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Roger E. Eichorn's Blog: Fantasy, Philosophy, and whatever else I feel like writing about
(For R. Scott Bakker…)
Artistic conventions. — Three-fourths of Homer is convention; and the same holds true for all the Greek artists, who had no reason to adopt the modern rage for originality. They were completely lacking in any fear of convention; this was precisely what held them together with their public. Conventions, namely, are the aesthetic means that have been conquered for the sake of the audience’s understanding, the laboriously acquired common language with which the artist really can communicate himself. If he, like the Greek poets and musicians, sometimes wants to triumph immediately with each of his works of art—because he is used to contending publicly with one or two competitors—the first condition is that he also be understood immediately: which is, however, possible only by means of convention. What the artist invents beyond the conventions, he voluntarily attaches importance to and wagers himself upon, succeeding in the best of cases in creating a new convention. Originality is ordinarily seen with astonishment, sometimes even worshipped, but rarely understood; stubbornly diverting from convention means: wanting not to be understood. Toward what, then, does the modern rage for originality point?
– Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, §122
Truth wants no gods beside it. — The belief in truth begins with doubting all the “truths” that have previously been believed.
— Nietzsche, Mixed Opinions and Maxims, §20
The pessimist of the intellect. — Anyone who is truly free in spirit will think freely even about spirit itself and not conceal from himself certain dreadful facts about its source and direction. Hence others may describe him as the bitterest opponent of free-spiritedness and impose upon him the abusive and frightening label, “pessimist of the intellect”: accustomed as they are to call someone not by his distinguishing strength and virtue, but by whatever about him is most alien to them.
— Mixed Opinions and Maxims, §11
“Human maturity: this means rediscovering the seriousness we had towards play when we were children.”
– Beyond Good and Evil, §94