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Re: The Grand Style defined.

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  • Sauwelios
    ... In support of my definition of the grand style: What do these houses mean? VERILY, NO GREAT SOUL PUT THEM UP AS ITS SIMILE! Did perhaps a silly child
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 16, 2009
      --- In human_superhuman@yahoogroups.com, "Sauwelios" <sauwelios@...> wrote:
      >
      > 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 [1], 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."
      > [ibid.]
      >
      > 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, farsightedness—it 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
      > "definition".
      >
      > 1.
      >
      > "*Good* is any style that really communicates an inner state".
      > [Ecce Homo, 'Good Books', 4.]
      >
      > 2.
      >
      > "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.
      >

      In support of my "definition" of the grand style:

      "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.]
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