“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

the philosopher buffoon

Lately, LI has contracted the bad habit of picking up and dropping threads. Like Roger Rabbit blithely hopping down the path of Needles, this kind of thing can lead to no good end. Although it might not seem like it to the reader, LI likes to think of this blog as our own, our.. our Fors Clavigera, our Cantos, our Maximus poems, our Collected Looney Tunes, vol. 2, 1941-1948. We are in hot pursuit of a central but always somehow eluded pattern here, fellas. Our threads – the Giants, Asinine philosophy, the Infinite Earth, Anima Mundi, and especially, via Michelet, the Witch’s path of negation (or is it a train of powder, already lit? the path you can’t go back down, honey) – actually and obscurely point to each other, with the political posts crudely breaking in upon the flow, a Robert Wilson-like chorus of pyromaniacs and junkies equipped with a barbaric yawp lined with newspaper.

Ah, and you thought you were simply reading the heebee jeebees of a logomaniac, eh?

Well, lets set out another little tub. This thread is gonna be about the philosophic buffoon – or the buffoon philosopher.

It all goes back to a moment of absentmindedness – it all goes back, for me, to the eighties, when I used to talk to my friend and prof, Kathleen Higgins, who was writing her first book, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. K.H. had become fascinated by ass fests, one of which is featured in the big Z, and was seeing large echoes in the text from Apuleius’ Golden Ass.

At the time, I didn’t grasp the import of this. Only lately have I begun to connect what she was telling me with my sense of the-muse like power of the ludicrous – which has always operated like the Air Loom gang on the broken winged crow who speaks to you here.

However, I have forgotten (and can’t find the book this morning) whether K.H. mentions Bruno. Nuccio Ordine’s book, Giordano Bruno and the Philosophy of the Ass, was published after K.H.’s book – I do know that.

At the time that I was talking to her about Nietzsche, I was especially drawn – like Krazy Kat to Ignatz’s brick – to one particular moment in Nietzsche’s corpse-us – the beginning number of the Gay Science, in which he says this:

“To laugh at oneself, as one must laugh, in order to laugh out and out of the whole truth – up until now, even the best did not have enough probity, and the most talented had much too little genius! there is, perhaps, a future even for laughter! at that moment when the principle, “the type is everything, one is always none – gets assimilated into mankind and everybody then will always have access to this last liberation and irresponsibility. Perhaps then, laughter will have bonded with wisdom, perhaps then there will only be a “gay science.”

From what we know about Nietzsche, in his private life, he did have a peculiar sense of humor. The first time Franz Overbeck saw Nietzsche after the breakdown, he wrote that “I have seen Nietzsche in certain conditions where it seemed to me – a terrible thought! – that he was faking madness, as if he were glad that it had ended thus.” This, to me, implies that Nietzsche had, in his sane years, a very large appreciation of the practical joke and the dead pan – and would probably have liked Buster Keaton, if he had lived long enough to see the twenties films. In my private list of all stars, many similar jokers crop up – Kurt Tucholsky, Franz Kafka, Georg Grosz, etc. They all appreciated the cruel laughter at the cripple, sliced and diced into the cripple’s laughter at the ludicrous unconsciousness of the sound.

22 comments:

Patrick said...

Oh, si mysterieux! such emotional range covered in such small space..

By the way, I never sanctioned the Menelaus/Proteus business, so we'll see if you and my sweetie Northanger are doing exhibitionism for y'all's-self with the closet door shut if ya caint even see it, or one of y'all is.

Amie said...

LI, you're onto something here - as you well know.
this thing of philosophical laughter and philosophical madness has been much on my mind these past several days. and oh yes, the question of faking it.

Amie said...

ps - "the type is everything, one is always none" is the key line in the passage, n'est-ce pas?

roger said...

Amie, yeah, I translated Art - which I suppose is "kind" as well, although the usual translation that mixes it up with Gattung seems wrong to me - to reflect the dissolution in one is none.

And Patrick, hey, now, I don't think I am babbling here, any more than I usually babble. So, what's your prob with Proteus?

Amie said...

LI, don't be letting Mr.N kid you now! because it's here that the buffonery is at its height, as it is not a question of dissolution but of miming 'it'!

northanger said...

paddy, you new york redneck, LI is the electric slide to my blogging long goodbye (the best man has the best slide tho). vaya con dios patient zero!

Mr. N?

amie said...

er, the Mr.N i was referring to is the Nietzsche man.
sorry for the confusion, though when it comes to the one and none it does get a bid crazy!

northanger said...

Miz Amie, tanks fo clearin' all dat up.

Patrick said...

Lord, that link is funny, and I was not expecting it. I thought the basic buck dance--of which I am sure Roger has done many--was bad enough without slowing it down like that cut-rate Ricky Nelson baby-face's people did. You better not be doin' long goodbye, Black Woman. New York Redneck needs you baaaa-ad. No civilization in the blogosphere without Miss Northanger.

Roger--I just accidentally caught all that Otto Dix you saw up here. Didn't even connect it to the title of the show, I've gotten that bleached-blonde-waitress sluggish... Thought about y'all's laughing at cripples bidness, because part of it is called 'Cripples,Prostitutes and Profiteers'. I liked the portraits enormously--especially 'The Profiteer', his self-portrait, and one of a hook-nosed art gallery dealer. I never had seen the 'Cartoon for Metropolis' in there, and I think they used that for the original posters and recordings for the stage opening of 'Cabaret', which was the first Braodway show I ever saw.

northanger said...

hey! & Schizophrenic reality of the Golden Twenties (these are large scans, drop image link in address to enlarge).

paddy, i have a great new offline project! i'll read all the dirty bits of your book!

northanger said...

address = address bar

northanger said...

red riding hood wears a red chaperon ... The English verb chaperon, "to be a chaperon," is first recorded in Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility", begun in 1796 as a sketch called "Elinor and Marianne" and published as a novel in 1811. [+] wow.

chaperones are proteins whose function is to assist other proteins in achieving proper folding. [Chaperonin]

quincunx (Olivier Dezutter) & thread (Terri Windling) themes. (thinking of a quincunx thread structure, googled temari — but i know you can make thread structures with pins).

the choice between pins and needles ... a nonsense question, a false choice ... a deliberate absurdityhere, your red girl roger takes the path of the needles (yoni) = prostitution; the wolf = pins (lingam). [harikuyo, festival of broken needles; kanamara matsuri, festival of the steel phallus] &c

the wolf is more than just a symbol of the dangers of sexual deception; he is the agent of change. "At the crossroads when she chooses the pins, he is at the origin of the choice; it is when she is face to face with him, under his gaze and at his demand, that she incorporates her grandmother and undresses. This is as much to say that he leads the game...." — but he does not win it.

what is Chaperon Rouge to the wolf? a good meal ... "Waiting in this old lady's ruffled bed, I am all calculation".

Our threads ... & another path, the one you can't go back down, honey.

roger said...

Northanger, I liked that flowering of links and feints. But I don't agree about the wolf ... that he leads the game, but does not win it. I am not as confident as you are about that outcoming. Don't bet the house against the wolf!

Patrick said...

Roger always dissimulates while feigning innocence, but there's nothing for it. He won't talk about anything but winning and losing and mostly just likes to be ass-pain, because he can't decide whether winning or losing is better...

Northanger, i'll email you and can send you some work, you don't have to read just the dirty parts. I'll go over to the NJournal and fetch it tonight or tomorrow.

New York Redneck

roger said...

ps - oh, and I wanted to thank everybody for transforming my comments thread, lately, into a conga line. I've always wanted to lead a conga line! Although I don't know if I am exactly the leader, here. I think I'm trailing in the rear.

northanger said...

no need to get ... bristly there, wo—, um, roger. ask the lottery genie!

Red, my email: axisnorthanger [AT] yahoo [DOT] com.

roger, it's a fun intellectual challenge commenting on a blog like yours.

Patrick said...

I have to admit I love to hear that, northanger, and I am glad you've come here. Even if you spend a lot of time at the off-topic place, you have a right to come to a place where you can be more thoroughly appreciated in the more highly relaxed and refined styles. You will hear less of 'It's a tough world out there, now learn calculus'. Shit. Of course you are appreciated also at the off-topic place, but you won't be asked to work for the minimum wage by Menelaus, I don't imagine. He's too busy wondering why Helen didn't freak them out over at Hector's. You know, if they had spoken American language, they wouldn't have thought she'd treated Menelaus right.

Thanks for email, I'll put a note in directly.

northanger said...

re: Menelaus
who's on first?

gee paddy, once you change longitude the off-topic place really is the off-topic place.

Patrick said...

Yeah, I really had no choice but to delineate the incredibly embarrasing scene they decided to do again. It's all right, but such an indulgence that people really oughtn't to have to watch. Such behaviour is disgraceful, especially from the one who is so 'principled', less from the one who wants to embrace the obviously corrupt.

northanger said...

paddy, specifically & point-blankety, if you never sanctioned the Menelaus/Proteus business then (else) why am i not going to be asked to work for the minimum wage by Menelaus?

Patrick said...

Because he didn't want to be Menelaus, even though it would have been more virtuous. It does rather ring up like a Moebius the way I wrote. Roger can't make up his mind whether he wants to be Menelaus or Proteus, and therefore acts like our wrestling match can't just be the Medics vs. Floyd Peterson.

northanger said...

the Medics? Floyd Peterson? don't make things worse paddy!