The Bridge and the Door to the new academic year– my wishes to you in Georg Simmel’s insightful and imaginative words

georg simmel bridge

Georg Simmel:

“The bridge symbolizes the spreading of our will through space. [..] The bridge encourages the eye to inter-relate parts of the landscape just as in practical reality it encourages bodies to relate with one another. […]
The door is the line of demarcation where the limited and the limitless meet, but not in the dead geometrical form of merely a partition wall, but rather as the permanent possibility of continuous alternation. […]
The bridge as the line between two points, strictly prescribes safety and direction. From the door, however, life flows out of the limitedness of the isolated being-by-yourself, and it flows into the unlimited number of directions in which paths can lead.” (Simmel 1994: 408-410)

georg simmel door

These days, as the new academic year begins, please allow me to wish you to be brave to walk out the door, find – and pave – your own path and relate to those (in academic and personal life) who inspire you to spread the will of wisdom through space.


Simmel, Georg. 1994 [1909]. “The Bridge and the Door.Qualitative Sociology 17 (4): 407-413.

(Photos taken by me in Hue, Vietnam)

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