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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:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”