josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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19 Aug '12 10:52:15 PM

'… the solid and sunny earth, the basis of all philosophy, and poetry, and religion even.'

19 Aug '12 10:29:48 PM

Jan. 28, 1852:

'Perhaps I can never find so good a setting for my thoughts as I shall thus have taken them out of.'

19 Aug '12 10:26:58 PM

Jan. 27, 1852:

'I do not know but thoughts written down thus in a journal might be printed in the same form with greater advantage than if the related ones were brought together in separate essays. They are now allied to life, and are seen by the reader not to be far-fetched. It is more simple, less artful. I feel that in the other case I should have no proper frame for my sketches. Mere facts and names and dates communicate more than we suspect. Whether the flower looks better in the nosegay than in the meadow where it grew and we had to wet our feet to get it! Is the scholastic air any advantage?'

19 Aug '12 07:27:39 PM

One of the most basic principles: if you're keeping a journal, you can't know where it's going as you write it.

18 Aug '12 06:38:32 AM

'All his yearning… was for living, an unaffected person, in his home.'

18 Aug '12 06:29:17 AM

You hardly need to be Nietzsche to be struck by how Greek (still, in the fourth century) Athanasius' life of St. Antony is: the introduction addresses a community of monks who want to outdo another one in their askesis of virtue.

A bit further on: 'Even toward those of his own age he was not contentious, with the sole exception of his desire that he appear to be second to none of them in moral improvements'.

17 Aug '12 10:50:27 PM

(Nietzsche employs it in a noticeably concentrated way in the latter half of book III of The Gay Science, referring to other aspects of human beings by talking about their bodies, parts of their bodies, conditions or productions of their bodies, in around fifty different aphorisms: faces, tongues and mouths, voices, hands, stomachs, whole bodies, and illnesses of them. The bodily lexicon stands out especially in contrast to passages about self and others in earlier books, like chapters 6, 7, and 9 of Human, All Too Human I, where the remarks are formally just as concise and sequentially sustained, but not lexically selective in that way.)

17 Aug '12 10:54:32 AM

An aphorist's ploy: embody ideas in words about bodies.

17 Aug '12 10:49:54 AM

To give a lazy argument, you wave your hands; a lazy performance, your arms.