Bitterest of all Discoveries

‘In 1986, Blumenberg writes about “bitterest of all discoveries:” that the world that will survive without us after we die. Blumenberg, Lebenszeit und Weltzeit, 76. He attributes the popularity of apocalyptic religious sermons* to a desire for a world with finite time. As implied here, some acknowledge infinite “world time” but resist its bitterness with strategies for living beyond a lifetime; they seek eternal truths, learn history, or leave behind ambitious creations.’

Hans Blumenberg, notes to The Laughter of the Thracian Woman (trans. Spencer Hawkins)

*No less the popularity of apocalyptic films, a consequence of existential dread, ever more pervasive now than when Norman Mailer wrote his controversial 1957 essay The White Negro, which, unsurprisingly, is still debated online. The incendiary first paragraph of that essay never fails to land.

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