Every day I have to invoke the absent god again

Every day I have to invoke the absent god again. When I think of great men at the great moments of history, how they caught at the things around them like holy fire and transformed everything dead and wooden, the world’s straw, into flame which flew up with them to the heavens; and then of myself, how I often go about like a poor glimmering lamp that would dearly beg a drop of oil to shine into the night a bit longer – then, I tell you, a curious shudder runs through my whole body, and softly I call out to myself the terrible words: more dead than alive.

– Hölderlin, letter

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