Ontotextuality in Philosophy and Art
(from: Giwi Margwelaschwili, Leben im Ontotext, Neubrandenburg: 1993)

1. Ontotext as the human condition

It was while I was studying in Germany on a Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation that I was inspired by a booklet helpfully provided to introduce guests from the East without the slightest inkling of what these people did to the kind of themes and projects that occupied them. The stimulus I received – let me admit straight away – simply spurred me to pursue something here in Germany that had, in fact, intrigued me for many years and has remained the fundamental theme in my writing ever since: the ontotextual condition of the human race. This principle dictates that human beings are predetermined by texts, that the species exists within a textual world, dependent for example on the textual foundations of the major religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity, Islam), but also on other texts of a philosophical or ideological bent, in particular those that moulded the historical course of our century and to some extent are still moulding it. On the one hand, this means the National Socialist literature that governed Germany’s fate from 1933 to 1945, and on the other the works of Marx und Engels which, especially in their Leninist and then Stalinist reformations and deformations, laid the basis for the course of history in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is our firm conviction that all the ups and downs of human history are rooted in its ontotextological essence, that is, that world events – at least those that inform the thinking and lifestyles of whole nations or nationalisms so decisively – tend to unfold in conformity with specific ontotextual sources, being invoked and propelled forwards by the texts.

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