File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9809, message 54


Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 16:48:49
Subject: thought thoughts


Somewhere - I believe in that chapter of two-liners in Morgenr=F6te, but I'm
not sure and I can't look it up unfortunately - Nietzsche says the
difference between good and bad writers (or philosophers?), is that bad
writers not only write down their thoughts, but also the thoughts that led
them to their thoughts, i.e. the process of their thinking. (Sorry for
having to paraphraze; I'd appreciate if someone could come up with the
exact quote).
What Nietzsche says makes a lot of sense I think: as a reader one doesn't
want to be bothered with the writer's personal and all too private
motivations and considerations. We don't want to know what's going on in
the kitchen, we just want to eat. The 'I' is not what concerns us, it's the
'more I than I', as Harry Mulisch puts it.
However, there is evidence in art that appears to contradict Nietzsche's
statement. A little while ago here, as Lambda C and his shield bearer
malgosia will remember, I discussed a phenomenon in recent filmmaking: the
searching, rather nervous way the camera in some movies is being operated
(Woody Allen's Husbands and wives for instance, also Baz Luhrmann's Romeo
and Juliet). It's as if the movie is done by amateurs, since these
movements are not being disposed of in the editing room, but deliberately
incorporated as an integral and inalienable part of the movie.
Surprisingly, this phenomenon is not as obscure as one might expect, for it
is also a main feature of many tv-commercials and such shows as NYPD blue,
Homicide and others (ask LC for details). I said then that there is a note
of exhibitionism in there. If that's true, then it could very well be a
sign of the times, of exemplary decadence really, of humanism that has
gotten way out of hand.
But Miami Vice is not the only example. Nietzsche's saying becomes
explicitly apparent in Beethoven's music. In just about every single piece
of music he wrote, thinking itself can be heard, - whether he is preparing
himself for another act of frenzy, or is contemplating the damage he just
caused. It is a distinct characteristic of Beethoven's music, that he does
not only gives us his music, but also provides us with the actual process
of composing itself.
So here I'm stuck with two examples in art that make Nietzsche's saying a
lot less self-evident - one stemming from decadent culture, the other quite
Uebermenschlich. Could the difference between thinking, writing on the one
hand, and making music or movies on the other, account for this discrepancy?
Thanks,
RC


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