„[D]ie größte Weisheit verrathet sich …“ Johann Peter Hebels Anleitungen zum Selbermerken

Benjamin Brand


This article is a close reading of the opening paragraphs of Johann Peter Hebel’s early calendar piece Über die Verbreitung der Pflanzen (On the Dissemination of Plants), which draws upon thematically and intertextually related passages from his oeuvre and from Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible. It outlines Hebel’s conceptualization of humankind’s role within and relation to creation as a ‘whole,’ demonstrating how the actualization of that role is not predetermined, but is contingent upon a person’s ability to perceive what appears self-evident or simple in nature as wondrous and manifold. In this context, Hebel’s language plays a crucial role in that, rather than acting prescriptively, it constitutes a performative approach which allows the inclined reader to notice [merken] on his or her own account—that is, to take note that nothing is yet understood. (BB)

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