Wednesday, August 11, 2010

''The loneliest heroes in all the cultures''

From Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. I, 1922:
Infinite solitude is felt as the home of the Faustian soul. . . . Valhalla is something beyond all sensible actualities floating in remote, dim Faustian regions. Olympus rests on the homely Greek soil, the Paradise of the Fathers is a magic garden somewhere in the Universe, but Valhalla is nowhere. Lost in the limitless, it appears with its inharmonious gods and heroes the supreme symbol of solitude. Siegfried, Parzeval, Tristan, Hamlet, Faust are the loneliest heroes in all the Cultures. Read the wondrous awakening of the inner life in Wolfram’s Parzeval. The longing for the woods, the mysterious compassion, the ineffable sense of forsakenness—it is all Faustian and only Faustian.

-trans. Charles Francis Atkinson

(Illustration is Carl Gustav Carus, Faust in the Mountains, 1821.)

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