Rosenzweig’s Pre-Emption (of Strauss) – Part I

Beware, Safari-ites, animated gif after the jump:

Star of Redemption, p. 314and for bob:

Divine truth hides from the one who reaches for it with one hand only, regardless of whether this reaching hand is that of philosopher’s realism, which imagines itself as having no presuppositions, soaring above things, or the theologian’s blindness that, proud of its experience, shuts itself off from the world. It wants to be implored with both hands. To the one who calls to it with the double prayer of the believer and of the unbeliever, it will not be denied.

–Franz Rosenzweig ((The Star of Redemption, p. 314, translated by Barbara E. Galli))

5 comments on “Rosenzweig’s Pre-Emption (of Strauss) – Part I

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  1. Thanks for the text version.

    When I read your reply on “fun new toy..” I thought of making a jokey response, making light of it, but seeing the actual implementation, the animation would have caused real distress if I had attempted to read it.

    This way I can appreciate a least a little of the graphic impact of the animation just by a second or so glance without being impacted negatively by the graphic.
    Anyway…just skimmed Standford Encyc of Philosophy entry on Rosenzweig and yikes!

    Don’t know if you’ve stopped by AG lately – just did a post on emptiness that I have plans to continue. Could be an interesting pairing if you provide a commentary on Rosenzweig.

    • Apart from the convenience for you, I think it’s probably responsible to have the “lyrics” available somewhere – if being understood figures into the point of the song. One of these days I’ll track down the German originals, check over the translations, and re-do them for my own fiendish purposes if necessary. (The source passage for this one happened to include an apparent typo.)

      I wonder how you’d respond to an audio version approached somewhat in the same way as the animation – I mean the repetitions and breaks and re-breaks. It was a style I used to play with a lot when I was still in college and focused on writing poetry. We didn’t have internet apps. We only just barely had stone tablets, so I’d etch out the poems (called “No Poems” because they all turned on negations and specifically the word “No”) in a visual-poetry style laid out on a page, and recite-able as laid out.

      Rosenzweig is indeed quite yikes-worthy, but what they say about his work is true, that struggling through the most dense and esoteric passages is amply compensated for by the beauty and profundity of all the rest. He’s also like Hegel in that you can read a passage, not really be sure you’ve gotten it at all, and then happen to return to it a bit later and it all seems crystal clear. I think that also goes to the process that the fellow whom you quote describes, about the (paraphrasing) usefulness of the meditations that initially seem pointlessly complex and abstract. On the other hand, getting into R’s take on phenomenology, which I think would relate most to “emptiness,” might lead to a lot of friction even if taken very carefully, since R is something of a partisan on comparative religion-philosophy questions. Not an argument against trying – what else are we gonna do, talk about football? – just an observation.

      • Adding audio would probably not have much effect on me since my computer’s just about always muted. If I chose to give something a listen, my finger would be on the volume button.

        Giants – Raiders is on now here – as odd as the oddest philosophy.

        BTW no need for “quotes” around emptiness.

        My skimming of the article on R did interest me in his ideas.

        • I put the quotes on “emptiness” because it’s easier than writing “the Buddhist concept of emptiness as I understand it.” I don’t think it is exactly equivalent to banal emptiness, which could just mean empty beer bottles or feelings of emptiness and so on. An alternative might be capitalize the term.

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