Away With Cosiness!

The Green Dragon Inn
“Away with cosiness [Gemütlichkeit]! Only where cosiness ends, does humanity begin.”
Adolf Behne

What’s your take on this?
a) Absolutely; he couldn’t be more right!
b) I’m not a big fan of cosy but I think he’s over-reacting a bit.
c) I diagnose an unhappy home life.
d) I wish I could bring him back to life just so I could slap him silly. Sillier.
e) I wish I could bring him back to life just so I could cogently dismantle his argument (preferably from a comfortable chair by the fire, drink to hand).
f) Other (please remember this blog is broadcast before the watershed and moderate your language accordingly).

I discovered this quote in a book by Judith Flanders, called The Making of Home. She writes social history books that are backed by solid research without being academically dry – an all-too-rare talent. I’m off to raid my regional library system for some more.

4 Replies to “Away With Cosiness!”

  1. F: People can choose to overlook inhumanity in order to preserve their own cosiness, but that isn’t to say that cosiness is a problem. People will sometimes need to leave their cosiness behind in order to grow as a person, but that also doesn’t mean that cosiness is a problem.
    Making so clearcut a statement suggests (to me, at least) that Adolf Behne experienced something specific that lead him to that conclusion. Considering the era he lived in it isn’t too hard to imagine what.

    1. You make some excellent points.
      Behne was a modernist and was mad keen on glass as a building material – the more the better. Further quote: glass “has an extra-human, super-human quality.” Nietzschean architecture? I would have said that glass wasn’t human at all, myself, but this is probably why I will never be hailed as a modernist architect and/or philosopher.

  2. Cosiness is needed, but should never be allowed to rule our lives. Two years ago I emulated the experience of Bilbo Baggins, who had got too comfortable and cosy in his middle years, and went off on an adventure (with considerable assistance in his case, and redundancy in mine!).
    When cosiness promotes laziness, reduces courage and shortens the exciting part of life, it is to be left behind as often as possible. But it should be there to come home to after each adventure and trial.

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