Thus Spoke Kamenrida: A Show for All Otakus and None


What is this “courage and freedom of feeling before a powerful enemy” (this mastery of ugliness and awfulness”, as section 802 of The Will to Power puts it ? And – a supplementary question we may bear in mind – does it amount to real courage ? Nietzsche’s answer is given in the following passage – a passage he clearly thought highly of since it is quoted, in part, in Ecce Homo (EH, IV,3) :

“The psychology of the orgiastic as an overflowing feeling of life and strength, where even pain still has the effect of a stimulus, gave me the key to the concept of tragic feeling, which had been misunderstood both by Aristotle and even more by modern pessimists. Tragedy is so far from being a proof of the pessimism (in Schopenhauer’s sense) of the Greeks that it may, on the contrary, be considered a decisive rebuttal and counterexample. Saying Yes to life even in its strangest and most painful episodes, the will to life rejoicing in its own inexhaustible vitality even as it witnesses the destruction of its greatest herosthat is what I called Dionysian, that is what I guessed to be the bridge to the psychology of the tragic poet. Not in order to be liberated from terror and pity, not in order to purge oneself of a dangerous affect by its vehement discharge — which is how Aristotle understood tragedy — but in order to celebrate oneself the eternal joy of becoming, beyond all terror and pity — that tragic joy included even joy in destruction. And with that I again touch on my earliest point of departure: The Birth of Tragedy was my first revaluation of all values. And on that point I again stand on the earth out of which my intention, my ability grows — I, the last disciple of the philosopher Dionysus — I, the teacher of the eternal recurrence.”

The answer here is clear : one experiences “courage and freedom before a powerful enemy”, courage in the face of, in other words, the “horror and terror of existence”, one is able to “say Yes to life even in its stangest and hardest problems” because , in the experience of tragic art, one shares in the artist’s “Dionysian”, “orgiastic” transcendence of individuality ; one identifies not with any of the individuals who are vulnerable to pain and death but becomes rather, “oneself the eternal joy of becoming, beyond all terror”; one loses one’s identity as an individual and identifies instead with “the will to life rejoicing over its own inexhaustibility”.

Julian Young, Nietzche’s Philosophy of Art, 1994, p 136


Saying yes to life means, for Nietzsche, to consider everything – that is, not to shy away from the immoral, the gruesome, the untimely, or the unusual. It is, furthermore, to accept the uncertainty and change that life brings; to follow Thucydides and not Plato’s example. Plato is a coward who, when confronted with reality, takes shelter in ideals. Nietzsche claims that he and Thucydides both possess an unmitigated will not to deceive themselves. In Thucydides the sophist culture, what Nietzsche also calls the “realist culture” (Sophisten-Cultur, Realisten-Cultur), comes to its fullest expression. This sophist element is of inestimable worth in the combatting of the moral and metaphysical ideals of Socrates and his school. How is Nietzsche bot a yes- and a no-sayer ? He is a realist like Thucydides, saying yes to the ever-changing and often cruel reality. Nietzsche, however, says no to efforts, like those of Socrates and Plato, to find refuge in the purely invented world of the forms.

James J. Winchester, Nietzsche’s Aesthetic Turn : Reading Nietzsche After Heidegger, Deleuze, and Derrida, 1994, p 145

I take seriously Nietzsche’s claim to be a philosopher who wears carefully constructed masks. “Everything which is deep (tief) loves masks ; and the deepest things hate picture and likenesses” (BGE, 40). In part, masks serve to protect delicate procedures (Vorgänge so zarter Art). Deep suffering tends to raise the spirit, so that it needs a cover to protect it from the coarse manner of those who have not known similar suffering. Nietzsche gives a number of examples of such disguises. Epicureanism takes suffering lightheartedly and combats everything that is sorrowful and deep. There are impudent (freche) spirits, which hide irremediably broken, but proud hearts. Foolishness can be the mask for an unhappy all-too-knowing knowledge.

Sometimes a mask serves to protect people from themselves. Profound spirits cloud their memory. This clouding affords profound spirits protection against their own critical inquiries (BGE, 40):

Every noble spirit and taste chooses to whom it makes itself known…All more refined laws of a style have in this their origin, namely… they create distance, they deny “entrance”, and understanding – and at the same time they open the ears of those who are related. (GS, 381)

In addition to their protective function, Nietzsche sees masks as a natural element in the configuration of profound spirits. Masks arise naturally out of the superficial interpretations that others give to their words and actions (BGE, 40) :

Every deep spirit needs a mask : even more around every deep spirit a mask continually grows, thanks to the continual false, namely superficial interpretation of every word, every step, every sign of life that this spirit gives forth. (BGE, 40)

James J. Winchester, Nietzsche’s Aesthetic Turn : Reading Nietzsche After Heidegger, Deleuze, and Derrida, 1994, p 147


The possibility of saying Yes to life would seem to follow from a less perfected individuation, in that discontent is recognized as a limited perspective on life, as something that can be overcome, perhaps following intimations of Dionysian “feelers” into the innocent spontaneity of life energies surging on despite tragic effects. In this way we can see life affirmation in terms of Nietzsche’s structural delimitation of selfhood in the midst of self-exceeding forces. Even though all matters of philosophy, for Nietzsche, are psychological in the sense of being founded on questions of meaning, value, and interest, this does not entail a subjectivistic psychologism of any kind. Life is the baseline term for Nietzsche, and so life affirmation is more than a human dispositional matter ; in fact it depends on an Übermenschlich reach beyond human selfhood. In a manner of speaking, affirmation “of” life is both a subjective and objective genitive. This would account for Nietzsche’s depiction of eternal recurrence as having a “cosmic” dimension, as simultaneously expressing existential meaning and a world-disclosive force.

Lawrence J. Hatab, Nietzsche’s Life Sentence : Coming to Terms with Eternal Recurrence, 2005, p110

Hayabusa Metal by Kamen Rider Club Band

(Boku no namae wa Hayabusa-kun Hayai kedo busaku wa nai ze Don to koi koi taiyoufuu Chikyuu no minna ga oikaze da Kurai uchuu demo Kibou ga miereba gaman suru Hayabusa-kun! Hayabusa-kun! Uchuu no kanata de rendezvous Hayabusa-kun! Hayabusa-kun! Iroiro atte, hoshi ni naru Hoshi ni naru ! )

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