SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Meister Eckehart bekan ein schoner nackender buobe.
Da fragt er in, wannen er kem?
Er sprach: ich kum von got.
Wo lieze du in?
In tugenthaftem herzen.
Wo findest du in?
Da ich alle creature liez.
Wo ist din kunigrich?
In meinem herzen.
Hute, das ez ieman mit dir besitze!
Da furt er in in sin celle: nim welchen rok du wilt!
Sa wer ich nit ein kunig!
Da was ez got selber het dam it im kurzewilt.
Meister Eckehart came upon a beautiful, naked babe.
And he asked him, from whence he came?
He said: “I come from God.”
“Where do you leave him?”
“In my virtuous heart.”
“Whither do you go?”
“Where will you find him?”
“Where I am left by all creatures.”
“Who are you?”
“Where is your kingdom?”
“In my heart.”
“Take care that no one lays hold of it along with you!”
“I will do so.”
And then he went into his cell and said, “Take what cloak you will have.”
“But then I would be no king!”
But it was God himself, pursuing his amusement with him.
–Middle High German Legend, ca. 1300 in: Deutsche Dichtung des Mittelalters, p. 899 (F. v.d. Leyen, ed. 1962)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”