How do ugly people date

: Without beauty, man dies

Man dies without beauty - page 1


An alpinist, rushing to his end in free fall, quickly sees his whole life passing by: such an alpinist is humanity, or at least its western part. In such a radically abbreviated way we practice coming to terms with the past, final and wrong: the past overcomes us; that's why we fall.

And what dreams do we cope with when we fall into hell? The Sphinx sits on the mountain above Thebes and asks us something. We don't know the answer. Then she beats her neat claws into our happily twitching Sado-Maso heart. As if the free fall wasn't enough, we are quickly torn to pieces. Just enough time for a ZEIT essay.


"That's ugly, that's beautiful": But philistines do not get into the heavenly realm of ugliness. Ugliness is a mistress of her own glory. She forbids any measurement on the beauty bar.

Ugliness, unpaired with beauty: beast that jumps on me, oh beautiful beast ugliness, you are my adventure. Ugliness, unaccompanied, alone and yet fertile: that is the heroine of that unwritten "modern" aesthetic of the ugly that appealed to me to write, skipped over by the beautiful people in advertising, all the lousy misses and misters, slim, tanned, happy Sell ​​me coffee and washing powder around the clock.

Beauty is ugly, ugliness is beautiful. That is the synopsis of my planned aesthetics of the ugly, so that I ask myself: Why should I take such a detailed undertaking seriously, everything is as clear as coffee and washing powder: Without a victory in ugliness, the victory of industrial society is not possible. So let's enforce ugliness! Anyone who wants beauty is reactionary. That's enough.

Man dies without beauty - page 2


But maybe, maybe ugliness is just the space between old beauty and new beauty. Perhaps the infernal ugliness of the present is highly pregnant with new beauty in the future.

Honoré Daumier, who made the ugly bourgeois even uglier than they already are - drew a philistine family on an exhibition visit in 1865. She is outraged by Edouard Manet's "Olympia". The ugly bourgeoisie demand beauty, while the ugly, seeking beauty, find the new beauty ugly. You do not see the lavishly prepared breakfast: ugliness eats up beauty and becomes beautiful by enjoying it. This is the birth of a new art.

Manet was a quick-change artist. He turned Titian's "Venus de Urbino", which is nothing but beautiful, into his "Olympia": ugliness is the detour from old beauty to newer.

In a letter from Edgar Degas (1882) I find the complaint that beauty has "been robbed of its ugliness". - The robbery did not succeed. Degas (1872) demands from women "that touch of ugliness in their charms, without which all bliss is nothing".

But what does this have to do with the fascist, stalinesque ugliness of today and presumably tomorrow? The ugly esthete can find the mushroom cloud beautiful. But nobody can find the architecture of the Eurocracy beautiful. Not today and not tomorrow.


Without beauty man dies - page 3

Strikingly, no modern art theory deals with the ubiquitous ugliness of our world. Because ugliness is omnipresent, it goes all unnoticed.

That was not always so. As long as there was a lot of beauty, there was also some concern with ugliness. It was regarded as an interesting minor matter of the main beauty, as its occasional negation, Hegelian "suspension": elevation to even greater perfection. A little ugliness makes beauty even more beautiful.

Karl Rosenkranz, Hegel student and classicist, in his "Aesthetics of the ugly" (1853) - the only one that has been written so far: "The ugly is only insofar as the beautiful is. If the beautiful were not, the ugly would not be. The beautiful is the condition of its existence. The beautiful is an absolute, the ugly, like the evil, only a relative. "

It's the same today, just the other way round. The ugly is also, provided that the beautiful is not. If it weren't for the beautiful, the ugly would still be and all the more so. The beautiful is not a condition of its existence. The ugly is an absolute, and the beautiful, like the good, a relative.

HOTA, also turned Adorno upside down, who in his "Aesthetic Theory" (1970) agrees with the "commonplace" that "art does not merge in the concept of the beautiful, but ... needs the ugly as its negation". But no. It is definitely a modern motto that art is absorbed in the concept of the ugly and does not need beauty as its negation.

In the modern art theory post Adorno there is correct silence about both beauty and ugliness. The judgments "That is beautiful" and "That is ugly" are left to the people and thus to contempt.


Without beauty man dies - page 4

Even Friedrich Schlegel was noticed, the first art theorist who dared positively to ugliness, romantically unconcerned ("On the Study of Greek Poetry", 1797):

"The beautiful... Is so little the ruling principle of modern poetry that many of its most excellent works are quite evidently representations of the ugly." - That will either change again, says Schlegel calmly, "or art will fall forever, and our age must completely renounce all hopes for beauty and the restoration of genuine art".

Schlegel predicts the rule of the ugly, which will only fully establish itself more than a century and a half later.

Adorno, responding to old Schlegel across this long period of time, does not reveal the beautiful. He considers it, the modern, very old-fashioned to be "necessary... If his term were put on the index, how some psychological tendencies with that of the soul, some sociological with that of society, so resigned aesthetics."

Adorno is a lovely old man. For a long time none of the art theorists who followed him and who liked to quote him considers the beautiful to be necessary. Beauty is indicated, aesthetics resigned.

Adorno does not lack the squat in front of the ugly. "The anatomy in Rimbaud and Benn, the physically repulsive and repulsive in Beckett... So dynamic is the category of the ugly."

Adorno, desperately clinging to the beautiful, is plenty dialectician enough to welcome the fact that the ugly is emancipated from its servant form as a mere negation of the beautiful: "The weight of the ugly grew in the modern age to such an extent that a new quality arose from it."

Without beauty man dies - page 5

And as if he were an opponent of modernity, Adorno denounced "a landscape devastated by industrial plants, a face devastated by painting". Techno-ugliness like art-ugliness "dates back to the principle of the violence of the destructive... In the penchant of the new art for the disgusting... The critical materialistic motif comes through, in that art, through its autonomous forms, sues rule."

Modern art is suing ugly modern reality by means of ugliness. There is no longer any prospect of Schlegel's romantic utopia of a completely modern art, which in a completely changed modern reality becomes identical again with beauty: "Often," Schlegel consoles himself, "an urgent need created his subject; a new calm emerged from despair and anarchy became the mother of a charitable revolution. "

Come on, benevolent revolution that turns ugliness back into beauty!


How should you pronounce "modern"? All emphasize on the second syllable: "modérn". But perhaps it is a key to the dying modernity that it is modified correctly: "I modern, you modern, we modern." Stress on the first syllable. "Modern".

That's just a suggestion. To get into the depths of the "Modern Project". "The modern project must not be given up," is a highly justified warning from Jürgen Habermas, the old master of the art of making communication more difficult by means of communication theory.

How do we dispel the crypt scent of a modern modernity through the fresh wind of another modern modernity?

Man dies without beauty - page 6

I've already done a lot there. In a group of full, half and quarter intellectuals, I shouted: "Long live beauty!" - Dear readers, you cannot imagine what was going on! The wholly intellectual fell into a kind of tetanus. Drooping lower lip. Puckered nose. Eyes rolled to the left. Jaws crunched. The semi-intellectuals got into a kind of St. Vitus' dance while they rhythmically shouted: "Beauty is reactionary!" The quarter intellectuals danced along and shouted: "Fascism!"

Poor beauty! Where are your advocates? A couple of weirdos and I weirdo, strictly according to Shakespeare: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers". And of course also: Bunch of sisters, long live your beauty!

O desolation to which we few happily are exposed! O cunning progressiveness that demolishes the last seats of beauty from under our reactionary asses! Beat the beauty fascists wherever you meet them!

Do intellectuals even have a soul? Isn't she thirsting for beauty too? What should my sanctimonious questions be? Malice is not a purpose in life.

Only this: If it is true that modernity can be defined, comfortably and precisely, as the merciless ugliness of the world, then it is also true that "devant les laideurs de ce monde" (Rimbaud) the intellectual stands helpless. "Before the ugliness of this world" he did not prove himself to be a "beautiful spirit", as he was called, before this, significantly, became a dirty name. Now he falls into satire and despair; the two are identical.

Or else he lapses into death-addicted servitude: He praises ugliness ("I think what you find ugly is beautiful, that's a matter of opinion"). He tears beauty out of modern hearts - with good reason: Commerce, consumption, performance, metropolis, nothing like that would be enforceable without the progressive eradication of beauty.

Even in the nursery, wonderful cuddly toys have to be replaced by some monsters, Alf, E.T., dinosaurs - indispensable preparation for an increasingly ugly life.

Man dies without beauty - page 7

Anyone who mocks and persecutes beauty like the modern intellectual must have to suppress a great deal of longing for it in himself. That makes stomach ulcers or cancer.

From the "Beauty Manifesto", which Jörg Mauthe and I wrote indistinguishably together in May 1984, when the battle for the beauty of the Hainburger Au, below Vienna, was approaching:

"We are sad to note that beauty is not even mentioned in any party program... We have no doubt that the question of beauty will very soon develop into a question of the survival not only of the political parties, but of our democracy in general The aversion to the ugliness of our world is becoming more and more evident in various forms, including political ones ... in ever greater alienation, especially of younger and more sensitive people from conventional politics ... We demand that beauty be reinstated in its age-old rights. "

Actually, we wanted the final sentence: "Without beauty, a person dies." But then they didn't trust us, in tender consideration for the progressive feelings of our hesitant green comrades-in-arms. Of course that was of no use. We received deserved scorn, however.

Pier Paolo Pasolini once watched with hammer and sickle in front of the garden of beauty and was doused with buckets of ideological dirty water by his good comrades, because he saw and wrote after his trip to Arabia ("Gennariello", 1975):

"In recent years it has become increasingly clear to me that poverty and backwardness are by no means the greatest evil. We were all wrong. The modern things that capitalism has introduced in Yemen are not only physically ridiculous to the Yemenis, but above all made unhappy ... That gives me the right not to be ashamed of my sense of beauty. A person of culture can only be far ahead of his time or far behind; or both at the same time. "


Man dies without beauty - page 8

Rosa Luxemburg wrote from prison: "I am now at home in the green realm, I have conquered it by storm, with passion, and what one grasps with glow has solid roots in one." - It was an old-fashioned prison (1917), with a garden. "Notice the air that is heavy from the passionate breath of the last linden blossom," she wrote to her friend.

"I always feel like I am in a little piece of garden... Much more at home than at a party congress. You will not smell betrayal of socialism... But my innermost self belongs more to the great tits than to the comrades."

When the Favoriten workers' home still existed in Vienna, there was a saying by SPÖ founder Victor Adler (1902) on the front wall of the ballroom: "The working class not only demands political rights, we also demand the right to beauty." Perhaps because of this saying alone, the Viennese comrades, who produced so much ugliness, structural and other, in this city, willfully let the Favoriten workers' home deteriorate before they willfully sold it.

In his "Appeal to Socialism" (1919), Gustav Landauer, noble anarchist, just before the fascists killed him, dared the stunning sentence: "Socialism is a struggle for beauty." Ui, was he wrong? So far.

"Whoever looked at beauty with eyes,

Has already given in to death

Will not be of any service on earth,

Man dies without beauty - page 9

And yet he will tremble before death

Who looked at beauty with eyes. "

Dichtete Platen (1821). Count Platen was a great poet and a great reactionary. So they, the great satiated ones, write about beauty; the hungry and the lowly have other worries.

No. "The workers have an even greater need for poetry than for bread. The need for their life to be poetry. The need for a light of eternity. The fact that they have to do without poetry explains all forms of moral decline."

Claimed Simone Weil (1943) - teacher, far left, philosopher, mystic, living as a factory worker. But an intellectual cannot be trusted.

But the garden gnome and his deer with the white polka dots! Because "only the beautiful allows to find its satisfaction in what is" (because). O garden gnomes and deer! You are the very last, irrefutable proof that the people need beauty.

Heil garden gnome! Art has failed the people; but you have remained loyal to him. That's why I love kitsch; That's why I love - it doesn't matter anymore - the people who are loyal to kitsch.

Man dies without beauty - page 10


If "beauty is what is reminiscent of nature" (Friedrich Schlegel), its old negation, ugliness, is also a memory of nature. Both stayed within reach. Today, however, the natural framework has been horribly broken. Natural beauty no longer has a chance. Either new beauty arises from techno ugliness, or there is no more beauty.

Like natural beauty, natural ugliness has no chance. The pretty ugliness of the pimples, warts, crooked legs is mega-out. Techno ugliness is something else entirely. It is pure ugliness, completely remote from nature. It fascinates every halfway gifted Feinspitz of life just before death.

The old church fathers liked to let blasphemers, arch heretics and false believers die in ugliness. They claimed, for example, that their guts burst in the lavatory, they fell in the shit and drowned in it - so environmentally friendly, in the pious imagination of orthodox believers, who once disposed of subjectively godless. But what imagination could design a mega toilet today, in which the omnipresent objective ugliness could be disposed of!


The history of ugliness can be written as the history of atheism. Everything beautiful always bore the title of nobility "from God". Aesthetics, as the theory of the beautiful, was part of theology. "Without a certain beauty, human life cannot last long", taught Thomas Aquinas in his "Summa theologiae" (1268).

St. Thomas dared a lot when he spoke of beauty. Tradition goes that he himself was so bulky and bulky that whatever university he was teaching at, whether in Paris, Orvieto, Rome, or Naples, a semicircular assessment always had to be made to accommodate his stomach and his teaching in general first to enable.

Man dies without beauty - page 11

But in the worst case, the belly is nature-ugliness, and nature-ugliness is only contrast, the completion of nature-beauty: part of the beauty of creation.

That doesn't apply to today's situation at all. The ugliness of nature is from God, the techno-ugliness of our age is from the God of man, and that is how it looks. Modern ugliness is quite original, apart in the literal sense: beside it.

The human being, not even the most miserable, had to spend his whole life in constant, all-round, remote from nature and hostile to nature - architecture; of attitudes; of life in general.


For the time being, we cannot bear the beauty of beauty at all, except as a longing that cannot be reliably fulfilled. Walking through the German forest while Brentano blows the French horn; contemplate an ancient city while Winckelmann busts a boy behind a pillar. Well, that's all totally impossible! No sexual harassment! Lust for the forest is bearable only including forest death; you don't rustle forests forever, but just still, please.

We love beauty at best under the dog star of necrophilia. The normal disposition sticks to the features section. The critical feature section is the cashmere sweater for intellectuals against their insatiable shivering.

Can we go back? The violent prefix delete, which is so treacherously identical in reactionary and revolutionary? Of course we can't. Of course we have to. Revolution is the impossible that is about to happen.

Man dies without beauty - page 12


In the meantime we are settling into the ugly, not without this very last hope for revolution, which makes shameful settling into the present easier.

Let us sing the ugly, finding taste in it while singing. "All forms of decline are there to give me stability": Emile Cioran, the main secret philosopher of this age ("Of tears and saints", 1937).

O beauty of ugliness, hold us down, that's what you're there for. Hope is the pass that entitles us to enter the modern age.

As belief cannot be without superstition, so beauty cannot be without beautification. The beautification of modernity contributes to beauty with the same inevitability as superstition to belief: "Superstition is still better than unbelief, and I believe in superstition, and I believe in superstition, and in a word, um I take on the superstition ": Nestroy of course (" Höllenangst ", 1849).

And in a word, I take care of the beauties of modern art. I have a harder time with the beauties of modern reality, but I also try to deal with them, fleeing, when things get too bad, into the humor of the world history of ugliness.

Stalin, according to badly attested Kremlinology, loved only shaved women. Little better repute is the unbridled Charles II of Britain's love life: after the beautiful were already boring to him, he supposedly only liked the ugly. Of these, he had fourteen illegitimate children, true to his motto "God damn no man who indulges in a little pleasure".

Man dies without beauty - page 13

For the great pleasure of ugliness, the ancients had their own great deity, Baubo, who rides on a pig and shows her vulva with a laugh. It does not appear in decent encyclopedias.

Baubo, ride, show me and laugh! Villon sang about his fat, farting Margot, Baudelaire the coarse-grained "gendarme skin" of his beloved mulatto, he only touched her with freshly washed white thread gloves.

Thomas Bernhard only loved Austrian building lots, whose dearest he gave the honorary title "Mein Schiacherl". From Bavarian-Austrian "schiach", already Old and Middle High German for "ugly".

Ride, Baubo, ride!