Something does, on occasion, fall from a torch. A bit of pitch.
Karl Kraus (F 279-280: 5)


post № 7

22 December 2014


An abridged gloss

The German version of the gloss below runs some 1,200 words; it appears here in abridged translation for two reasons. First, Kraus commingles—as is just barely hinted at (and quite possibly not very happily) in the translation below—Luther-Deutsch and literary German throughout this gloss. Second, translating such commingled German is beyond the abilities of the present translator, who has enough problems with getting the latter into readable English.


But why translate this excerpt at all? This gloss, in general, and this excerpt, in particular, presents a direct statement from Kraus himself regarding at least one aim that he intentionally pursued in his use of adversarial quotes and citations.




Far be it from me to read Professor Bernhardi

for were I to read it, then I would feel compelled to quote it, and were I to quote it, then you would know how to read it. For you all know that the things you find pleasing elsewhere suddenly take on a different face here by becoming what they are. For an angel appeared to me and said: go, and quote them. So, I went and quoted them. And am capable of exposing existences to starvation simply by letting them repeat verbatim what got them riches in the first place. And verily, I say unto you, I possess a sketch by Salus, which was published in the Sunday Zeit. And if I reprint it here, Europe’s countenance would get all long from the solicitude, and it would be as before the war. But I am not going to do it, as I am a decent human being. I use these secret powers that enable me to make German and Austrian authors contemptible before God and man only after having given due consideration to the matter. Schnitzler’s time has not yet come. […]

Karl Kraus (F 368-369: 1-4)

Translated by Peter Winslow


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