Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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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?

        And why?

                          [i.e., "Who cares?"]