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Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Physiognomies: Introduction by Marie Steiner

What is the origin of these caricatures?

They are little jokes, trifles jotted down on a piece of blank paper that happened to be at hand, or even a paper napkin, during moments of relaxation — such as at tea time or after lunch — when we were discussing certain cultural distortions of the times.

An admirer of such tasty samples was able to project them on a screen and when enlarged they had such a strong and exhilarating effect on the viewers that they wanted to take them home as a general remedy against the blues. But one can also detect in them that spark of genius which touched everything that Rudolf Steiner spoke or his hand formed.

Such jocularity might well have remained below the surface, for the situation provided little opportunity for leisurely meetings: constant traveling and demands on his time, changing residences — made an affectionate lingering with the little things of personal life hardly possible. Nevertheless these joking caricatures are evidence of the drawer’s sharp powers of observation and for his intuitive understanding of inner nature, even in its distortion. What the soul comprehends becomes subtle intuition and playfully converts it to form. Like Christian Morgenstern's “Gallows Humor”, they tell us that profoundest earnestness can and must combine with humor. [http://www.alb-neckar-schwarzwald.de/morgenstern/morgenstern_poems.html]

Marie Steiner

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