Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Arts in America | You know what's funnier than a... »

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Secret Meaning

Posted by on September 15 at 12:18 PM

Last night, after a meal at the Capitol Club with Michael Hebberoy, the “rebel restaurateur,” who, until very recently, shared ownership of the three Portland restaurants that once made up Ripe (the story about his break from that business can be read here), I had a meal with Bethany Jean Clement, who I have known for as long as I have lived in this city.

The restaurant we drank wine and ate bread in is French, new, small, on Madison, and called Saint-Germain. Lots of French was being spoken, and lots of French hiphop was being played. One of the owners of the pleasant place declared that La Haine is the greatest French movie. But this is not leading to my final point. What I have in mind at the moment has to do with this morning when I woke up and reread for the third time this year the first chapter of the book I will never get enough of, Phenomenology of Spirit. The chapter is on the problems of sense-certainty, and near the end of the chapter is this, one of the greatest passages in all of philosophy:

“…[T]hey have still to learn the secret meaning of the eating of bread and the drinking of wine. For he who is initiated into these Mysteries not only comes to doubt the being of sensuous things, but to despair of it: in part he brings about the nothingness of such things himself in his dealings with them, and in part he sees them reduce themselves to nothingness.”

One of my few achievements thus far in life is that I’m not “shut out from the wisdom” of eating bread and drinking wine. And now it is time for me to return to that wisdom, which will be supplied in the form of lunch. Back at one.

CommentsRSS icon

Saint-Germain is wonderful. Wine Selection A+. I had the croque monsieur made with ham and Gruyère cheese and the robust salade Nicoise with seared tuna, skinny green beans, olives, tomato hunks, and perfect lavender vinaigrette. For dessert, I went for the chocolate mousse cake and an espresso drink.

It was cheap, just $30. Seattle has wonderful restaurants that allow us to constantly return to the wisdom of delicious wine and bread.

I have got to go here! I am super excited!

And..charles, could you please give me some french hip-hop listening suggestions, besides mc solaar? would love that!

Bread and wine is not so sexy when you realize that Hegel probably has Riesling and Rye in mind. Sittlichkeit ist eine Hündin.

The paradox is that the better one brings into oneself these sensual or sunsual, other things, the better one is able to maintain one's health, or identity. Perhaps this is because, as Hegel writes, "in part he brings about the nothingness of such things himself in his dealings with them, and in part he sees them reduce themselves to nothingness.” The bringing of such things into one self also destorys said things.

Is there a part of the phenomenology of spirit in which writers become charicatures of themselves?

OMG this guy is BORING!

Mr. Mudede's humor is as dry as desert air. Bravo.

Rachel - For French rap, I've always liked IAM (International Asiatic Men). I think of them as sort of the Wu Tang Clan of France.

Doc Gyneco is also very good, especially his songs "affaire de famille" and "l'homme qui ne valait pas 10 centimes."

I also very, VERY strongly recommend Passi, a Congolais rapper - I've only heard his first two albums, which are called Tentations and Genese.

For a good overview of French rap, I recommend the easy-to-find-even-in-America album, "Le Flow - the Avant Garde of French Hip-Hop." Or just take a trip to Canada and ask at the music store for good francophone rap.

And your point is? You know an over-exposed restauranteur and your own bar critic?

Get thee some Camus, and pick up all those names--your room is a mess.

I hear Hebberoy is making the jump to Seattle from Portland and teaming up with Gypsy Dinners. Anything else in the works? I could go for some more avant-garde dining experiences in my life.

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).