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Abelard and Heloise by Ludwig Feuerbach

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Abelard and Heloise, or:
The Writer and the Human:
A Series of Humorous Philosophical Aphorisms (1834)   

  by Ludwig Feuerbach,
translated and with an introduction by Eric v.d. Luft,
with a foreword by Angela Moreira

"Life is a poet; a book is a philosopher. The former
examines unity in multiplicity; the latter, multiplicity
in unity. Poetry considers a tree at some distance in
order to enhance its charms and to strengthen its effect
as it stands there, resplendent in full bloom with
thousands and thousands of blossoms, and lets it be
through the magical force of this direct beholding.
But philosophy goes right up next to the tree, breaks
off one or at most a pair of blossoms - since these
blossoms are already sufficient for their purpose,
philosophy gets away with a few of them - considers
them with complete precision, very calmly takes them
home, dries them under the sun of reason, and preserves
them in a book. Poetry even makes a diamond for us out
of the drop of dew that sparkles on the tree in beautiful
colors; but philosophy, in order to distinguish essence
from illusion, pokes the drop of water with the index
finger of reason and, with a wipe, puts an end to the
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