in measurement which, by definition, is ceaseless and without limit.  And, yet, for Heidegger, man always lives within limits and within a “measure”.   Americanism stands for restless measuring and quantification, the dissolution of the object into bundles of qualities, a process of dissection and anatomization which has no formal limit.  The taxonomy can occur on the basis of whether the beast has fins or feet, or by color, or weight or size or DNA or histology or on a molecular basis or an atomic basis or a sub-atomic basis – but none of this reveals the Being of the being, it’s quiddity or “is-ness” to us:
(Americanism) is the...dangerous configuration of measurelessness, because it emerges in the form of the democratic bourgeoisie and mixed with Christendom and all this in an atmosphere of decided ahistoricality.
                        (Sec.13, at p. 70)
In this context, we see that this kind of scientific rationalism is not only metaphysical, but because it abstracts from the reality of things, dividing Being from their other qualities, it is a kind of spiritualism.  In this sense, Heidegger announces the paradox that technolgy is “spiritual,” by which he means geistlich – that is, literally, ghostly.  Our machines are a form of ghostly magic to us – we can’t dwell with a TV set, because it is a form of conjuring, a box that contains magical forces unknown to us.  Accordingly, we live in a world that is increasingly drained of its sap and vigor, the real decreases, Being absconds, and we are left with Marxist world of spirits and ghosts: “all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned”.  Man is left to confront the fact that he is a commodity among other commodities, something that can be bought and sold – but, of course, this is a ghostly falsification of our experience.  It is a reduction of our humanity to a mere idea – that is, metaphysics.
            Machines are instrumental.  They are tools.   Language, which Heidegger believes to be fundamentally “poetic” – it makes (“poeticizes”) by summoning or calling things into Being – is corrupted by Americanism into a mere instrument or tool.  Heidegger observes that there are two reasons for learning a language – “Anglo-American” is his example.  One reason is so that commands and instructions can be conveyed without misunderstanding in that language; this is employing the language as techne, as a kind of tool.  The other reason is to explore the new language precisely insofar as it differs from our home (or “heimlich”) language.  Studying a language to grasp its points of cultural and philological difference from our home language is a form of venturing, a type of journeying outward away from the heimlich into the unheimlich.  The focus of this study is to better understand our own language.  We become better inhabitants of our own house of language once we grasp how its architecture differs from other languages.  For this reason, Heidegger encourages the study of classical Greek.  His students should learn Greek not so they can inhabit the unheimlich (uncanny) language of an ancient, faraway polis.  Rather, Greek should be studied so that we can measure and assess the difference between our modern language with its capabilities and deficiencies (in modern “metaphysical” languages much scientific verbiage but a paucity of words to express Being and its relationships)  against the capacities (and lacuna) in the ancient tongue. 
            Heidegger emphasizes that all interpretation is a form of translation.  He observes that the modern German has to translate Hegel’s introduction to the Phenomenology of the Spirit just as much as the reader would be required to translate Plato’s Republic from classical Greek.  All thinking that is elevated depends upon its own specialized diction and semantics.  In a real sense, reading works of this sort, and, then, thinking about them, teaches us to better read and translate these texts.  Heidegger deploys a curious, but important metaphor for “translation” required when we approach works of profound and initiatory significance:
It pertains to the essence of the language of a historical people to extend like a mountain range into the lowlands and flatlands and at the same time to have its occasional peaks towering above into an otherwise inaccessible altitude.
Heidegger says that translating makes something “understandable”.  But, if performed truthfully, the act of translating does not level the peaks or falsify their height:
Staying with our image: the peak of a poetic or thoughtful work of language must not be worn down through translation, nor the entire mountain rainge leveled out into flatlands of superficiality.  The converse is the case: Translation must set us upon the path of ascent toward the peak.  (Sec. 12a, p. 62)
I quote at length because Heidegger has used a similar metaphor to express how the Germans as a “historical people” – that is, bearing the burden of Hegel’s Zeitgeist  – will resist the onslaught of American nihilism and ahistoricity.  Heidegger says that the Germans will simply “wait for what is destined of one’s own.”  This waiting is a “standing that has already leapt ahead” – that is, an anticipatory waiting for the re-cognition, the re-thinking, of Being, a originary or initiating thought that can come only when the historical tide of “self-devastation” is so urgent and painful that the Germans yearn for a new beginning, a new standing in the truth of Being.  The darkness must advance to its very blackest and most impenetrable oblivion of Being before human beings can sense precisely what they have lost and, then, “leap forward” toward it.  This standing is “indestructible,” because it is waiting and a standing “whose neighborhood desolation belongs like a valley to a mountain.” 
            So where will the Germans “stand” and “wait” for the resurrection of Being?  They will stand upon the peaks of their mountains, that is, upon the heights of their “poetic and thoughtful works of language”, protecting by those mountain fastnesses.  (In German, the word for Berg or mountain also means a “place of refuge” – Luther’s feste Burg” or “mighty fortress” – a high fortified place which conceals - verbergen - in order to protect).  Heidegger’s image of the works of “thoughtful or poetic language” as a mountain range is explicated in his optimistic account of how the Germans will weather the storm of Americanism and Bolshevism: they will withdraw to the heights of their language, the heights defined by Hoelderlin and Heidegger, and there await the dawning of the new day of Being – “the poet,” Heidegger says, “sees the first ray of this mystery light” coming from the dawn of Being.  Presumably, dawn is first glimpsed by those waiting on the highest peaks.  The instrumental tool of language, Anglo-American, for instance, is the “neighborhood desolation” that belongs “like a valley to the” indestructible mountain from which the new dawn of Being can be glimpsed.  (Sec. 10, p. 55)
            How do the peaks of language function?  How do these heights which can not be “translated” into the lowland show the way to Being?  Heidegger gives an account of this in his explication of the Greek term typically translated as “uncanny”.  The Greek letters spell deinon, literally “the dreadable”.  These words are the cornerstone of Sophocles famous “stationary chorus’ in Antigone, the text that Heidegger construes as being in dialogue with Hoelderlin’s account of human “journeying and dwelling” in Der Ister.  This word, Heidegger argues, is one of the summits of Greek thought and, therefore, one of the feste Buchstaben – to use Hoelderlin’s great metaphor from his ode Patmos – one of the “mighty fortress letters or words” towering over the lowlands and lesser peaks of thought.  Deinon is crucially important because, for Heidegger, the word names, and, therefore calls to thought, how man dwells upon this earth.  Man’s dwelling, his Dasein, is described as “dreadable” or “uncanny”. To understand the summit of this word is to grasp one of the buttresses against Americanism.
            Heidegger argues that the Greek word deinon (“dreadable”) has three primary meanings.  Each of these meanings demonstrates a “counterturning” (Gegenwendigkeit), that is a closely related contrary meaning.  In Heidegger’s peculiar lexicon, this “turn” is either in the direction of Being or toward the oblivion of Being.  The first meaning that Heidegger demonstrates is “fear”; the counterturning to fear is awe or reverence.  “Fear” is what we experience in the presence of the divine in this era of the oblivion of Being; “awe” or “reverence’ is what the pre-Socratic
Greeks experienced upon theophany at the dawn of thought.  The second meaning is “powerful” – this is the counterturned toward Being aspect of “extravagantly beyond measure” or, in German, Ungeheuer (the “monstrous”).  Deinon’s third aspect or moment revolves between “habitual” and “inhabitual” – habitual means homely in a good sense and glib or facile as “counterturned”; “inhabitual” means uncanny or unfamiliar in a good sense and clumsy or awkward because of unfamiliarity as “counterturned.” 
            Because our discourse is historical, we are confined to the “metaphysical” understanding of the Greek word.  This metaphysical meaning is parsed or divided into the various categories of understanding and counterunderstanding that I have paraphrased.  The Greeks, Heidegger argues, experience these aspects of deinon as a manifold, that is, “many-folded” unity.  We fail to understand the word to the extent that we dissect it into component moments or meanings.  The Greeks, Heidegger says, grasped the word, and its counterturning, “in a unitary manner, that is, in terms of the ground of its unity.”  (Sec. 13, p. 73).  This seems to mean that the Greeks didn’t grasp the word in terms of three related, but separate meanings (times two “counterturned”) but on the basis of what unifies and holds together in one matrix of meaning those separate aspects of the concept. 
            In this context, Heidegger requires that we exercise our imagination and seek the “originary” understanding of this word – that is, we should try to imagine the original ground unifying dread, reverence, power, monstrous excess, skillful cunning and awkward unfamiliarity.  The unifying aspect of these words is their ground and, therefore, names the ground of human dwelling.  Heidegger’s argument is that thought requires us to understand these meanings, not as a bundle of paradoxical things, but rather as a single network of relationships so entirely dependant upon one another that no term has any meaning without being juxtaposed against related, corollary terms.  Deinon is an organic, breathing integer the suspends related ideas in gathering-together (the original meaning of “Thing”– that is, parliamentary assembly) based on what unifies these ideas. 
            Metaphysical thinking encourages us to view things as “bundles of concepts”.  We reckon with objects as packages of quantities and qualities.  When thinking in this way, historically determined to us, we fail to grasp the fact that real meaning lies in the relationships between the qualities and quantities or separate concepts we name – in the manner in which these bundled things are related, we find the “ground” or unity of Being in the thing about which we are thinking.  At its heart, Heidegger’s thinking always is relational.  What is important is not journeying, nor dwelling at home: human Dasein is constituted by the relationship between journeying and dwelling at home.  We are human in the ground or unity that seals the two separate aspects of Dasein, the turned toward Being (“dwelling at home”) and the counter-turned away from Being (“journeying”).  The hidden unity between the concepts defines our Being.  It is fundamentally characteristic that Heidegger always locates important meaning in the relationship that connects different concepts.  Thinking is never abstract in itself; thought is always a motion toward or “away from”.  Thus, for Heidegger, no one term or idea ever suffices to provide an adequate description of anything existentially significant for human beings – real significance likes in the relationships that ideas form with other concepts in their neighborhood.  Dasein is characterized by care (in German “Sorge”) – Dasein can only be “thought” in its relationship to others.   Being is always relational – a Being-with or Being-against or Being-toward.
            By contrast, American thought, as characterized by William James’ pragmatism insists that there are “no ideas but in things” and that things have relevance only to the extent that they can be used instrumentally to perform certain functions.  One of America’s greatest poets, William Carlos Williams proclaimed “no ideas but in things”; another of America’s greatest poets reverses the equation “no things but in ideas” – nonetheless, this thinking remains pragmatic, insisting on utility.  Walt Whitman was content to list things in some of his greatest poems with ‘nary an idea or relationship between ideas in sight.  Heidegger views America as the unalterable enemy to all thinking that seeks to find meaning not in things or concepts, but in the relationships between things and concepts.  It is this summit of Greco-German thought, the Berchtesgaden of German idealism, that American tanks and troops would never storm.  Or, at least, Heidegger maintains in his 1943 lectures.
            But, of course, Germany was defeated and very neatly divided between the forces of Americanism and Bolshevism.  Villa Wahnfried, Wagner’s home at Bayreuth, flew the American flag beginning April 1945 and was an United States’ Air Force Officer’s club until 1957.  Wieland Wagner, in his memoir, recalls his father Wolfgang fulminating against the jazz – he called it “nigger music” – played on weekends when the Officers attended dances in the building.  Ezra Pound, who had supported the Axis in World War Two, was incarcerated in an open cage at Pisa, the so-called DTC or Detention Training Center, apparently, in the hope that prolonged exposure to the elements would kill the traitor and avoid the expense of a treason trial.  Pound was too tough and, with the covert assistance of an African-American guard who smuggled blankets and food to him, survived.  This kind black soldier is remembered in Pound’s Pisan cantos – he’s the voice that says, among other things,all “G.D.M.F. generals should be shot”. 
            I mention these anecdotes for this reason: the American Negro is the decisive figure for Americanism.  Abducted from Africa, and denied their own traditions, American slaves caricatured – some would argue “transcended” -- white European culture.  To an educated European, African-American soldiers would embody America’s rootlessness, its cruel refusal to allow its creatures to “dwell” within fixed ethnic identities, it’s destitution and savagery.  The slave, or former slave, is precisely a person that has been denied a meaningful home or dwelling place.  The former slave is not Volkisch – not part of a coherent Volk.  One imagines with pleasure Heidegger’s discomfiture at seeing Black American soldiers stationed as occupying forces within Germany. 

            Julie went to Iowa to buy some wine.  There is a little winery near Marquette, Iowa.  Some of the south-facing bluffs around the big lagoons of Mississippi swamp water filling up the valleys are warm enough for grapes, and for other berries, to be harvested by small vineyards.  A wine-tasting took place in pole-barn near the Riverboat casino.  Julie came back with some lingonberry and rhubarb wine.  The vintner apparently had not succeeded getting the berries or rhubarb to ferment into an adequate concentration of alcohol.  The wine tasted as if it had been fortified, like cheap sherry or bad port.  There was a syrupy flavor of sugar, a faint aroma of berry, and, then, the bite of alcohol – it was as if someone had mixed Everclear with the fermenting berry juice. 
            The wine didn’t taste good to me, but it didn’t much matter.  To me, wine is a faint taste of fruit with a bite of alcohol lurking behind.  Taste isn’t too important because you drink to get drunk. Wine is a bundle of two properties – a faint, denatured taste of sugary fruit and a thread of alcohol.  I suppose that a true connoisseur perceives wine as a system of relationships – that is the relationship between sweet and sour, between perfume and taste, between sedimentary debris and fluid, and, most profoundly, the vivid relationship between grape and alcohol.  But if wine is just a bundle of properties, then, I suppose fruit juice mixed with ethyl alcohol is as good as the next bundle. 
            Wine is supposed to breathe.  Julie bought an aerator called The Tornado.  You drain the wine through the aerator, it forms a vortex, and air is sucked into the fluid as it spills downward into your glass.  This primitive carburetor device works well to improve the flavor of the wine – and you don’t have to wait around before sampling the drink.  I think it’s nifty.   



            Spirit technology.
            unheimlich uncanny technology which ousts man from Being.

Releasement = Gelassenheit  

No comments:

Post a Comment