Hölderlin and Neil Young

Dreams and dreamers are of all ages. They are standing on the strong shoulders of their culture and bury their gaze in the stars. Let’s say that again because I like it. They are standing on the strong shoulders of their culture and bury their gaze in the stars.

Perhaps you decided to read this because the names in the title awaken mirthful associations. Well, I am not an expert on Hölderlin and Neil Young, but they have something in common. They wrote the most dreamy quotes I know.

“I am just a dreamer, and you are just a dream” sings Neil Young in Like a Hurricane 1977, to reverse this later on. Dreaming so strongly that we feel like we can live in our dreams. This is set  in a crowded hazy bar somewhere in Canada, and the author is about to be getting blown away.

About 180 years earlier, in 1795, 25-year old Friedrich Hölderlin wrote
“If only we where here to dream a little while /
and then become the dream of someone else”

(o wenn wir auch nur darum da wären, um eine Weile zu träumen
und dann zum Traum eines andern zu werden)

The high-pitched surviving rockstar and Hegel’s poetic classmate have something in common that I’d call high romanticism. They had very rich fantasies that accommodated for their dreams, that protected them.

We have a revolution going on, don’t we? Are we dreaming, or are we just dreaming away?

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Published by

Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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