John Dunn

John Dunn home page
Book sales
Thought Pieces
Blog
Oxford to Cambridge
Motorcycling
Something said
Archive
Links
Contact

Blog

Next Entry

Art of arousal

Saturday, 2 November 2019 at 18:07

Nietzsche on Dr John Dunn. According to Nietzsche, the priests gave meaning to suffering, expunging at a stroke the nihilism of existence. They also gave hope that suffering and penance now will produce rewards in the future. Meaning and hope overcome the suicidal response to the terrible existential truths.

The meaning that the priests offer is that the terrible existential truths arise out of human failure. It is a failure to pay due homage to the predetermined idol of truth or God. It is a failure to live up the ascetic ideal associated with this idol worship. They give meaning to human suffering by explaining it as a consequence of our own moral inadequacies.

Critiquing the priestly promises, Nietzsche argued that art achieves what homage to the ascetic ideal achieves, namely 'seducing one to a continuation oflife' (Birth of Tragedy). But how?

Nietzsche made the connection between aesthetic and sexual arousal:

The peculiar sweetness and fullness characteristic of the aesthetic condition might have its origins precisely in…sensuality [Sinnlichkeit] (though it is now) transfigure[d] and no longer enters consciousness assexual stimulus (Genealogy of Morals).

Is all art arousal? And how is it an alternative to the idol worship that he despised? How is it better? Is it simply more pleasurable?

If art maintains our attachment to life through essentially pleasurable, quasi-sexual arousal, then this is to reconfigure art as a form of distracting and anaesthetising pornography. I’m intrigued and will explore more.

© John Dunn.

May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 9
11 13 14 16
17 18 19 20 21 23
25 26 27 28 29 30              
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
Website design and CMS by WebGuild Media Ltd
This website ©2009-2020 John Dunn