No doubt we are intelligent. But far from changing the face of the world, on stage we keep producing rabbits from our brains and snow-white pigeons, swarms of pigeons who invariably shit on the books.
You don’t have to be Hegel to catch on to the fact that Reason is both reasonable and against Reason.
All it takes is a look into your pocket mirror.
You will see yourself wearing a blue gown, spangled with silver stars, and a pointed hood.
For the Hegel Congress we meet in the cellar where our card-file colleagues are buried, unpack our crystal balls and our horoscopes, and go to work, waving our expertise, our pendulum and our research reports.
We make the tables turn, we ask reality How real is it? Hegel is smiling, filled with schadenfreude. We daub his face with an inky mustache. He now looks like Stalin.
The congress is having a ball, but there is
no volcano in sight to dance on. The guards
outside are on their guard. Our psyche
calmly produces pertinent statements,
and we agree that deep down in any given brutal pig
a well-meaning public servant is to be found,
and the other way round. Abracadabra!
Like an enormous handkerchief we unfold our theories. The plainclothes men in their trench coats are modestly waiting in front of the riot-proof seminar shelter.
They smoke, they hardly ever make use of their guns, they keep guard on our faculty roster, our paper flowers and the snow-white pigeon droppings all over the place.
Hans Maguns Enzensberger, The Sinking of the Titanic.
Along with this highly theoretical base, Hegel also considered a detailed knowledge of individual works of art essential to the study of the subject. He treated the analysis of formal values as indispensable, discussing paintings in terms, for example, of the fact that the architectural juxtaposition of figures can produce a sense of unity through the forming of a pyramidal shape. He consequently acknowledged the value of the work of connoisseurs, while criticizing them for limiting themselves to the external aspects of things. (1)
2. See E.H. Gombrich, "The Father of Art History": a Reading of the Lectures on Aesthetics of G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831)’ (1977), in Tributes: Interpreters of our Cultural Tradition, Oxford, 1984, pp. 51 -69; and Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art, New Haven and London, 1982, pp. 17-30; see also Riegl, text 9, 1901; Wolfflin, text 10, 1915; and Frankl, text I 1, 1914.
In: Eric Fernie. Art History and Its Methods: a Critical Anthology. London, 1995. pp. 342-3.