Omega and Alpha

Until now, dear readers, I have been taking the liberty of entertaining you with art from Latin America and playing out thoughts of all sorts on this topic for a full four years. I thoroughly hope you enjoyed it and were able to take some inspiration. As they say, you should always stop when it`s most beautiful. So, I suggest we set out for new shores now. I fervently hope to preserve your goodwill and keep engaging your curiosity—from now on in Hans’s Parlor! All you need is to lean back and open the e-mails that I will keep sending every other Sunday. Hans’s Parlor: What will it be about?

It will be about life, of course. Art, if it is any good, always has to do with life. Philosophy as well, for it is committed to thinking about life, and that is something you can never do too much of, right? Reading books, in turn, is rather useful for this purpose, so I would like to talk about and recommend to you the books particularly close to my heart: old books and new ones, thick books and thin ones. 

I will simply proffer food for thought, free of charge. Does that sound like a deal?

I moreover want to introduce you to my new-old friend and advisor, who not only has a lot to say about life, but is the actual inventor of the so-called «essay»: Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), author of the massive volume of «Essais» containing some of the brightest and most illuminated thoughts I have ever read. He is totally fresh: reading him feels like talking to a good friend straight from our time, from today—it’s incredible! In a way, it is to him that I am dedicating my writing, which, after all, is an essay too, an attempt at something that is greater than oneself.

And then there is also another topic which, although so closely linked to our life, has been written about far less than one would expect, namely: love. Does “true love” exist at all and is there anything we can still call “real” today? Love in the tug-of-war between biology and romance, psychology, sociology, ethics and economics; between dopamine and serotonin; between lust, sex and agape; love with all its emotions, expectations, feelings, wishes, longings; with its desires and its abysses: This is what I would like to bring up for discussion. Love ultimately affects all of us throughout our entire lives, but hardly anyone gives it much thought.

And finally, I would like to report on one or another of my travels, provided they are of general cultural political interest, along with turning to any other current socio-cultural phenomena.

Hoping to offer you something witty and entertaining, I will, as usual, try to do my very best. That’s a promise.

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