Twenty years ago, I spent a few twilit days in a mountain village in central Italy – I will only mention its noble name to myself. It is a narrow village with dark alleys and a lot of wine bars, on whose ceilings sausages and horse cheeses hang, all mixed up. In front of the village gate there is a spring to which the girls came in the evening to get water.
One posed each other the question, is this life worth it? Or would it have been better to have never been born? To never have left the darkness down there?
To whom in Prussian Germany did this name mean anything five or three years ago? A small circle of young men of letters valued the bearer of this name as the spirited and brilliant editor of the Viennese journal Die Fackel, and delighted in the brilliant firework of satirical commentaries which exploded violently three times a month in it. But Karl Kraus was no more than a wit to them.