Aesthetic Transformations: Taking Nietzsche at His Word by Thomas Jovanovski

By Thomas Jovanovski

During this provocative paintings, Thomas Jovanovski provides a contrasting interpretation to the postmodernist and feminist studying of Nietzsche. As Jovanovski keeps, Nietzsche’s written concept is certainly a sustained pastime aimed toward negating and superseding the (primarily) Socratic ideas of Western ontology with a brand new desk of aesthetic ethics - ethics that originate from the Dionysian perception of Aeschylean tragedy. simply because the Platonic Socrates perceived a urgent want for, and succeeded in constructing, a brand new world-historical ethic and aesthetic path grounded in cause, technology, and optimism, so does Nietzsche regard the rebirth of an outdated tragic mythos because the motor vehicle towards a cultural, political, and spiritual metamorphosis of the West. in spite of the fact that, Jovanovski contends that Nietzsche doesn't suggest the sort of radical social turning as an result in itself, yet as in basic terms the main consequential prerequisite to understanding the culminating item of his «historical philosophizing» - the outstanding visual appeal of the Übermensch.

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Extra resources for Aesthetic Transformations: Taking Nietzsche at His Word (American University Studies)

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In the light of these particulars, we might next (i) fully distinguish between the Socratic and the Apollinian drives, and (ii) show why Socratic scientific optimism, not Apollinian surface structure, simultaneously represents the primary cause and most striking symptom of “every” declining culture. (i) Nietzsche’s position in The Birth of Tragedy permits a dual distinction between the Apollinian and the Socratic standards of creativity. (a) While practically everything that is an Apollinian manifestation “looks simple, transparent, and beautiful,” virtually everything that is a product of Socratic rationalism is an analytical construct; while, put differently, the Apollinian artist is busy creating an “illusion,” the Socratic intellectual is preoccupied with presenting a detailed account of the subject under consideration.

Since, then, most persons are a failure with an overdeveloped instinct for self-preservation, we would have no alternative but, assuming we wished to dramatically raise humankind’s level of being, to compel everyone into beauty by just about any means possible. Nietzsche repeatedly points to such a necessity when he refers to most social values and practices as obstacles to self-overcoming and as preservers of a stagnating style of life. “Our religion, morality, and philosophy,” he remarks in a typical passage, “are decadence forms of man.

Qxd 5/9/07 6:53 AM xxxviii Page xxxviii aesthetic transformations Apollinian dimension must not be taken to mean that the former constitutes the latter’s linguistic peculiarity pushed to its extreme. Although Socratism first appears as something resembling a scion, it is no mere copy of, but an outgrowth that is entirely capable of transforming, its parent plant’s structural identity. It is this artistic “malignancy” which Nietzsche identifies as the single most important development that caused the Apollinian artistic direction to eventually “succumb” and withdraw “into the cocoon of logical schematism” (ibid.

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