Re: The Grand Style defined.
- --- In email@example.com, "Sauwelios" <sauwelios@...> wrote:
>In support of my "definition" of the grand style:
> Again, there has been little activity in this group lately, and again,
> that doesn't mean I have abandoned it.
> I have been active on a Nietzsche forum, among other things, where I
> further developed my understanding of the grand style.
> First off, I found out the phrase 'im grossen Stil' is a standing
> expression in German meaning "on a grand scale". But the *key* to my
> current understanding of the concept was BGE 245:
> "[A]s for Schumann, who took things seriously and was also taken
> seriously from the first -- he was the last to found a school --: do
> we not now think it a piece of good fortune, a relief, a liberation
> that this Schumann-romanticism has been overcome? Schumann, fleeing
> into the "Saxon Switzerland" [mountains south of Dresden] of his soul,
> his nature half Werther [the suicidal hero of Goethe's 'The Sorrows of
> Young Werther' (1774)], half Jean Paul, not at all like Beethoven, not
> at all Byronic! -- his music for Manfred is a mistake and
> misunderstanding to the point of injustice -- Schumann, with his taste
> which was fundamentally a *petty* taste ['ein kleiner Geschmack', "a
> small taste"; 'klein' is the usual antonym of 'gross', "great, grand"]
> (that is to say a dangerous inclination, doubly dangerous among
> Germans, for quiet lyricism and drunkenness of feeling), continually
> going aside, shyly withdrawing and retiring, a noble effeminate
> delighting in nothing but anonymous weal and woe, a kind of girl and
> noli me tangere [touch me not] from the first: this Schumann was
> already a merely *German* event in music, no longer a European event,
> as Beethoven was, as to an even greater extent Mozart had been -- in
> him German music was threatened with its greatest danger, that of
> *losing the voice for the soul of Europe* and sinking into a merely
> national affair."
> Here Schumann's "petty" taste is directly connected to petty politics.
> And "classical taste" is evidently connected to "classical style", the
> precursor of the grand style, in some of Nietzsche's posthumously
> published notes -- which means we may connect pettiness of taste with
> pettiness of style.
> petty style <--> petty politics
> grand style <--> great politics ['die grosse Politik']
> Nietzsche's "great politics" is politics on a grand scale: not
> nationalistic, but at least European, and ultimately worldwide.
> Is great politics *only* politics on a grand scale? Would "wretched
> ephemeral babble of politics and *international* self-seeking", to
> paraphrase the preface to The Antichrist, count as great politics for
> Nietzsche? Certainly not. In what is evidently a sketch for the "Law
> Against Christianity" that concludes The Antichrist, Nietzsche writes:
> "*First proposition*: great politics seeks to turn physiology into the
> ruler ['die Herrin'] over all other questions; it seeks to create a
> power strong enough to *breed* mankind as a whole and as something
> higher [compare TSZ, 'Of the Thousand and One Goals', where the "one
> goal" which first makes a whole of mankind is the creation of the
> Overman], with merciless severity against what degenerates and what
> parasitises life, -- against what corrupts, poisons, calumniates,
> ruins ... and sees in the destruction of life the mark of a higher
> species of soul."
> [Nachlass December 1888-beginning of January 1889 25 , my translation.]
> My next step was inspired by something Moody Lawless, an esteemed
> member of this group, had once said: that great politics be politics
> aimed at the development of great men (my formulation).
> Now from the last quote, it is evident that great politics is
> concerned primarily with the great man ['der grosse Mensch']: with the
> *breeding* of great men, with "the Olympian existence and ever-renewed
> procreation and preparation" of the great man, to speak with The Greek
> State. We have thus established the following connection:
> grand style <-- great taste --> great politics --> the great man
> But only great men have great taste, of course. The grand style thus
> follows from (the great taste of) the great man -- as does great
> politics. Great politics, which is politics as practiced by great men,
> is concerned with the development of the great man. This suggests
> that, likewise, the grand style is concerned with the development of
> the great man. But great politics and the grand style take different
> directions. Great politics is concerned with the actual, physical
> development of the great man: with breeding him, training him,
> preparing for and furthering his physical existence. May the grand
> style then be concerned with his *spiritual* development? A great man
> is a man whom Nature has constructed and invented in the grand style:
> "A great man -- a man whom nature has constructed and invented in the
> grand style -- what is he?"
> [WTP 962.]
> Before great men can practice great politics, i.e., politics aimed at
> the development of the great man, Nature must first have developed
> such great men (or at least *one* great man), that is, he must have
> come about "by accident", that is, unwillingly and/or unwittingly.
> This idea is also found in The Greek State:
> "Here again we see with what pitiless inflexibility Nature, in order
> to arrive at Society, forges for herself the cruel tool of the State
> -- namely, that *conqueror* with the iron hand".
> That conqueror is the "tool" of the State in that he *creates* the
> State, by conquering, in war, a strange people, and subjecting it, so
> that there arises a class society, of which the conquered people makes
> up the underclass, the base of the pyramid. The top of that pyramid is
> made up of what Nietzsche at the time of writing The Greek State still
> calls "geniuses", whom he will later call "great men" or "Overmen".
> The "conqueror with the iron hand" is himself such a "genius":
> "the military genius -- with whom we have become acquainted as the
> original founder of states."
> The Greek word for "State" is 'polis', whence "politics". The
> Classical State (i.e., the organisation of society into classes or
> castes] is necessary for the *intentional* physical development of
> great men: hence "great politics" (the occupation with a pyramidal
> State focused at its top, the great man).
> Great politics, then, is concerned with constructing and inventing men
> in the grand style. But men can also construct and invent *other*
> things than men: for instance, buildings, statues, musical
> compositions -- "artworks" in the narrow sense of the word. But the
> "beauty" of these artworks consists in their reminding us of the
> essential work of art: man himself:
> "Nothing is more conditional -- or, let us say, *narrower 8 -- than
> our feeling for beauty. Whoever would think of it apart from man's joy
> in man would immediately lose any foothold. "Beautiful in itself" is a
> mere phrase, not even a concept. In the beautiful, man posits himself
> as the measure of perfection; in special cases he worships himself in
> it. A species *cannot* do otherwise but thus affirm itself alone. Its
> *lowest* instinct, that of self-preservation and self-expansion, still
> radiates in such sublimities."
> [Twilight, 'Skirmishes', 19.]
> "The ugly is understood as a suggestion and symptom of degeneration:
> whatever reminds us in the least of degeneration causes in us the
> judgment of "ugly." Every indication of exhaustion, of heaviness, of
> age, of weariness; every kind of lack of freedom, such as cramps, such
> as paralysis; and above all, the smell, the color, the form of
> dissolution, of decomposition -- even in the ultimate attenuation into
> a symbol -- all evoke the same reaction, the value judgment, "ugly"
> ['hässlich', "hately"]. A *hatred* is aroused -- but whom does man
> hate then? But there is no doubt: the *decline of his type*. Here he
> hates out of the deepest instinct of the species; in this hatred there
> is a shudder, caution, depth, farsightednessit is the deepest hatred
> there is. It is because of this that art is *deep*..."
> [ibid., 20.]
> The converse is also true, of course: whatever reminds us in the least
> of "sursumgeneration" (generation upward) causes in us the judgment of
> "beautiful". A *love* is aroused -- whom does man love then? The
> *ascension of his type*. And "artworks" in the narrow sense may very
> well remind us of such ascension. An artwork in the grand style will
> remind the great man of the ascension of his type, and thereby cause
> the judgment "beautiful" in him. This is why the "beautiful feelings"
> an artist arouses prove nothing regarding his greatness: only if he
> arouses beautiful feelings in a *great man* do these feelings mean
> anything. So seeking to define the grand style inevitably leads us to
> the task of "defining" the great man. For my new "definition" of the
> grand style makes it a function of the great man:
> "The grand style really communicates the soul of a great man."
> There are two references to passages from Nietzsche's books in this
> "*Good* is any style that really communicates an inner state".
> [Ecce Homo, 'Good Books', 4.]
> "In the beginning, the noble caste was always the barbarian caste:
> their predominance did not lie mainly in physical strength but in
> strength of the soul -- they were more *whole* human beings (which
> also means, at every level, "more whole beasts")."
> [BGE 257.]
> "Soul" does not mean a supernatural, immortal essence here, of course.
> As Zarathustra says in 'Of the Three Evils', the soul is the "symbol
> and epitome" ('Gleichniss und Auszug') of the body. It is on the body
> that we must focus, then. We must occupy ourselves with great
> politics! But in order to do that, we must ourselves be great men.
> Then again, that is precisely what Nietzsche expects from his readers:
> consider the preface to The Antichrist.
"What do these houses mean? VERILY, NO GREAT SOUL PUT THEM UP AS ITS SIMILE!
Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that another child put them again into the box!
And these rooms and chambers---can men go out and in there? They seem to be made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let others eat with them."
[TSZ, Of the Bedwarfing Virtue, 1, with added emphasis.]