Wednesday, 24 November 2010

das plumpe Denken

With Brecht he could practice what Brecht himself called "crude
thinking" (das plumpe Denken): "The main thing is to learn
how to think crudely. Crude thinking, that is the thinking of the
great," said Brecht, and Benjamin added by way of elucidation:
"There are many people whose idea of a dialectician is a lover of
subtleties .... Crude thoughts, on the contrary, should be part
and parcel of dialectical thinking, because they are nothing but
the referral of theory to practice . . . a thought must be crude
to come into its own in action."  Well, what attracted Benjamin
to crude thinking was probably not so much a referral to prac-
tice as to reality, and to him this reality manifested itself most
directly in the proverbs and idioms of everyday language. "Prov-
erbs are a school of crude thinking".

[intro. H.Arendt on W.Benjamin's Illuminations]

1 comment:

xtina said...

crude but not cruel