By Jill Marsden
This ebook explores the imaginitive chances for philosophy created through Nietzsche's sustained mirrored image at the phenomenon of ecstasy. From The beginning of Tragedy to his experimental "physiology of art," Nietzsche examines the cultured, erotic, and sacred dimensions of rapture, hinting at how an ecstatic philosophy is learned in his elusive doctrine of everlasting go back. Jill Marsden pursues the results of this legacy for modern Continental inspiration through analyses of such voyages in ecstasy as Kant, Schopenhauer, Schreber, and Bataille.
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Additional info for After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy
To view the body in terms of becoming is to take seriously Nietzsche’s suggestion that ‘the isolation of the individual ought not to deceive us: something ﬂows on underneath individuals’ (WP 686). In the ﬂow of becoming, 26 After Nietzsche material processes constantly combine to produce physiologies which, although ‘distinct’, are simultaneously continuous with forces which exceed them. In fact, the body is never regarded by Nietzsche as a self-sufﬁcient entity but a multiplicity of forces which from a particular perspective share a common holding pattern (WP 641).
The implication being that the world of waking reality remains the implicit ‘standard’ or measure against which Apollinian rapture is deﬁned. That dreams are essentially the detritus of the day is something of a commonplace. It is notable that Merleau-Ponty endorses precisely this view in his consideration of dreaming. Bereft of the waking state, dreams would be no more than instantaneous modulations and would not even exist for us. During the dream itself we do not leave the world: the space of the dream is entrenched from the space of clear thinking, but it utilizes all its 36 After Nietzsche articulations; the world obsesses us even during sleep and it is about the world that we dream.
What it is possible to think given the kind of physiology that is actually cultivated is less a question of what a body is than what it can do or become. Perhaps one of the chief reasons why Nietzsche remained so fascinated by the tragic culture of the ancient Greeks is that for him they embodied in their art an estimation of life quite alien to the scientiﬁc ethos of Enlightenment Europe. In interpreting the Greek predilection for the ‘pessimistic’ art form of tragedy it is physiological preconditions that he sees as decisive.