Sunday, 21 March 2010

Sitting on the fence

Siegfried Kracauer wrote (in his interesting History - the Last Things before the First, 1969) "ambiguity is the sign of truth". Accordingly, Kracauer preferred Erasmus to Luther. Sounds a reasonable maxim for the contentious sixteenth century (if you were to keep your head), but there are benefits and drawbacks of this approach. One longs for certainties, at least, I do. I don't think I could have sat on the fence for as long as Erasmus did. Perhaps I don't long for certainties, I just feel happier when something is decided - rightly or wrongly.