Saturday, November 02, 2013

Bon appétit

I got this plate from Harald Geisler, a typographer I met a few months ago. He inscribed this old plate with the title of an essay by Hannah Arendt called “Wahrheit und Politik,” or “Truth and Politics.” According to the old adage, the latter makes strange bedfellows, while the former sets you free. So eat up, folks.

Arendt’s essay begins: 
"No one has ever doubted that truth & politics are on rather bad terms with each other, & no one, as far as I know, has ever counted truthfulness among the political virtues. Lies have always been regarded as necessary & justifiable tools not only of the politician’s or the demagogue’s but also of the statesman’s trade. Why is that so? And what does it mean for the nature and the dignity of the political realm, on one side, & for the nature and the dignity of truth & truthfulness, on the other? Is it of the very essence of truth to be impotent & of the very essence of power to be deceitful? And what kind of reality does truth possess if it is powerless in the public realm, which more than any other sphere of human life guarantees reality of existence to natal and mortal men – that is, to beings who know they have appeared out of non-being & will, after a short while, again disappear into it?” You can read the whole essay here

Harald decided to make this plate after he got fed up with always finding a logo on glasses, cups and plates - usually an IKEA label. I like how the two roses could themselves be "truth" and "politics," though which is which I don't know. Harald is mostly busy creating typography, but he does have a couple other plates, and every year he puts together a cool calendar using computer keys. If I were to buy something else from him, it would definitely be this arrangement of space bars.


Jeff said...

When I first started in publishing, I was drawn to the processes - typography, composition, the acts of typesetting and letterpress. Handset type has now disappeared as has font into face and truth into politics- everything has become a drop down menu. But Geisler brings it back - beautiful work and care. His Conspired Lovers gives me some hope... :)

ron hardy said...

My book group discussed Eichmann in Jerusalem a few weeks ago. We pretty much ended up talking about current politics because her notions have that effect on you.

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