technology

“Discussion with Hanna—about technology (according to Hanna) as the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it. The technologist’s mania for putting the Creation to a use, because he can’t tolerate it as a partner, can’t do anything with it; technology as the knack of eliminating the world as resistance, for example, of diluting it by speed, so that we don’t have to experience. (I don’t know what Hanna means by this.) The technologist’s worldlessness. (I don’t know what Hanna means by this.) Hanna utters no reproaches. Hanna doesn’t find the way I behaved toward Sabeth incomprehensible; in Hanna’s opinion I experience a kind of relationship I was unfamiliar with and therefore misinterpreted, persuading myself I was in love. It was no chance mistake, but a mistake that is part of me (?), like my profession, like the rest of my life. My mistake lay in the fact that we technologists try to live without death. Her own words: ‘You don’t treat life as form, but as a mere sum arrived at by addition, hence you have no relationship to time, because you have no relationship to death.’ Life is form in time. Hanna admits that she can’t explain what she means. Life is not matter and cannot be mastered by technology. My mistake with Sabeth lay in repetition. I behaved as though age did not exist, and hence contrary to nature. We cannot do away with age by continuing to add up, by marrying our children.”

(Max Frisch, Homo Faber, trans. Michael Bullock, pp.178–9.)

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