File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1995/nietzsche_Dec17.95, message 32


Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 14:25:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: superWOman was here


Thanks for your reply Chris.  I stand by my account however and think
it Nietzschean enough -- with all the needed qualifications. 

The point behind the notion that one is to become the one one is concerns,
as I read it, the task of giving style to one's character, which task
Nietzsche also names amor fati.

Thus one's creative, artistic response to the conditions of life may 
express either one's neediness or abundance.  The ideal of the grand
style -- as a metaphor from architecture to music to life -- would seem
to suggest that a consummate or genuine artist perhaps necessarily
must exceed his (always a masculine pronoun de preference in Nietzsche)
own conditions. (See KSA XIII, 264)  If, as Nietzsche does claim, artists
of ascending as well as those of declining life characterize every 
excess and destitution of life and history, both hunger and abundance
must also be affirmed.  In another pitch, the lean time and the
wreckage of life, the failures and the humiliations are as necessary
as the full and perfect moment of time, as the consummate turning of
life.  The stumbling move must be caught, not denied but blessed
and turned into the balance.  And all precisely for the sake of
affirmation or what Nietzsche means to call creative abundance.

To become what one is, one must take over one's own life as an invention.

It is another story to explain that to do this, one must learn love
as what corresponds to what Nietzsche calls benediction.

And you never get out of being whatever it is you do -- or have done.

Even when you are not up to it, even when an entire ideology
asks for your complicity -- which is the case in the context of
being a mother.  It is, as Nietzsche said, a matter of having
oil and kindness enough.  Of course Nietzsche also said, a bit
less famously and we ought to wonder at its greater poignancy,
that a father has a lot to do to justify the simple fact of
having sired a son.  Women, the mothers of those same sons,
Nietzsche thought with the marvelous inconsistency of 19th
century thinking, DID nothing.  He followed Hesiod, Ovid, & Co.,
(Aristoleles vor allem) and called mothers drones.

So he screwed up on the details (details he was all too aware of
applying the metaphor of pregnancy to himself).  Stuff of prejudice.

You are still what you do.


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