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Ja! Ich weiß, woher ich stamme!
Ungesättigt gleich der Flamme
Glühe und verzehr’ ich mich.
Licht wird alles, was ich fasse,
Kohle alles, was ich lasse:
Flamme bin ich sicherlich.
Yes! I know whence I come!
Like a flame, unsatisfied
I glow and consume myself.
All that I touch, turns to light,
All that I leave behind, is coal:
Assuredly I am a flame.
–Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo in Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (La gaya scienza) (1887) (S.H. transl.) in Werke in drei Bänden, vol. ii, p. 32 (K. Schlechta ed. 1954)
Listen to Dietrich Buxtehude’s cantata “Mit Fried’ und Freud’ ich fahr dahin” BuxWV 76 (1674), the work was composed by Buxtehude for his father’s funeral, following a text by Martin Luther (Geystliche Gesangk Buechleyn, Wittenberg 1524):
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.
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“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.”