March 21, 2013

Text "Schematic Development of Tradition" by Helmut Heissenbüttel



Schematic Development of Tradition
By Helmut Heissenbüttel

there were more of those who weren’t there than of those who were always there are more of those who aren’t there than of those who are

this is how those who were there thought of those who weren’t and those who are there always think this way of those who aren’t and everything that those who are there do and resolve is done in memory of those who aren’t there

did those who weren’t there also think of those who were there

those who were there didn’t know and those who are there don’t know and those who will be there won’t know those who are there don’t know if one can speak of memory in regard to those who aren’t there

those who weren’t there had once been there

even when they had been there there had already been more of those who hadn’t been there than of those who had been there as long as any who had been there could remember there had been less of those who had been there than of those who hadn’t

if however there have always been more of those who weren’t there than of those who were and if there have always been fewer of those who were there than of those who weren’t and if everything that those who were are and will be there do and resolve is done in memory of those who aren’t there then those who are there are there only in the name of those who aren’t

those who were there were really only there in the name of those who weren’t

to be really there means being there in the name of those who aren’t means to be there in the name of those of whom there are more and have always been more and would always be more immeasurable more

being no more and being more means being the standard for being to have been there is what has defined defines and will define being there

and those who had been there became those who weren’t there any more and those who are there will be those who won’t be there any more

and they took along some of what they did and resolved in memory of those who weren’t there any more and they will have taken along when they won’t be there any more of what they now do and resolve in memory of those who aren’t there any more

and thus those who aren’t there any more have already taken along immeasurable much of what those who were there did and resolved in memory of those who weren’t there immeasurably much is in possession of those who aren’t there and it will always grow more and more and since they have it in their possession and this possession is ever growing one can in regard to those who aren’t there speak of their memory of those who are there

because those who aren’t there any more were once there

not being there is something that is thought of while being there and being there is living of the possession which those who aren’t there are still accumulating

in the name of those who aren’t there any more and are more

because those who aren’t there any more and are more have a name and we are there in their name


—Translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop

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English language copyright ©1977 by Rosmarie Waldrop, reprinted by Diana’s Bimonthly, ed. by Tom Ahern. Volume V, No. 1 (1977).

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