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Im höchsten Schmerz tritt zuweilen eine Paralysis der Empfindsamkeit ein. Die Seele zersetzt sich. Daher der tödliche Frost, die freie Denkkraft, der schmetternde unaufhörliche Witz dieser Art von Verzweiflung. Keine Neigung ist mehrvorhanden; der Mensch steht wie eine verderbliche Macht allein. Unverbunden mit der übrigen Welt verzehrt er sich allmählich selbst, und ist seinem Prinzip nach Misanthrop und Misotheos.
In cases of intense pain sometimes an emotional paralysis sets in. The soul begins to disintegrate. This explains the deadly frost, the free style of thinking, the incessant blaring wit of this sort of despair. No affinity remains; the human being stands alone as a perishable force. Set loose from the balance of the world he slowly begins to consume himself, and he is in principle a misanthrope and a misotheos [enemy of god].
–Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (Novalis), Blüthenstaub-Fragment No. 75 (1798) in: Briefe und Werke, vol. 3, p. 71 (1943)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Amount that President Obama has added to America’s “brand value” according to the Nation Brands Index:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
A former New York City police officer who had been arrested in 2012 for exchanging online messages about cooking women alive and eating them, and for illegally accessing data about potential victims in law-enforcement databases, was sentenced to time served.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”