Once nearly three years ago I offered to be the person who read and presented Hegel for my sophomore tutorial. Once I started I realized this was clearly a mistake, because Hegel writes things like:
“But in developing itself independently to totality, the principle of particularity passes over into universality, and only there does it attain its truth and the right to which its positive actuality is entitled. This unity is not the identity which the ethical order requires, because at this level, that of division (see § 184), both principles are self-subsistent. It follows that this unity is present here not as freedom but as necessity, since it is by compulsion that the particular rises to the form of universality and seeks and gains its stability in that form.”
This is how I quickly felt:
Eventually an older sager friend told my roommate and I about how, during a particularly bad study time in college, she had started jumping off desks with her roommates yelling “we are birds! we are birds!”.
So my roommate and I did that (only we made pterodactyl noises). And Hegel (and my roommate’s Arabic) still didn’t make any more sense, but life was good.
Now I’m reading Hegel AGAIN. For the Master’s program back at beloved King’s College, which starts in less than a week. I’m so incredibly excited that my enthusiasm has spread to Hegel’s work itself, but I cannot promise I will understand it any better…
(Reading this time around: I stumbled across the Strand bookstore, fell in love with it, and discovered that naturally they had the book I needed as well as a tempting little sloth book).
6 days to Britain!