Tuesday, 15 May 2012

(Mark) - Nietzsche, Language, Will to Power, Modernist Aesthetics: Against Forster

Mark has asked me to post this on his behalf:

Notes towards an ethics of ‘friendship’:

Nietzsche and Modernist Aesthetics vs. Humanism

on the ‘geometric’. …
agoraphobia.—at the root (—the necessity) of art.
(—the classical).

to retrieve (redeem)—to save—experience from the sense of its being inessential and lost.—without meaning or (necessary) consequence.

—without purpose or import.

—arbitrary, floating and haphazard.

infinitely replaceable.
(nothing substantial, nothing essential, nothing that stands).

—to redeem experience from the overwhelming mass—the flux—of forces (—events, possibilities, obligations-demands, desires, anxieties…), uncontrollable and vast.
(—a resentment of…).



T.E. Hulme appropriates what he defines as Wilhelm Worringer’s insight into what lies at the root of art.


—that, at ‘the root of artistic creation’, lies ‘an immense spiritual dread of space’.
(against, what Worringer calls, the ‘urge to empathy’: that ‘happy pantheistic relationship of confidence between man and the phenomena of the external world’.)

—gives rise (birth) to the (artistic) ‘urge to abstraction’:

the fear of the (apparent) vastness of space (paradoxical as it might nonetheless seem) is in fact revealed as a fear-resentment of (life’s) smallness.

—to be overwhelmed in the face of the vastness—the vast expanse of forces (felt) in the external world, that run counter to the will—to the willed
(would will, if could.).


fear.—of an incapacity to control.—a resentment of the smallness of the lived.
(frustration the incapacity to exceed the limits of circumstance circumscribed, and realise the potential-desired, felt).

to be caught (inescapably) in-within the smallness of what must be lived (circumstance) at the cost of the all-else that could (that ought?) to be lived.

—to fix the lived (—the impression) in a fixed form. in a form which makes (which renders) it necessary.

—to record the impression—atomically (—faithfully).find (to use) the precise—exact—words.


qualification of (the expression of) the impression.—precision-accuracy
(full—complete—honesty/accuracy.—as honest as can). …

—and slough off the inessential

to fix the core of the experience and render it sharp, hard and precise (‘geometric’).—to give it a shape.

make the lived necessary.—by virtue of its being a form
(existence—having existed-lived—become necessary to the creation of the form and become necessary through its own embodiment within—imbued with—the form).

to redeem (to show—to reveal—the already redemption of) the lived, in-by recognition.—of the work (—the image).—of the attempt to articulate the intuition.

recognition (approbation?).—to be recognised.

a need.—to have the sense of an intuition recognised.

something worthy of being communicated (—set down).

recognition of the need (the compulsion) to set it down.

to create a solid, stable object that demonstrates the necessity of experience. makes experience-the lived necessary to itself,—to its own creation.

a yearning (—an ache) to realise and to communicate and to have that feeling-sense be recognised (and be shared-requited).

to be recognised as self in another-others and reflected.

to be known (and to be loved).

in-between space-fear, then, and the desire (the need) for recognition

vs. the ‘romantic’.

—against the ‘romantic’.

the ‘romantic’.
(—a frame of mind.—a temperament).

—an ill-will against time’s passing-having passed (—the burden of the conscience),—an impatience with (against) the must-be-lived. a dissatisfaction with life’s finitude.

—the ‘romantic’ cannot find what it is looking for in life (as it is lived). and so, then, it judges life.—a holding life culpable (for the fault—the lackwithin itself).

—impoverishes life and projects its ideal into an other-world.—into a false infinite (—a fiction.—a work of art).

looks for redemption (—the redemption from life) in the infinite of its own design

and takes this—its infinite—for the ‘real’. the real more real (true) than life itself.makes life answerable to it.

the ‘classical’, then, by contrast—vs.—the ‘romantic’.

remains conscious of all its limits-limitations…

focuses—remains focussed—on life (as has been lived).—the things before-around it. —turned in (down) upon them

—to fashion them…

(mistrust of—rejects—all the ‘infinites’—the transcendence—of the ‘romantic’)

to capture impressions (tenuous-elusive thoughts-impressions).

to hold down (in). unflinching reflection. on impressions. on experience.

as hard, cold, cruel and as precise as it can be.

holding down within the impression—in experience.


a distance from the moment, the experience, the impression.—even from what deeply hurts (the painful). even from that which terrifies and unnerves.

to try to understand

to bring it down (as far as can) to the point of absolute accuracy.

 —the ‘self’ as an object now.

rigour. integrity.—honesty.
(—without recourse to the false salve of transcendence—of the supposed ‘infinite’ ).

—to remain reserved (to remain silent) until the image forged (fashioned) is ready (sic.—as complete,—as whole as it can be).
(to push, ceaselessly, toward an impossible perfection—an ideal.

in spite of its impossibility).

to ignore the temptation of—to—the ‘romantic’ (—of-to the other-worlds therein).

—to select (—to be able to select) impressions (—intuitions).to single out and to work upon.

—to leap, but (always) to return (back). without (avoiding) flying off into all those (seeming) seductive infinite romantic ethers…         

—the fiction of the ‘thing’(—the ‘self’). …

an art of reading.

of the structure of the impression.

of the forces.—physical: movements, pressures.—of the senses: light, colour, touch, smell, sound… —of the emotional.—of connections in-of memorial-remembered (memories—conjured up, so to).

—of the competing impulses of which the impression is comprised-composed.—their arrangement, their relation to one another and their (relative) prominence.

in any given moment.

—all urges. drives. impulses.

and all compete (struggle) for balance, for clarity, for order,for dominance.

and the balance-order, at any one given moment, is what decides what I am (to be).

—the ‘self’.

the ‘self’ (the sense of ‘self’), then, as a fiction.
—the result (the end) of a process of struggle (negotiation) of—between—drives and forces.

—the name (retrospective)-naming, thus, of the arrangement—the hierarchy—of forces.

in (within) an organism.

an imposition of language

imposed on flux

—a multiplicity of forces (of sub-wills).

a projection.—a fiction of unity projected onto the flux of forces.

—language (linguistic).

—the origin and the history of a ‘thing’ (of any given thing): first, a projection—projecting back a name—onto an arrangement-heirarchy of forces.

and second—a forgetting of (that act of) projection (that act of creation).

the name—the forged thing—taken to be (the) real.
(because for Nietzsche, following Kant, all that we can have access to and thus have knowledge of are the objects of everyday experience. because we cannot think outside the limits of our senses, we take those objects of experience to be real—in-themselves).

any ‘thing’ in existence, then, has (must have)—come about

—as the result of a continuing process of naming (—names).

—a continual (continued,—continuing) process of being (having been) interpreted.

—from the retrospective imposition of a unity (—of unities) upon the flux that flows always (anyway) beneath.
(—beneath the names).

upon the flux of forces.

—upon a (any given) quantum of reality

—always being appropriated and (re-)transformed…

—continually being undone and remade (—re-named).—re-forged

appropriated by (—linguistic) forces. Overpowered.

—from without.

—the history, then, of any (given) ‘thing’, then, is a chain of signs (of names, of naming…).

always unfolding.

—a history of interpretations.—of adaptations

not (no, never) a progress-thus progressive.
(—no ‘goal’,—no ‘end’).

only ever a series (—a succession) of—mutually independent—processes.

—of appropriation.

of adaptation. …

exacted on the (given) quantum of reality.
(—of resistances, then, and of overpowerings).

the form and the meaning of a ‘thing’ (of any given thing), then, is fluid

as in the process of the formation of language.

first: the stimulus of sense-sense-stimulus.
(a sight, a sound, a scent.—an impression)…

transposed-translated into a word (—a sound).—from a need (felt) to discharge the (physical-physiological,—psychological) reaction to the stimulus.
(the word as a metaphor—as first metaphor—for the stimulus felt).

when many such similar impressions are yoked together (—grouped), under the aegis of a single word, that word becomes a concept.

—a name for a group—a cluster—of experiences (impressions), which serves to yoke them all together according to the similarities that they share.
(and must overlook—must elide—all the differences between them.

—crude (unsubtle)…).

the concept.—second metaphor.
(at two removes, then, from the sense-stimulus which gives birth-rise to it).

—the formation of the concept of the ‘leaf’…

—formed by discarding the differences between all (of those) individual leaves.
(—awakens the idea that, in addition to all those individual, incompatible, leaves, there exists—in nature (somehow, somewhere)—some ür,—some ideal ‘leaf’,—from which, in some way-fashion, all those other leaves,—descend

the Platonic Idea).

—‘analysis’ (to borrow Bergson’s term).

—breaks down—fragments—its subject (—the flux) into parts-thus elements (—‘things’).—all made to participate with other fragmented elements in-under—pre-existing—concepts.

the break down (—breaking down) of-in-within ‘analysis’… —art (after a fashion).

—in the forgetting of that (act of) art (—creation)—the (mistaken) taking of the fragment-‘thing’ as-for a thing-in-itself (—as-for the real. ).

—the ‘self’, then.—a word. …
(—a name.—an ideal thus.—impossible to hold to,—impossible to attain identity with.—thrust upon on, thus,  from without,—in linguistic…).

a fiction.

beneath the veneer, then, of (supposéd) ‘things’ (—of what we come to think of, then, as ‘experience’).—beneath the membrane (the skein) of artificial fragmented atoms—of ‘things’ in-of conceptual space, and of ‘moments’ in conceptual time—there subsists a foundation (—a substrate) of undifferentiated ‘states’.

—the flux of an undivided continuity of ‘states’.

—apparently mutually exclusive and autonomous, these ‘states’ thus nonetheless interpenetrate, enfolding (down, within themselves) all the states which led-up-to (preceded) their emergence, and, again, unfolding, ineluctably, into all those states which are to (must) follow (in the future yet). …
—forming, then, (just) one reality, nonetheless, however paradoxical it may seem, comprised of this continual flux of successive ‘states’.

after a time, through habitual use (—familiarity)—convention—the concept (concepts) become empty—flat and stale—and elide (ignore) the details and the variations (—the engine of the difference) between things.

—no longer maintain any connection to the sense-stimulus from which they originally evolved-arose (no use value any more.—no connection to the quanta they were born to name—to which they, in effect, gave birth).


the function of the artist.—

the role—the purpose—of the artist, then, is to break through—to lacerate—the hardened, wasted, stultified skein (the film) of the concepts. …

—and descend into the un-divided continuity of the flux beneath.

—to break through the conventional ways of looking at (of seeing) things.—all the lazy, habitual (—cliché) words which spring, unbidden, yet irresistibly (it seems) to mind in reaction to stimuli (experiences), and which veil ‘reality’ (—all the details elided—forgotten-repressed—in-by the words-concepts of convention

and reveal (select) elements, always present, but masked—veiled—imperceptible, beneath (within) the inadequacy, partiality and prejudice of language (words and concepts).—disentangled and clarified. and strive to attain a ‘sympathy’ with their subject—their model.

to discover (to uncover) new shapes.

—the aesthetic intuition. …

—the release (purged) of all that had been felt to have been lost .lost in the inadequacy of the word-concept—the name.

a yearning—a need—to create:
to capture and to articulate that sense (felt) of a more fundamental, more potent and more true (?) reality.—beneath-beyond the reality formed-forged within language, words, concepts (—the name).

—at the root of the need for creation.—for an expression.

—the need, then, to incorporate the aesthetic intuition.

(—artistic inspiration).

the artist is the individual who cultivates an attitude in which they actively seek out the experience of aesthetic intuition.

—and seek to lacerate-break through the skein of the (linguistic) ‘real’.

—to tear apart the ‘self’ as had-taken-it-to-be (the supposéd self-identical ‘thing’).

—self-mistrust. (—self-alienation.—a distance from the self-as-felt and as lived before)

—in the laceration of the false, unified sense of self as self-identical (as seemed),—descend, then, into the flux of forces thus beneath.

—a revelation. (—of forces).

distance from the ‘self’ as lived-before.

—stoical indifference.


—the partiality (the falsehood) of the ‘self’.—smallness, thus, that prohibits the all-else that could (that should?) have been lived.


—a mistrust of the partiality and of the urge to act upon (and thus to react to) all impulses/pulsions that the organism is heir to. …

self-knowledge only in-through retrospect, then. …

a distance—a stoical distance—from the ‘self’ that was lived-before.


—to be not simply the passive recipient of impressions, but to hold back.—against each and every impression—each and every impulse-pulsion—reaction. …

and to turn (thus) to account.

—to hold down (in-within).

to analyse.

to mistrust.


a fastidiousness.
(—a hygiene.).

—to be able to read the value-values (prejudices, abilities, incapacities) which those impulses (pulsions) express. …

anatomy of an impression. …

—to hold down in (each and) every impression,—every experience.
(—the anatomy of a feeling).

to feel (to intuit?) each and all the different elements or aspects of a feeling (—an impression or experience).

—the various feelings (sic) of which it is composed-comprised (—a manifold).


—to know the impression.—and not to be (simply) at its mercy

—at the mercy of the uncritical prejudices of which it (may very well) form the expression.
(—metaphysical, religious—moral—and political prejudices political).

at a distance (stoical,—sceptical)—retrospective—from the impression.


to know the shape—the contours—of it. …

—the anatomy of experience.

mistrust. (suspicion,—scepticism).—holding back (reserve.—a distance…)

slowing down the response to experience.—mistrust (not trusting) all of those initial impulses (—impulses to respond).

—a mistrust of the judgments and values of which they are the expression, and an equal mistrust of the right-capacity  to express those values.
(—an attempt at—toward—a stoical distance.—toward perspective). …

intellectual conscience. …

—the fold. …

language.—words.—the name.—the ‘self’ (—the fiction of.—the imposition in-of-by language…).

(and then)
—the laceration (of the—fictional—membrane of the atoms of ‘things’.—of language).

(and) descent, then, into—the revelation of—all of the forces (impulses-pulsions) of-within—the flux (beneath the false consciousness of ‘reality’).

—and (to) hold down in the (in each and every) impression.

—to know the impression.
(—the anatomy of the impression.). …

but then, …

—(to) the return. …

—must always fall back into the inadequate and yet necessary utilitarian bonds of (‘atomic’) language.

—the necessity, thus, of (the fiction of) the ‘self’.

—the need to incorporate the (experience of the) intuition.

—bring back the lacerated ‘self’.—an ironic appropriation of the fiction of-in language.

—bring back the lacerated ‘self’,—as an ironic register from which to draw images (the image) with or from which to translate—to embody—the intuition.

—as precisely as possible.
(—the exact words).


—the integrity (the discipline) of the intellectual conscience.

against the flights—the sentiment and the vagaries (the metaphysics) of the ‘romantic’.

ironic self-re-creation in (—within) the image.

—the ‘self’ (before).—language-linguistic. (—the ‘thing’,—the atom).

laceration-descent (—the intuition).

—the flux (of forces). (—the undivided continuity of ‘states’…).

and finally the image,—as the incorporation of the process as a whole.  

—the fold in the self-creation of the artist:

On kissing Albertine…

no (real, true,—abiding) self-identity, then, but (only ever) a modality of ‘selves’…


—Marcel kissing Albertine (—the prisoner)…


—as he leans in to kiss her, the arc (sliding) of that movement, collapses

—breaks down into (through) all the memories (evoked) of all his experiences with her; of all the Albertines (so to speak) that he has known and loved and desired.
(—images,—of all the memories of times and places,—of sensations, of-with her,—thus evoked by the movement itself)… —until it is simply (only) kissing a girl.—on the cheek. …
(—the disappointment.—the non-correspondence of the idealised with the world,—with life-as-lived.

—the failure of the lived to meet—to meld with—the ideal, thus. …).


—an arcing,… —series.—sequence (—a chain)…
(the discrete quanta of time (the atom-moments).—collapse (back) into the undivided continuity of ‘states’, thus). 

—for Proust (Marcel), however, this collapse takes place purely through one plane,—through one axis.

—purely in-through time

—that collapse.—that same collapse into a sequence, a series, a modality, can be seen not simply as occurring in or through the axis of time—the unfolding-falling chain through all of the moments (—the fragments) of the Albertines Marcel has known (—in memory-memorial). …

but always also, then, those moments (—the memories) are themselves fragmented (within themselves) into all the forces which composed the phenomena of the ‘Albertines’.—his impressions of the ‘Albertines’. …

in-through the ‘axis’, then, of the arrangement of forces which each ‘Albertine’ expressed.

extending not purely through (the arc of remembered) time, but (always, also) in-through (a) ‘space’…

—the ‘space’ (so to speak) of the arrangement (the hierarchy) of forces, within each (within every) given moment, every quantum of reality.

Proust’s temporal modality,—thus qualified.

—two axes. …

—the first: the ‘horizontal’ arc of the fragments of (Proustian) time.

—the second, the ‘vertical’: the ‘spatial’ axis of the flux of forces.

the latter presupposes the axis of time.—a passage (of ‘states’) of time, through which the forces (of a given quantum) reached (and passed through) the modes of their arrangements-hierarchies (—of appropriation and of (re-)transformation).

provisionality (of the name, the ‘thing’: the forms-modes of the quanta…):

the laceration of the ‘self’ as-had-taken-it-to-be.—the descent into the flux of forces (beneath).

—ecstatic (—outside-beside one’s ‘self’) within the aesthetic intuition.

and the attempt, then, to hold the experience (—the energy,—the pathos) of the intuition in the ironic reclaiming of the ‘self’ as a register of images.

—the image.

—the fold.

—an ironic appropriation: a taking possession or control of the inevitable process of the fiction of language
(the formation of the ‘thing’—the fragmentin-of space, and of moments—atoms—in-of time).

a psychology of depth-charges
(—on self-becoming)

—a depth-psychology.

—an ironic inversion.

undoes the ‘self’ (the ‘thing’) as had taken it to be.

and reveals it as the opposite (—the inverse) of what it had seemed.

bathos (—bathetic).—a reversal, thus, in tone
(—sarcastic). …

—allows (—creates) for (provision of) a distance.—a stoical distance—indifference—from-to what has been lived before.

(—the familiar (seemed),—become, thus, unfamiliar…).

—a clarity.

which lays bare the detail(-details), which had passed—would otherwise have passed—unnoticed.
(—would have remained concealed-veiled.


—to harness the uncanny bathos in-of revelation.

—to harness the descent into flux into a process of rigorous self-laceration.—honesty. (—self-reading).

—of self-becoming.

an undoing (then-thus) of a false(-self-)consciousness.—a self-misconception.

—a revelation (—clarity) of the (arrangement of) forces beneath, which had been misrecognised.

—and to slough off all the dross of the (thus) inconsequential (—the distraction, the self-deceit).

—to capture the revelation (of forces-flux) in (within) the image.

and the image, then,—forms the foundation of-for a new shape of consciousness.

—a new ‘self’. …

—the fold, as self-creation.

—only ever provisional. …

—the ‘self’, itself, as only ever provisional (—a provisional form).


always say both more and less than intend-desire.
(—as always both a dearth-inadequate and (always) an excess of meaning-meanings…).

—to be truly honest,
—not to say more than would want (—to flow over into (a) groundless metaphysic aether (—of after and of other-worlds).—shaped (purely) by my own desire (—my own design),—my own religious, moral,—political desires-prejudices).

nor to say less.

—to be fully honest.—to capture (in as far as can) the experience of the impression. … 

(—to have expanded upon into-until a crystal (comprehensive) clarity. …).

to be, not merely, approximate

would require-compel to the would-be artist include everything—every element-force-impulse—at stake in the experience

the honest and integral work of art.

—requires-demands the ‘re-creation’ of everything, but also always to include within that comprehensive act of re-creation, a re-creation of the act of that re-creation itself, and therefore also that the artist recreate the act of recreating the act of recreation…

(etc. )

—in a self-consuming, infinite regress (—ad absurdum, ad-infinitum).

bounded round, as the artwork is, by both the finitude of the artist and by its own finitude.

—smallness (—finitude), then, renders that comprehensive honesty—impossible (finally).

and yet it remains (and must remain) an imperative.

towards an ‘ethics of friendship’…

reading Forster.

—the essay on (regarding) what he believes(-believed).—belief. …

and he argues that ‘we’ (?)—that ‘Psychology’—have (has) reached a point at which (where) the ‘subject’ is no longer a viable quantity-concern. …

not unchanging—(thus) unchangeable. …

and yet, he argues, ‘we’ still continue to act as if the subject (—the ‘Person’ thus) is unchanging (and thus,—self-identical).
(—without asking whether ‘we’ ought to…)

—Forster, then,—against (shows,… —is complicit in—the absence,—the death of) the metaphysic.

and yet.

still (somehow,—for some reason) upholds-maintains it. …

the fiction, then, of ‘thinghood’.

forcedobliges himself—into an ethics of (concerned with) discrete quanta.

Forster lays the fiction (the—self-conscious—lie) as-at the foundation, then, of an ethics.

—at the root of his reading-conception of democracy.

as an ‘individualist’ and as a ‘liberal’ (—?).      

with recourse to (notions of) the ‘natural warmth’,—‘native goodness’,—‘indwelling spirit’, and ‘holiness of the Heart’s affections’ in-of ‘Man’ (?).

even though (despite) his having highlighted the impossibility—the end-the death—of the (metaphysical) ground-foundation of these (such) notions. …

and makes appeal to a projected ‘community’—an ‘aristocracy’ (?) of the like-minded (—the identical?), the ‘sensitive, the considerate and the plucky’ (?).
(—‘the true human tradition’.—?—hmm…).

an appeal to a jaded,—sentimental (now outdated-defunct) reading-conception, thus, of Romanticism and of—‘the poet’, as sweet-sweetly hearted-natured, (politically) naïve and—divinely inspired.

—an attempted appropriation of (the figures of) Shelley and Swinburne.

—(an) appeal, thus, to (a notion of)—the true-the good,—the beautiful soul’. …

—implies class.
—his idealised-idyllic conception of the poet as the ‘beautiful soul’ implies the private school education that it was Forster’s privilege to enjoy.

intellectual hypocrisy (in-)of the maintenance (retained) of (a thus) ‘dead’ metaphysic.

the fold. …

instead of (—thus contra) Fortser’s community (—‘aristocracy) of the (—upper class,—privately educated) ‘beautiful - souls’, then. …

—(a thoroughgoing recognition of),—difference.—(in-)at the origin

—all atoms (—all ‘things’,—all people) the result—results—(unfolding) of the arrangement(s) of forces.

—at any given moment.

—the expression of processes of subjection, appropriation,—of purgation,—incorporation. …

self-overcoming. (—in-at the origin).

—before—prior to (as the condition of the possibility of)—any communication,—to any inter-subjectivity…

—the fiction of the unified ‘self’—the ‘thing’—always, first, the result of  an overcoming-overpowering of forces by other forces  in-within the organism.—processes from which the organism is thus itself forged (—as the fictional unity perceived…). …

—always first a self-overcoming. …

—self-overcoming. … —the formation of (a) new,—more stoical, more, … —clear-sighted,—‘self’. …

—self-mastery,—self-knowledge is thus the goal (—the end).

(—learn to see others, then, as arrangements of forces.—as (also) processes of subjugation, repulsion, purgation, incorporation.—as complexes of fears-anxieties, abilities, desires, appetites-proclivities, possibilities,—modesties and of overcomings, anxieties, abilities, desires, appetites and modesties—more or less successfully overcome.—the other-others,—more or less aware of—in control of-over—those processes. to be the master of, or to be mastered by—at the mercy of— impulses).

instead of searching for a community (—a consolation) of lost, idyllic, ‘beautiful souls’.

instead, search for the radical difference that will (help to) place one—oneself (one’s ‘self’)—in relief

—will show (reveal) oneself (—one’s ‘self’), then,—in perspective.

—show its limits (thus,—limitations).—its smallness. and thus ‘self’-misconception.

to facilitate an overcoming of false limits.

—self-overcoming and (as) a self-becoming.

—the furthest away, then, as (—becomes) the closest.

—the ‘enemy’ become the friend.

—no need, then, for the company—the comfort-consolation—of idealised-idyllic, emasculated, historically and politically irrelevant, anaesthetising ‘romantic’ poet-metaphysicians. (the—Forsterian—community of ‘beautiful souls’…).

—against some ‘romanticinfinity of ‘love’, thus, and the ‘good’ (—goodness).

difference, then, even to the point of antagonism.
(especially to the point of antagonism).

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