Thanksgiving Is Ruined
April 27, 2009
always both too early and too late
Query: Is it possible to be both ahead of one's times and behind them, too young and too old, stuck at once in the avant-garde and the arrière-garde?
A like-unto possibility is suggested by a July 5, 1943 letter from Wieland Herzfelde (bro of the immmortal John Heartfield) to Brecht, on the founding of the Aurora-Verlag in the USA:
We must furnish blueprints for future publishing work, not an avant-garde with a beard streaked with grey. However humble the beginning may be, the most important thing is that it doesn't smell like mothballs.[Wir müssen Blueprints kommender, Verlagsarbeit liefern, nicht Avantgarde mit graumeliertem vollbart. So bescheiden den Start auch sein mag -- Hauptsache es riecht nicht nach Mottenkiste.]
The letter is on display in this quite illuminating exhibition, and on apparent loan from the Academy of the Arts, Berlin.
Or, as per Simon Critchley, recently, on Diogenes:
When he was asked what was the right time to marry, he said, "For a young man not yet, for an old man never at all."
Not yet! Too late!
A: Who's asking?
[i.e., "Who cares?"]