Cerebral Cheese of Paulius Skaisgiris

The Metaphysics of Potato or The Precursor to Alpha and Omega


To me, the most memorable introduction to any book is that of Lithuanian Philosopher's Arvydas Šliogeris's "The Methaphysics of Potato" (Bulvės Metafizika).

As I sat down to write this, I have just finished a slice of rye bread. It reminded me of a hot summer's day, of a time when I was tasked by my father to hoe a dozen of rows of potatoes, of the earth's fragrance as I was opening and closing its innards.

I thus present a clumsy translation of that introduction for which I can only blame Google Translate and my poor understanding of the text.

...You are the immortal Teachers of Humanity;
You are the great prophets;
You are the agents of "God";
You are the builders of the towers of Babel;
You are the witnesses of the Big Bang;
You are the dinosaur shepherds;
You are the stars of postmodern Globalopolis;
You are the captains of the ships of Eternity;
You are the tamers of the infinite winds;
You are light-year surveyors, galaxy hosts, and antimatter sculptors;
You are the Mahatmas, Buddhas, Muhammads, and saviors;
You are the helmsmen of history, the architects of the concentration camps and the Holocaust;
You are shamans, smiths of Immortality, and omniscients;
You are Sai Babas, angelic doctors, Hegelians, Zaratustras, Galileans and Marxes;
You are the castrates of Alexandrias and the androgens of Paris;
You are the gods of laboratories, genetic engineers, nanotechnologists and stem cell hunters;
I want to tell you what I saw once in Nataliukė's garden, in the church village of Krosna, digging a black, fragrant earth with my father's hoe. You won’t believe it - I saw a POTATO, a white oval with black dots, in the center of the oval I saw Everything and even more than Everything, and for a moment - just a moment - I became a real visionary of Aleph - a potato seer. Could it be that the last avatar of clairvoyance becomes potato sight?