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Indian Summer

According to Vilém Flusser, “Indian summer” (Altweibersommer) is a period in the history of humankind that, in the progressive evolution of becoming human, followed the “springtime” of existence as nomadic hunter-gatherers (some sixty thousand years), and the “summer,” a period of around ten thousand years characterized by a settled way of life and the billion-fold increase of human individuals. During the earlier periods, specifically human qualities such as language and tools developed (spring), and institutions such as religion, the state, war, and slavery were created (summer). After Auschwitz, the third period of human history began, which can potentially lead to entirely new experiences of life and love. A characteristic of this era is a relatively recent fact of human history: postmenopausal women who are populating the globe in large numbers, individuals over forty-five in which “biological determination has been most clearly overcome” (“Altweibersommer,” in: kultuRRevolution, no. 26, 1991, p. 3; translated from the German). Liberated from God’s curse of painful reproduction, they have an aura of “security and are challenged to be creative” (ibid., p. 4; translated from the German) and they can, if they accept their calling, open up the backdoor to paradise, as it were, in the new epoch of humanity (and thus make amends for Eve’s sin). Like the period of weather in early autumn called Indian summer, this is a time of warmth without overheating, an epoch of permanently clear and far-sightedness, an era of splendid color that pleases the senses and is hence “the most beautiful and most human of all seasons” (ibid.; translated from the German).

Original article by Vera Schwamborn

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indian_summer.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by