On the fine art of trullering

For the untrained eye there is no apparent difference between “trullern” and simply doing nothing. The artist sits or lies around, reducing motion to a minimum. A comfortable sitting-device is helpful, a sofa/couch or chaiselongue or a comfy armchair, preferable one with leather holstering. I mostly use a small two-seated sofa with dark brown leather holstering or a fitting “Sessel“. A good cup of coffee or tea is also helping for a good trullering. Since my Hungarian friend Robert gave to me the Szarvasi Espresso machine (the SZV-611/1-01 of course, a no nonsense affair, in red) as a reaction on my undisputed and wonderful coffee-making skills he was allowed to enjoy when he visited me three years ago – he commented with the words: “Was für eine Scheissä Kafä ist Dahs?”, but only after he was back in Hungary – trullering became even more convenient.
The etymology of “trullern” is not too difficult; it is related to the word “trollen”, what means in as much as to proceed to another place. There is no connection to the noun “Trulla” or “Trulle”, what is a pretty nasty medieval word for a woman (see Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, volume 22 Treib-Tz, col. 1334f.).
And here we are at the core of the fine art of trullern, that combines the proceeding to other spheres and conquering and mapping of previously unknown worlds with absolutely local (and bodily) stability. The stabilitas loci is one of the promises given when entering the Benedictine order. A sip of Benedictine may also be helpful now and then, as Alma Werfel-Mahler knew, but she was a little overenthusiastic as I read … She and Claire Goll were notorious women in their times and the brewing industry should honor them.
The result of a good trullering may be a novel that earns one a good priz(c)e, a good catch-line for an advertisement, a small enlightening or you simply doze off. A man that knew very much of the latter, the enlightening, was Janwillem van de Wetering, who ended his worldly existence last week.
Trullern consists for a large part of connecting, drawing lines and putting things in relation to each other. That is mainly what is understood as the “work of culture”, that is Man’s genuine work on this planet, in this existence: Giving and making sense from the generally unlimited senselessness of the university he has to face and is thrown into, unquestioned and unasked. At least that is what Max Weber writes in his essay on “Objektivität sozialwissenschaftlicher und sozialpolitischer Erkenntnis“, still a text worth a read.

Transzendentale Voraussetzung jeder Kulturwissenschaft ist nicht etwa, daß wir eine bestimmte oder überhaupt irgend eine »Kultur« wertvoll finden, sondern daß wir Kulturmenschen sind, begabt mit der Fähigkeit und dem Willen, bewußt zur Welt Stellung zu nehmen und ihr einen Sinn zu verleihen. Welches immer dieser Sinn sein mag, er wird dazu führen, daß wir im Leben bestimmte Erscheinungen des menschlichen Zusammenseins aus ihm heraus beurteilen, zu ihnen als bedeutsam (positiv oder negativ) Stellung nehmen.
Denn wissenschaftliche Wahrheit ist nur, was für alle gelten will, die Wahrheit wollen.

The transcendental presupposition of every cultural science lies not in our finding a certain culture or any “culture” in general to be valuable but rather in the fact that we are cultural beings, endowed with the capacity and the will to take a deliberate attitude towards the world and to lend it significance. Whatever this significance may be, it will lead us to judge certain phenomena of human existence in its light and to respond to them as being (positively or negatively) meaningful. Whatever may be the content of this attitude–these phenomena have cultural significance for us and on this significance alone rests its scientific interest.

I hope you will see and understand from this that sitting on the sofa with a good coffee is essentially a highly cultural occupation, it is meaningful work, it is trullering at its best.