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Poetic Thinking 2016 | January 22, 2020

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From Last Week’s Class…

  • On February 1, 2016

I wanted to briefly draw attention to something Becca said in class that I thought was interesting, but which unfortunately got wrapped up in the whirlpool of conversation that rapidly took us somewhere else. Amir had just mentioned the idea of the Spannungsverhältnis (roughly, “tension relationship”), in our brief conversation of Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, and its ideas of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Becca said something to the effect of: Well, isn’t that what all good art tries to do? To have a tension relationship that isn’t resolvable (like a dialectic, Hegelian or otherwise), that cannot be synthesized (which, incidentally, I do believe Hegel would vehemently disagree with, but this isn’t really my territory. Someone help me out here?). To which I thought, “Well of course! Yes, I agree.” But then an interesting thing happened in my brain–I “received” two images, side by side: one of some sort of tug of war, some amorphous representation of a tension relationship, a forever-unresolvable-thing, and then next to it a wide open space, blank and cavernous, like a secular temple. How different the tension relationship (however represented) feels from Heidegger’s space which opens up and out, for us to have a new experience. I’m not saying I think these two things are necessarily incompatible, but just kind of marveling at the quality of their difference. As images, how do they feel different? What sounds, smells, sights, or lack of all of the above do we connote with the idea of the Spannungsverhältnis vs. with the temple?

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