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Abelard and Heloise, or: The Writer and the Human, by Ludwig Feuerbach
"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 fraud."
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