Mikhail Minakov [1]


It is difficult to be. To be present, to be aware, and to be creative is almost an impossible task. But to be means also to overcome the impossible, to fulfill it.

It has befallen[2] each particular human being to be in a world that is a complex and contradictory co-presence of Beings, Differences[3] and Nothingness. And human being exists as an inhabitant of Beings, by transgressing, by breaking the limits of a given Being, by breaking out of Being into another Being, by sliding through Differences; or else human being exists by self-projecting out of a present Being into Nothingness and thus by fulfilling this forbidden Nothingness with his or her existence, by extending the limits of the world into retreating Nothingness. In this way, human being exists as a concrete existence, with the capacity of presence in Beings, with the capacity to transcend a manifest Being for another one, with the capacity to supplement a given Being or to participate in generating new ones, and finally with the capacity to express in languages the Being into which the human projects its presence.

Not only are Beings and Differences multitudes,[4] but there are multitudes of humans that are co-present with myriad other forms of existence (animals, viruses, energy or “dead” matter). Humans are distinguished by the way they are present: they either were or are. In this regard, unborn people are beyond presence, their being-status is a projection, that roll of the dice that Chaos has not yet made and has not yet mastered as a mixture of Differences, Beings, and Nothingness.

Humans – present and projected – are united in a world open to creative expression. This expressible world is not only that which is in Being, but also that which has the ability and intention to fall out in a roll of the dice. It is the world of Humanity,[5] whose characteristic feature is the passion and intentionality to be expressed in a variety of ways. This Humanity’s passion and intentionality for expression derive from the passion of Beings to be expressed (through human creativity) and from the intentionality of Differences to interrupt, to hide themselves as the original mystery and source of Beings and Nothingness. From this accumulation of differently directed projections, Language is born.

Thus, there is Humanity and Language as contradictory expressions from within. In these first two categories, on the one hand, the passion of each separate Being to be the only One is manifested; and, on the other hand, their expressions are always differentiated, within the limits of their presence in Beings, of their predicates, meanings, and senses. That is why when speaking of Humanity we should remember that it is plural, although the grammar of natural language (the expression of a manifest Being’s passion) compels us to use the singular and to deceive ourselves. In the same way, Language is not singular – it is always a multitude, which only due to the voluntarism of grammar is expressed as singular. In this contradiction of the first two categories I see the power of Differences, which inherently prevents the order of Chaos from being properly expressed.


The contradictions of Humanity and Language

The ambiguity and self-contradiction of categories has long been noticed, although each language (and correlated tribe) tries to hide this ambiguity under the dictates of grammatical absolutism.

In the Book of Genesis, one of the cornerstones of ontology, both the intuition of Humanity and Language’s impossible complexity and the original human task of solving this complexity – or at least overcoming this situation as a curse – shine through. The curse consists of clashing presence in Beings – of belonging to a Chaos-born contradictory world, and the innate temptation to see the Primordial Unity and Preset Harmony in the world, Language, and Humanity.[6]

A careful reading of the Book of Genesis – not as a sacred religious text, but as the experience of long-gone generations of seekers – can establish the contradiction as a gap between two acts involving the Creator of the world (Chaos) and Humanity: the gift of creating names and the Babylonian curse of multilingualism and tribal diversity.

The first thesis of the book points out how the Creator of the world and a human are in a contradictory situation. The monist passion of Humanity and Language leads to the creation of names in the Adamite language; each name in the core is based on the principle of singularity: one name is ascribed to one element of world. Moreover, the name and the element are one and alone. However, being alone “is not good.”

“Then the LORD God said,
‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’
So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field
and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see
what he would call them;
and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.”[7]


In this context, Adam is Humanity in all its contradiction between a single number and a single name, on the one hand, and the multitude of other existences within. And at the same time, Adam is also Language as the multiplicity of names and verbs, acts of expression of what is present in the world.

The second thesis is about multitude, which likewise “is not good.”


“Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
And as they migrated from the east, they came upon
a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks,
and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower
with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’
The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built.
And the Lord said, ‘Look, they are one people,
and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there,
so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there
over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Therefore it was called Babel, because there
the Lord confused the language of all the earth;
and from there the Lord scattered them abroad
over the face of all the earth.”[8]


The dream of One Language and the same words are a cursed passion. This passion was about building a world with the axis of the Tower to Heaven, the center of order. But there is only Chaos. And while Chaos also entails order (like a sequence of dice rolls, for example), Chaos is that plurality of Differences that does not tolerate monocracies. The plurality of Difference also speaks of itself as plural Lord: “Let us go down, and confuse”; that is, the Creator of the world speaks of himself in the plural. The world, as an undertaking of Chaos, possesses the quality of its Creator – plurality unhappy with itself. Monism, the passion for unity, is the principle of Nothingness. And Chaos has a place for Nothingness as only one of many beginnings and the only, though not the final, end.


The Tower of Babel by Joos de Momper (1620?)


The conclusion is that creativity, something in which the expressive capacity of Humanity and Language is spelled out, manifests the world as foundationally complex and contradictory. As complexity, this creativity is blessed. But as a passion for the unity of order in contradiction to the nature of the world, such creativity is cursed.

The conclusion from the two theses above is that creative existence is “not good” – neither in the singular, nor in the plural mode. Good is in the recognition of Differences, which is a challenge for human existence with all its creative beginnings. Therefore, it is difficult to be human. Existence within Humanity and Language is contradictory. Humans desire order (presence in a concrete Being), freedom (transgressive sliding between Beings), and creativity (likening to Chaos, casting a project into Nothingness just as Chaos casts dice to create Babylon). In doing so, desires take place in a world where there are Beings, not a single Being; where there are existences, not a single existence; where there are names, not a single name.


The Babylonian curse of the shibboleth

Babylon is the name of the world inhabited by specifically human being. This is where Beings, Nothingness, and existences in all their various forms (dead and alive, moving and motionless, conscious and unconscious) are present. This is also where the “most important” of Differences manifests. Here the former Humankinds used to be present, and here the current Humanity is present. Here Language is spoken. And here Nothingness invites the end with the principle of unity.

Differences occur as Chaos in cosmic projection, in the roll of the dice that is world-making. The Differences of Chaos are filled with worldly manifold complexity as a result of the roll.


“Chaos” by Venceslau Hollar (1667?)


It is important to note here that the co-presence of Differences, Beings, and Nothingness in the complex world was indicated not only in the Abrahamic tradition. In Hesiod, for example, the same insights are articulated:


Ἦ τοι μὲν πρώτιστα Χάος γένετ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα Γαῖ᾽ εὐρύστερνος, πάντων ἕδος ἀσφαλὲς αἰεὶ [ἀθανάτων, οἳ ἔχουσι κάρη νιφόεντος Ὀλύμπου, Τάρταρά τ᾽ ἠερόεντα μυχῷ χθονὸς εὐρυοδείης,] ἠδ᾽ Ἔρος, ὃς κάλλιστος ἐν ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι, λυσιμελής, πάντων δὲ θεῶν πάντων τ᾽ ἀνθρώπων δάμναται ἐν στήθεσσι νόον καὶ ἐπίφρονα βουλήν.

In truth at first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth (Gaia), the ever-sure foundation of all the deathless ones [who hold the peaks of snowy Olympus, and dim Tartarus in the (chthonic) depth] of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros, fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them.[9]


Chaos comprises the gaping Differences whose activity leads to world-making. Beneath the canopy of Gaia lies the Tartarus of chthonic diversity and complexity in the co-presence of Beings and Nothing.[10] And eros is the power of Nothingness to attract the world toward thanatos, also the power of Nothingness, when the dice are taken back, and Chaos rolls them again. In an interplay of eros and thanatos the Chaos game is vested in a single unbroken ontological dialogue. This singularity is the achievement of Nothingness.

Many philosophers and artists have tried to describe this very complexity, each in their own way. I will cite just one example of these two ways. Hegel devoted his Science of Logic to the prehistory of creation, that is, to the roll of the dice. Thus, in the Introduction he describes the cycle of “all Being”:


So wird noch mehr der absolute Geist, der als die konkrete und letzte höchste Wahrheit alles Seins sich ergibt, erkannt als am Ende der Entwicklung sich mit Freiheit entäußernd und sich zur Gestalt eines unmittelbaren Seins entlassend, — zur Schöpfung einer Welt sich entschließend, welche alles das enthält, was in die Entwicklung, die jenem Resultat vorangegangen, fiel und das durch diese umgekehrte Stellung mit seinem Anfang in ein von dem Resultat als dem Prinzip Abhängiges verwandelt wird. Das Wesentliche für die Wissenschaft ist nicht so sehr, daß ein rein Unmittelbares der Anfang sei, sondern daß das Ganze derselben ein Kreis lauf in sich selbst ist, worin das Erste auch das Letzte und das Letzte auch das Erste wird.[11]

It is most of all in this way that absolute spirit (which is revealed as the concrete and supreme truth of all being) comes to be known, as at the end of the development it freely externalizes itself, letting itself go into the shape of an immediate being – resolving itself into the creation of a world which contains all that fell within the development preceding that result and which, through this reversal of position with its beginning, is converted into something dependent on the result as principle. Essential to science is not so much that a pure immediacy should be the beginning, but that the whole of science is in itself a circle in which the first becomes also the last, and the last also the first.[12]


Although Hegel’s passionate monism (one of Nothingness) is absolutized, the truth about the multitude gets a proper description in The Science of Logic. Moreover, the key notion of the concept is described here in perfect harmony with the eros of Nothingness – “the identity of mind and being” is presupposed by the beginning of the world order. In fact, Hegel’s ontotheology[13] in The Science of Logic is written from the perspective of Nothingness, where the dialectical U-turn is made in the process from the stream of self-alienation to dialectical insight. The intuition that Hegelianism belongs to Nothingness sparked Kierkegaard’s philosophical oeuvre.[14]

Similarly, Mikhail Vrubel’s religious ornaments were, judging by the evidence available, intended to represent the intent of the Creator of the world before creation began.[15]


Images of the ornaments by M. Vrubel (1880s)


The motley ornaments in which order and chaos form a complex yet sensible conjunction should represent a protological experience of complexity analogous to that of the Creator of the world right before the roll of the dice.

In this case, world-making always tends toward the end. World is an inherently finite enterprise. The dice will be rolled over and over, a new hypostasis-projection will be conducted as a new world. Nothingness will sweep away the dice once they have rolled out. And in this act, the eros of the Nothingness will bring the elements of the world to its twin, thanatos: here comes the end of the world, which presupposes an obligatory new world-making. Therefore, in Nothingness, Humanity, and Language, there is thanatos, death.

This thanatos is the principle which is evident in the finitude of the world, in the complexity of Humanity, and in the power structures of Language. In this respect, shibboleth is the event in which death reveals itself as the expressivity of Language to all of the world.

In the Old Testament, the shibboleth is described in the following context: In one of many Biblical wars, the people of Gilead, led by Judge Jephthah, defeated the Tribe of Ephraim. After the battle, however, the pursuit of the Ephraimites proved problematic because of the lack of visible distinctions between the warring tribes. It was close to impossible to distinguish the losers from the winners: racially and culturally they did not differ, but the passion of Nothingness demanded that they finish off the enemy – totally – as an alien species. So the victors occupied the crossings of the Jordan River and instituted a linguophonetic control: the people crossing had to pronounce the word shibboleth (Hebrew for spike of wheat, or possibly torrent) which the Gileadites pronounced with a “sh” sound, while the Ephraimites with a “s” sound, sibboleth:


“Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead
and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down
because the Ephraimites had said,
‘You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.’

The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim,
and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, ‘Let me cross over,’
the men of Gilead asked him, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’
If he replied, ‘No,’

they said, ‘All right, say Shibboleth.’
If he said, ‘Sibboleth,’ because he could not pronounce the word correctly,
they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan.
Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.”[16]


In total war, if sight fails, speech and hearing do not. The incessant replenishment of archives with denunciations to the intelligence services of contemporary states is proof of this.

The Babylonian curse in the phenomenon of shibboleth manifests itself as the intolerability of complexity. Humanity and Language surrender themselves to the passion of Nothingness and participate in the erasure of the world, establishing little Babylonian differences into the ontological feature of a collective guilt, the responsibility for which is death. In the passion for the end, each of the fragments of Humanity and Language assumes itself to be the only one, leading its lineage from the fore-human and the fore-language.

In contemporary nationalist-conservative thought, this reference to the original and falsely understood transcendence is of core importance. But this line of thought was also present in antiquity, e.g. in Origen’s thought. Origen, who thought and wrote in Alexandrian koine, but who was an adamant believer in the monistic illusion of monotheism, was convinced that Hebrew was the language of Adam and that only the Jews of Palestine had preserved the primordial language from the Babylonian linguistic mixture.[17] This type of thinking is vested in all formulae stating that “our mother tongue” is the one true language reflecting the primordial roll of the dice. And such an illusion is actually the basis for the shibboleth events.

The shibboleth event is an important thanatos-oriented tendency in our world, moving it toward the end – and us toward the possibility of understanding world-making. In the English-speaking cultural oikumene, the shibboleth created a whole cultural layer of meanings: mystery, secrets, passwords and omens.[18] In the Eastern European dimension, the shibboleth manifests itself frequently. For example, Shklovsky recalls how the warring groups believed to define a Jew among their captives during the Civil War of the second decade of the 20th century: they demanded captives to pronounce Russian word “kukuruza” (corn), expecting that a Jew would mispronounce it with a Yiddish accent, as “kukuruzha.”[19] A century later, in the second decade of the 21st century, during the Donbas War, many believed they could identify a hidden Russophone by the mispronunciation of the Ukrainian word “palianytsia.” The political systems of Eastern Europe relentlessly reproduce shibboleths, from the Ems Ukaz in the 19th century, which banned the publication of new texts in Ukrainian, to its direct decedents, the linguistic laws of the 21st century, which have attempted to buttress relative majority language at the expense of relative minorities.

However, the shibboleth phenomenon is not only limited to linguistic power structures. Hryhorii Skovoroda, the 18th century Ukrainian religious thinker, has interpreted it as the Christian variant of the Sphinx myth. In several fables (“The Ring,”[20] “On Pharaoh’s Dreams”[21]) he noticed that beneath the necropower of the tribal language, the Ephraimites were asked the riddle by Lord himself: “say Shibboleth”! And as in the tale of Oedipus, those who did not solve the riddle – the answer to which was “man” – were killed. The Ephraimites would survive if only they answered “wheat spike,” which Skovoroda associates with the Christian notion of “God-man” (θεάνθρωπος).[22] Such a response, in my non-Christian and pluralistic interpretation, points to the fact that even Christian thinkers could recognize the complex background of the shibboleth, its inner contradiction between the human and ontological levels of this phenomenon. The shibboleth is indicative of the contradiction inhering within the multiplicity of Humanity and Language; it permeates the mismatch between the material and spiritual origins of the world.

From another trajectory, the shibboleth phenomenon was analyzed by Jacques Derrida. In “Shibboleth: For Paul Celan,” the philosopher penetrates the dialectic of Chaos and Nothingness through the path offered by Paul Celan in his poem “In Eins” (“As One”[23]):


Dreizehnter Feber. Im Herzmund
erwachtes Schibboleth. Mit dir,
de Paris.
No pasarán.

February 13. In heart’s mouth
awakened shibboleth. With you,
de Paris (French: people of Paris).
No pasarán (Spanish: they will not go through)[24]


In this poem, which refers to the Nazis’ introducing the shibboleth’s necropower, as well as to the solidarity of the Jew, the German, the French and the Spaniard growing from a network of concentration camps, Derrida sees a way to understand primordial Differences – differences that are “discriminative, decisive and divisive.”[25] Here, shibboleth is some sort of biopolitical “signature” on a permit for human trespass into Nothingness. Derrida points out the regime of “absolute singularity” that shibboleth establishes, and the fact that resistance to it can bring us “through the barbed-wire border, through, this time, the grid of language… The passage of the other, toward the other – respect of the same, of a same that respects the otherness of the other.”[26]

There is a way to overcome the shibboleth order, some other ontological and lingual phenomenon that I would call koinonia.

Here koinonia means a solidarity of those who exist and accept one another – indeed, all others – as partners in this world. It is a sort of Schopenhauerian Mitleids-solidarity in spite of – and against – Babylonian barriers and the erotic thanatos of Nothingness, against the narcissism of small differences and for the recognition of the benign otherness of Another.


Kοιν as consent to World’s complexity

The possibility of overcoming the Babylonian curse and the shibboleth’s necropower is also an element of the world’s order. The fact that the world and human life are doomed to an end does not mean a fatalistic acceptance of the order and stoic expectation of the end, nor the passionate participation in total war. The fatalist’s humility is a little betrayal of the larger life, a submission to the curse of Babylon. Participation in necropower is a great betrayal of life, an ecstatic companionship to the waltzing pair of Chaos and Nothingness. In the first case, one takes complexity as an excuse not to live, not to manifest oneself, and not to preserve the chance given. In the second case, it is a rebellion against life, a rebellion that accelerates the end of everything.

The alternative to these two choices is koinonia, the creative acceptance of the complexity and contradictions of the world.

Koine (κοιν or Ελληνιστική Κοινή) was an interregional form of Greek, formed from the merger of the Ionian and Attic dialects. Koine emerged as the “Alexandrian dialect,” the language of the universal tribe of those who lived by the Library of Alexandria. It lasted for long a time – from the Hellenistic period to the early period of the Byzantine Empire – and gave Christians the opportunity to translate the Old Testament and spread it as the Septuagint beyond the “geopolitical Jerusalem.” And many, like Marcus Aurelius, meditated in this language in search of their place in our complex world.

The essence of koine, both in the form of the Hellenic κοιν and in its many other concrete-historical forms (Arabic, Chinese, English or other koines), is the universal rejection of a shibboleth regime, the consent to coexist with other languages and tribes.

Koine is an ontolinguistic practice that helps one be present and solve unsolvable tasks. The practice of Koine allows both authentic presence in Beings, gliding into Differences, and casting projects into Nothingness. Koine implies recognition of the complexity and fluidity of the world, and it is capable of expressing those Beings in which its speaker has been present, or into which its speaker has been projected by the energy of his or her existence. This Koine is the practice of Humanity’s solidarity in the face of Nothingness.

Such Koine solidarity is also the idealistic framework of the Kοιν Almanac. It is my hope that our journal will serve the cause of mutual understanding among the living, of productive dialogue among (passed and living) philosophers, and of the solidarity to resist the erotic thanatos of Nothingness.



«Блокнот Киевлянина», Живой журнал, 4 мая 2019, https://kievlyanin2015.livejournal.com/91657.html.

Орловская, Евгения Александровна. “Синтез пространственных искусств в творчестве М.А. Врубеля.” Диссертация на соискание ученной степени кандидата искусствоведения, Москва, 2018, https://www.mghpu.ru/images/content/aspirantura/orlovskaya/orlovskaya_dissertacia.pdf.

Сковорода, Григорій. “Кольцо.” Сковорода, Григорій. Повне зібрання творів, Т1, 357-411.

Сковорода, Григорій. “О снах фараоновых.” В Сковорода, Г. Повне зібрання творів, Т2. К.: Наукова думка, 1973, 24-25.

Шкловский, Виктор. ZOO или Письма не о любви. М.: Советский писатель, 1966.

Agamben, Giorgio. “Gaia e Ctonia.” Quodlibet, 28 dicembre 2020, https://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-gaia-e-ctonia.

Bartolini, Maria Grazia. “Introspisce mare pectoris tui.” Ascendenze neoplatonici nelle produzione dialogica di H. S. Skovoroda. Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2010.

Buzard, James. Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and repetition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Derrida, Jacques. “Sibboleth: For Paul Celan.” In Derrida, J. Sovereignties in Question: The Poetics of Paul Celan. Fordham University Press, 2005, 1-64.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Wissenschaft der Logik. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag GmbH, 2008.

Heidegger, Martin. “Beiträge zur Philosophie,“ in Heidegger, Martin. Gesamtausgabe, B. 65. Frankfurt/M: Vittorio Klostermann, 2014, 1-445.

Heidegger, Martin. “Hegels Begriff der Erfahrung.” In Heidegger, M. Holzwege. Frankfurt/M: V. Klostermann, 1994, 115−209.

Hesiod, Theogony (116-125), The Perseus Project, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D104.

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm. Theodicea (1710). Berlin, 1925.

Origen, De Principiis (chapters 2 and 4), Catholica Omnia, https://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0185-0254,_Origenes,_De_principiis_%5bSchaff%5d,_EN.pdf.Bataille, Georges. Inner Experience. New York: State University of New York Press, 1988.

Siegel, Jeff. “Koines and Koineization.” Language in Society (1985): 357-378.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. “Tractatus logico-philosophicus,” in Wittgenstein, L., Werkausgabe, Bd. 1. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 1995, 1−85.



[1] Mikhail Minakov is the editor-in-chief of Kοιν: The Almanac of Philosophical Essays and a senior advisor at the Kennan Institute (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars). Minakov’s area of philosophic interests includes ontology, social philosophy, ideology critique, and analysis of bio/necropolitics.
Author is grateful to Stash Luczkiw for reviewing and editing the essay.

[2] Here I follow Wittgenstein’s first thesis in Tractatus logico-philosophicus: “Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist”, i.e. “The world is everything that is the case,” and the case is the way the dice lie in the roll – or else in the hypostasis-projection (where both words derive from Greek and Latin terms for casting the dice) of Chaos, Beings, Differences, and Nothingness, so we fix it until the next roll. See: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, in Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Werkausgabe, 1−85 (Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 1995), Bd. 1, 5.

[3] Here I treat Sein (Being) as something that is multiple and never single; so I write Beings to rectify the monists’ mistake. I also continue an idea of Deleuze that the initial source of everything is not the Being or Nothingness, but Difference; however, in order to underline its chaotic and multiple structure, I write Differences. See: Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

[4] Only Nothingness is singular, a subject of the principle of One.

[5] Or of many Humanities, as some paleoanthropologists insist.

[6] The ideal expression of such temptation is evident in “Vom Ereignis” by Heidegger and “Theodicea” by Leibnitz (Martin Heidegger, “Beiträge zur Philosophie,” in Heidegger, Martin, Gesammtausgabe, B. 65 (Frankfurt/M: Vittorio Klostermann, 2014) 1-445; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Theodicea (1710), (Berlin, 1925). There is a lot about this temptation in Bataille’s Inner Experience. See: Georges Bataille, Inner Experience (New York: State University of New York Press, 1988).

[7] Genesis 2:18-20.

[8] Genesis 11:1-9.

[9] Here is the English translation from the Perseus Project with several of my clarifications: Hesiod, Theogony (116-125), The Perseus Project, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D104.

[10] Giorgio Agamben, “Gaia e Ctonia,” Quodlibet, 28 dicembre 2020, https://www.quodlibet.it/giorgio-agamben-gaia-e-ctonia.

[11] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Wissenschaft der Logik (Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag GmbH, 2008), S. 60, L. 8-21.

[12] Georg Wilhelm Fridrich Hegel, The Science of Logic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 49.

[13] See how Heidegger explains the Hegelian ontotheology in: Martin Heidegger, “Hegels Begriff der Erfahrung,” in Heidegger, M. Holzwege (Frankfurt/M: V. Klostermann, 1994), 115−209.

[14] About that see: Kierkegaard, Søren Aabye, Kierkegaard anthology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1946) 46ff.

[15] For a mystical reading of the ornaments see: “Синтез пространственных искусств в творчестве М. А. Врубеля,” Диссертация на соискание ученной степени кандидата искусствоведения, Москва, 2018, https://www.mghpu.ru/images/content/aspirantura/orlovskaya/orlovskaya_dissertacia.pdf. Images of the ornaments are copied from this source: «Блокнот Киевлянина», Живой журнал, 4 мая 2019, https://kievlyanin2015.livejournal.com/91657.html.

[16] Judges 12: 4-6.

[17] Origen, De Principiis (chapters 2 and 4), Catholica Omnia, https://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0185-0254,_Origenes,_De_principiis_%5bSchaff%5d,_EN.pdf.

[18] Se, e.g.: James Buzard, Disorienting Fiction: The Autoethnographic Work of Nineteenth-Century British Novels (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

[19] Виктор Шкловский, ZOO или Письма не о любви (М.: Советский писатель, 1966).

[20] Григорiй Сковорода, “Кольцо,” в Сковорода, Г. Повне зібрання творів, Т1, 357-411, с. 403.

[21] Григорiй Сковорода, “О снах фараоновых,” в Сковорода, Г. Повне зібрання творів, Т2 (К.: Наукова думка, 1973), 24-25, 24-25.

[22] See the analysis of Skovoroda’s theandric extrapolation of this riddle: Maria Grazia Bartolini, “Introspisce mare pectoris tui.” Ascendenze neoplatonici nelle produzione dialogica di H.S. Skovoroda (Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2010), 110-111.

[23] English translation of Paul Celan’s poem by Pierre Joris in Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: the Collected Earlier Poetry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020) 325.

[24] Pierre Joris’s translation.

[25] Jacques Derrida, “Shibboleth: For Paul Celan,” in Derrida, Sovereignties in Question: The Poetics of Paul Celan (Fordham University Press, 2005) 1-64, 26.

[26] Derrida, “Shibboleth,” 51.

Picture: “Untitled” by Zdzislaw Beksinski (1978; source).