Arnon Grunberg



Today I read to a technician, a director and an opera singer (part of) Heinrich Heine’s memoirs in Dutch translation for an audiobook.

This quotation is a right one for Yom Kippur:

“I was accused of blasphemy, and my father delivered the longest homily that he ever made. It sounded something like this : " My dear son ! Your mother makes you study philosophy with Rector Schallmeyer. That is her affair. For my part I have no liking for philosophy, for it is sheer superstition, and I am a merchant and need my brains for my business. You can be as much a philosopher as you please, but I ask you not to say in public what you think, for it would injure me in my business if my customers were to hear that I have a son who does not believe in God : the Jews especially would buy no velveteen of me, and they are honourable people and pay promptly, and do quite rightly cling to their religion. I am your father and therefore older than you, and therefore more experienced : you must believe me when I tell you that atheism is a great sin."

(Read more here.)

To those aggressive enlighteners I would like to say: Keep that in mind, atheism is bad for business.

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