The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

right round

Anyone who refuses to grasp the fact that this book contains many traps and multiple, deliberately intended meanings, or who has not managed to find somebody possessing the requisite qualifications and skills not to get hopelessly lost in its pages, should immediately give up all ambition of publishing it in a foreign language, thereby leaving the way clear for other, more competent publishers to carry out the task in the future.

—Guy Debord (Panegyric, trans. James Brook, p. 171)

* * *

And indeed his style is appalling: twisted, dark, allusive, filled with digressions, untraceable references, private jokes, puns within puns and invented words, cryptograms, secret names for persons in the past or present, for ideas, for the inexpressible contents of visions of the truth; where the spirit cannot be conveyed by the verbal flesh he attempts at once to imitate and emulate the cabbalistic utterances, justly forgotten, of mystagogues of the past, in phrases where it is impossible to tell where imitation ceases and parody begins.

—Isaiah Berlin (‘The Magus of the North’ in Three Critics of the Enlightenment, p. 338)1

  1. This is perhaps one of the best advertisements for Hamann I have encountered. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? []


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