imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser

by Kraft Wetzel Sunday, Jun. 25, 2006 at 4:49 AM

Kaspar Hauser is a cultural model, a symbol of our questioning and utopian nature that refuses conformity and conventional wisdom Gandhi said each of us has a magic card that needs spiritual discipline. The Kaspar DVD is available


Each for Himself and God against All (1974)

By Kraft Wetzel

[This film review of Werner Herzog’s “The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser” is translated from the German in: Herzog/Kluge/Straub by Peter W. Jansen and Wolfram Schutte, 1976, Carl Hansen Verlag, Munich/Vienna, pp.108-112.]

1828. From his cellar hole, he grew up alone. Penned in like an animal, Kaspar Hauser (Bruno S.) was dragged out by an older man and after a rough training in walking exposed in Nurnberg. The neglected foundling first came into police custody and then – to the relief of the town moneybags – as a curiosity in the circus. From there, he ran away and found shelter with Mr. Daumer where he learned about art, religion and science. For unknown reasons, he was murdered a short time later.

This is only the outward framework set by historical facts with which Herzog reinvented Kaspar’s intellectual and emotional development in a sequence of episodes replicating the stations of a passion: first experiences with language, first feelings of pain, anxiety, joyful contact and emotion. “I feel music in my breast.” After a two-year gap that leaves out the agonizing process of experience and human development that interested Francois Truffaut in his "Wolfjungen" (1969), Kaspar comes into conflict with religion and dominant rationality. Two ministers ask him whether he felt any “natural idea of God” in his cellar hole. No, Kaspar replied. He also did not believe in creation out of nothing. A little later he insisted on the independent life of the apple. A thrown apple hopped over the foot that should have stopped its course. “A smart apple,” Kaspar exclaims. Finally with natural wit, Kaspar solves a complicated logical problem that a professor raised with a double negative. The learned man was irritated by Kaspar’s abstract conclusion.

Kaspar had unpleasant experiences with representatives of the dominant order. He regarded the local officials (at the beginning) as an annoying absurdity that had to be tested and kept at a safe place. Later, a decadent sensitive English lord sought to accept the foundling. However Kaspar’s “barbaric” mechanically-drilled piano playing duped the fine salon. When Kaspar began to crochet with the coat rack, he completely forfeited the favor of the elegant ladies and gentlemen who had seen in him an astonishingly exotic monster. In Kaspar, details like these fit together in a world experience where society only occurs as a coercive context and he feels powerless and suffering. He expresses this in sentences that are like shrapnel: “Yes, it seems to me that my appearance in this world has been a hard fall.” Bruno S. articulates every word in a painful and strenuous way like a deaf-mute in the land of silence and darkness. Articulation and speaking require effort.

Kaspar’s visions include hints of another better world. On his deathbed, he tells of a blind leader of a caravan who tastes the sand and points to the right way while the seeing ones with their compasses break down. Metaphorically Herzog made concrete this wholly other formulated in the blind seer in pictures of pacified, dream-like beautiful nature that depict Kaspar’s long ordeal like ciphers of redemption. “This portrait is charmingly beautiful/ My heart is filled with new stirring/ Is this the feeling of love?” Herzog quotes from Mozart’s “Magic Flute.” Tamino’s aria is like a framework around this tale of woe.

A fervent idolization of nature signals a fundamental change in Herzog’s perception. In “Signs of Life” and “Even Drawfs Begin Small,” the burnt-out landscape stood in irreconcilable contrast to its protagonists and condemned their heroic rebellion from the beginning to failure. In “Fata Morgana” or “Mirage,” nature appeared ambivalent, half promise and half refusal. “One constantly sees what we have and how it could be.” In another sense, nature was also experienced as conflicting in “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”: deadly for the imperialist conquistadors, life-giving for the Indians and a delight to the onlooker. “Each for Himself and God against All” first carries out the turn to the romantic transfiguration of nature and prepared “The Land of Silence and Darkness” where the deaf-blind peasant’s son at the end embraced a tree.

Herzog gives a place in nature to the wholly other. In “Signs of Life,” he still had a nearly clinical distance to the rebel Stroszek. In “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” the ironic distancing that set the tragic-comic accent, was increasingly suspended through the unconcealed fascination with Aguirre’s developing insanity. Finally, Kaspar Hauser seems to be Herzog’s alter ego, a radical expression of his own doubt in the dominant seeing, feeling and thinking, in a social order whose inner contradictoriness and disintegration seemed inaccessible to him. Only the total negation of existing reality in the name of the wholly other in Kaspar Hauser, not in the name of his stifled possibilities remains to him: romantic affront instead of socialist opposition and solidarity.

“Each for Himself and God against All” is the culmination and conclusion of Herzog’s past work. The film alludes to earlier works, e.g. the pianist and the hypnotized rooster from “Signs of Life,” the smallest dwarf from “Even Dwarfs Begin Small” and the Indian Hombrecito from “Aguirre, the Wrath of God.” These characters do not only summarize Herzog’s films in the outward sense. In the figure of Kaspar, the world hostility of the titanic rebel is combined with the other foreign way of seeing and feeling. That makes this Kaspar Hauser so rebellious and different that his attempted integration had to fail. The film abandons officials to absurdity. In the autopsy of Kaspar Hauser, they discovered a great little brain and a little great brain and declared triumphantly: “At last we have an explanation for this strange man!” Herzog insists on the provocative strangeness of his figures and himself.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy