Headline, October 13 2020/ STUDENTS HISTORY : ''' '' MAGICIANS COME THINKERS '' '''



 ''' '' MAGICIANS 


MARK MY WORDS : TIME  ENOUGH FOR THE WORLD TO TAKE A GROUP PORTRAIT with these master magicians and thinkers : 

''The Founder Framers of The World Students Society'' : for every subject in the world, most lovingly and respectfully called, !WOW! The World Students Society in its every entirety, comprehension and dimension is the exclusive ownership of every student.

BOOK REVIEW : Time of the Magicians : Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the 'Decade That Reinvented Philosophy', by Wolfram Eilenberger.

IN THE AUTUMN OF 1922 - as Germany was convulsed by food shortages and soaring inflation, the philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote a letter to his wife about the intricate choreography required to secure the most basic needs.

''Mother asks if they should send potatoes even before 1 Oct ; I answered yes and sent the money at the same time,'' he explained. ''What should I do when the potatoes arrive?''

At a time of crisis, the threats to existence can be so immediate that most become  understandably preoccupied with urgent matters of survival. But even as Heidegger was worried about the potatoes, he believed that a crisis could also offer a radical break from the dispensation that produced it, a moment of genuine openness, a chance to rethink everything anew.

As Wolfram Eilenberger writes in ''Time of the Magicians,'' his vibrant group portrait of four philosophers during a turbulent decade, Heidegger welcomed danger and suffering as a social condition that forced people to confront their mortality - at least, that was the idea.

His wife, wanted to ensure that the demands of reality didn't intrude too much on his work, so she planned and supervised the construction of a cabin in the Black Forest, financing it with her inheritance.

There Martin could live like a sturdy peasant, taking in the mountain air and spending days on his woodwork before contemplating an existence that was grounded in groundlessness.

Heidegger finally had what Eilenberger calls ''a hut of one's own.'' The irreverence is funny but it amounts to more than just a joke; everything in ''Time of the Magicians'' - ideas, narrative and phrasing  [translated from the German into seamless English by Shaun Whiteside] - has been forced into a readable, resonant whole.

Eilengerger's book begins in 1919 and ends in 1929, elegantly tracing the life and work of four figures who transformed philosophy in wats that were disparate and infrequently at odds.

Heidegger, who served as an army meteorologist during World War 1 and therefore avoided active combat, spent the decade immersing himself in thoughts of the abyss while fine-tuning his philosophy career, publishing ''Being and Time'' in 1927.

Walter Benjamin dithered away his early opportunities for an academic sinecure and turned toward journalism and criticism; ever the envious genius, he wanted to start a magazine whose main mission was the ''demolition of Heidegger''. [Like so may of Benjamin's projects, nothing ever came of it.]

Ludwig Wittgenstein, heir to one of the wealthiest families in Europe, had written what would become his ''Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'' as a prisoner of war in Italy, deploying rigorous logic to arrive at the limits language, and then summarily abandoned his fortune to serve as a primary school teacher for several years in the Austrian countryside.

Cassirer's understanding of language was capacious, incorporating not only German and English but also myth, religion, technology and art. Different languages offered different ways of seeing the world. His pluralistic outlook seemed to provide fun with an escape valve. As he wrote to his wife, ''I can express everything I need without difficulty.''

Eilenberger is a terrific storyteller, unearthing vivid details that show how the philosophies of these men weren't the arid products of of abstract speculation but vitally connected to their temperaments and experiences.

Yet he also points out that as much as they were wrestling with life-and-death philosophical questions, the biggest crisis was still to come.

By May 1933, Heidegger will be a member of the Nazi Party, and Casirer, an assimilated Jew, would leave Germany forever, eventually settling in the United States. Cassirer's unwavering decency made him a stalwart defender of Weimar's democratic ideals, but it had also kept him imperturbable and optimistic until almost it was too late.

''When we first heard of the political myths we found them so absurd and incongruous, so fantastic and ludicrous that we could hardly be prevailed upon to take them seriously,'' Cassirer would later write, before his death in 1945.

The World Students Society thanks Review Author Jennifer Szalai.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Magic  to  Mount '''

Good Night and God Bless

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