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Lichtenberg A Cross Section Walter Benjamin Cast: I. Moon beings: LABU, president of the moon committee for earth research QUIKKO, director of technical equipment SOFANTI PEKA (Voices of moon beings come with a slight echo, like from a cellar) I. Human beings: GEORG CHRISTOPH LICHTENBERG LORD CHAMBERLAIN OF THE ENGLISH KING THE ACTOR DAVID GARRICK MARIA DOROTHEA STECHARDT, Lichtenberg'sgirlfriend EBERHARD, servantatJustice Putter's JUSTICE POTTER A TOWN CRIER A SILHOUETTE SELLER 1ST, 2ND & 3RD CITIZEN OF GOTTINGEN A PASTOR ANNOUNCER: I, as the announcer, see myself in the pleasant condition of taking a position above all parties-I meant to say planets. Since the following events take place between the earth and the moon-or rather either on the former or on the latter-I would be breaking the rules of interplanetary behavior if I, as the announcer, were to take the position 37 of either the earth or the moon. To remain correct, I will let you know that the earth appears to the moon, which knows all about the other, as mysterious as the moon to the earth, which knows nothing about the other. That the moon knows everything about the earth and the earth nothing about the moon you may deduct from the single circumstance that there is a committee for earth research on the moon. You will have no difficulty following the meetings of this committee. Just to assist you with your orientation, let me point out the following: the debates of the moon committee are extremely short; the allotted speaking time on the moon is the shortest anywhere. The moon inhabitants live on no other substance than the silence of their fellow citizens, which they hence do not like to see interrupted. It is also worth mentioning that an earth year amounts to only a few moon minutes. We are dealing here with the phenomenon of time warp, with which you are undoubtedly familiar. The fact that, on the moon, photographs have always been taken is hardly worth mentioning. The technical equipment of the Society for Earth Research is limited to three units, which can be operated more easily than a coffee mill. First, we have a spectrophone, through which everything that happens on earth can be seen and heard; a parlamonium, which can translate tedious human speech into music for moon citizens spoiled by celestial harmony; and an oneiroscope, with which the dreams of the earthlings can be observed. This is important because of the interest in psychoanalysis prevalent on the moon. You will now join a meeting of the moon committee. (Gong.) LABU: I hereby open the 214th meeting of the moon committee for earth research. I welcome all commissioners present, Messrs. Sofanti, Quikko, and Peka. We are approaching the end of our research. After the earth had been examined in all essential matters, we decided-following many requests of moon laymen-to add a few short experiments concerning humans . Certainly, the commission has realized from the beginning that the subject matter is comparatively unproductive. The random samples of the last few millennia have not shown a single case in which a human being has amounted to anything. By stating this as a scientific fact, our sessions only serve to prove the assumption that it is caused by the unfortunate human condition. What, in fact, is the cause of this misfortune gives way to many opinions. Mr. Peka would like to address the meeting. PEKA: I would like to address the rules of procedure. LABU: The rules of procedure. PEKA: Before we enter into further discussions on the agenda, I would like 38 to propose for everybody to acknowledge this moon map, which has just been published according to the research of Professors Tobias Mayer and Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in G6ttingen. QUIKKO: It is my opinion that the moon committee for earth research should bear no hopes for this moon map. I see that not even the great crater C.Y 2802, where we hold our meetings, is on the map. LABU: The moon map will be sent to the archives without discussion. SOFANTI: Who is Tobias Mayer, please? LABU: According to the earth archives, Tobias Mayer is a professor of astronomy in...


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