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November 21, 2012

The long sobs of
The violins
Of autumn
Lay waste my heart
With monotones
Of boredom

Quite colorless
And choking when
The hour strikes
I think again
Of vanished days
And cry

And so I leave
On cruel winds
And gusting me
Like a dead leaf

Paul Verlaine

Posted by amin at 10:35 AM

November 20, 2012

Poem (To A)

I shall miss you so much when I'm dead,
The loveliest of smiles,
The softness of your body in our bed.
My everlasting bride,
Remember that when I am dead,
You are forever alive in my heart and my head.

Harold Pinter

Posted by amin at 5:25 PM

The words spoken by the figure who appeared to Socrates in dream are the only hint of any scruples in him about the limits of logical nature; perhaps, he must have told himself, things which I do not understand are not automatically unreasonable. Perhaps there is a kingdom of wisdom from which the logician is banished? Perhaps art may even be a necssary correlative and supplement of science?

Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy

Posted by amin at 10:58 AM

Lessing, the most honest of theoretical men, dared to state openly that searching for the truth meant more to him than truth itself; thereby the fundamental secret of science is revealed, much to the astonishment, indeed annoyance, of the scientifically minded. Admittedly, alongside this isolated recognition (which represents an excess of honesty, if not of arrogance), one also finds a profound delusion which first appeared in the person of Socrates, namely the imperturbable belief that thought, as it follows the thread of causality, reaches down into the deepest abysses of being, and that it is capable, not simply of understanding existence, but even of correcting it. This sublime metaphysical illusion is an instinct which belongs inseparably to science, and leads it to its limits time after time, at which point it must transform itself into art; which is actually, given this mechanism, what it has been aiming at all along.

Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy

Posted by amin at 10:56 AM

The ecstasy of the Dionysiac state, in which the usual barriers and limits of existence are destroyed, contains, for as long as it lasts, a lethargic element in which all personal experiences from the past are submerged. This gulf of oblivion separates the worlds of everyday life and Dionysiac experience. But as soon as daily reality re-enters consciousness, it is experienced as such with a sense of revulsion; the fruit of those states is an ascetic, will-negating mood. In this sense the Dionysiac man is similar to Hamlet: both have gazed into the true essence of things, they have acquired knowledge and they find action repulsive, for their actions can do nothing to change the eternal essence of things; they regard it as laughable or shameful that they should be expected to set to rights a world so out of joint.Knowledge kills action; action requires one to be shrouded in a veil of illusion - this is the lesson of Hamlet, not that cheap wisdom about Jack the Dreamer who does not get around to acting because he reflects too much, out of an excess of possibilites, as it were. No, it is not reflection, it is true knowledge, insight into the terrible truth, which outweighs every motive for action, both in the case of Hamlet and that of the Dionysiac man. Now no solace has any effect, there is a longing for a world beyond death, beyond the gods themselves; existence is denied, along with its treacherous reflection in the gods or in some immortal Beyond. Once truth has been seen, the consciousness of it prompts man to see only what is terrible or absurd in existence wherever he looks; now he understands the symbolism of Ophelia's fate, now he grasps the wisdom of the wood-god Silenus: he feels revulsion.

Here, at this moment of supreme danger for the will, art approaches as a saving sorceress with the power to heal. Art alone can re-direct those repulsive thoughts about the terrible or absurd nature of existence into representations with which man can live; these representations are the sublime, whereby the terrible is tamed by artistic means, and the comical, whereby disgust as absurdity is discharged by artistic means. The dithyramb's chorus of satyrs is the saving act of Greek art; the attacks of revulsion described above spent themselves in contemplation of the intermediate world of these Dionysiac companions.

Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy

Posted by amin at 10:49 AM

Oedipus, murderer of his father, husband of his mother, Oedipus the solver of the Sphinx riddle! What does this trinity of fateful deeds tell us? There is an ancient popular belief, particularly in Persia, that a wise magician can only be born out of incest; the riddle-solving Oedipus who woos his mother immediately leads us to interpret this as meaning that some enormous offense against nature (such as incest in this case) must first have occurred to supply the cause whenever prophetic and magical energies break the spell of present and future, the rigid law of individuation, and indeed the actual magic of nature. How else could nature be forced to reveal its secrets, other than by victorious resistance to her, i.e. by some unnatural event? I see this insight stamped out in that dreadful trinity of Oedipus’s fate: the same man who solves the riddle of nature—of that ambiguous sphinx—must also destroy the most sacred natural laws when he murders his father and marries his mother.

Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy

Posted by amin at 10:44 AM

November 9, 2012

Supposing truth is a woman – what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? That the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be won – and today every kind of dogmatism is left standing dispirited and discouraged. If it is left standing at all! For there are scoffers who claim that it has fallen, that all dogmatism lies on the ground – even more, that all dogmatism is dying.

Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil

Posted by amin at 12:20 PM