Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, but mostly Kierkegaard

I'm taking a philosophy class called Phenomenology and Existentialism, and I absolutely love it; it is my philosophical cup of tea. So, here are some random quotes from essays by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Kierkegaard in The Present Age (written in 1846): "If I tried to imagine the public as a particular person, I should perhaps think of one of the Roman emperors, a large well-fed figure, suffering from boredom, looking only for the sensual intoxication of laughter, since the divine gift of wit is not earthly enough."

This is one negative side of fashion that I wish didn't exist. Kierkegaard and fashion don't really assimilate well, (especially because fashion people are generally not large, though perhaps well-fed), but I occasionally get the feeling from reading blogs and reviews of the collections that everyone is bored with the clothes. It's almost like it's a game now; it's about who can dress the "best" so as to be featured on Tommy Ton or Scott Schuman's blog. It's sheer vanity. And guess what, the "street" photographers end up taking pictures of the same people in the industry - perhaps because there aren't too many to choose from. It's supposed to be inspirational, and sometimes it is, but I am honestly tired of seeing editors being photographed. Of course they're going to be wearing designer goods and look awesome. It's part of their job.

Nietzsche writes in The Gay Science (1887) "I doubt that such pain makes us 'better'; but I know that it makes us more profound." (p. 36)

But is suffering worth being profound? Or is it better to be simple and take suffering for what it is and think naught of it?

I think Nietzsche's conception of Dionysus is here.

Kierkegaard in The Present Age: "But in mere scope flirtation has all the advantages, for one can flirt with anything, but one can only really love one girl. From the point of view of love, properly understood, any addition is really a subtraction (even though in a confused age a capricious man may be blinded by pleasure), and the more one adds the more one takes away" (p. 75-76).

Kierkegaard in The Present Age: "The very soul of a writer should go into his style, and a man puts his whole personality into the style of his conversation, though limited by the exception which Matthias Claudius noted when he said that if any one conjured a book its esprit should appear — unless there was no esprit in it. Nowadays one can talk with any one, and it must be admitted that people's opinions are exceedingly sensible, yet the conversation leaves one with the impression of having talked to an anonymity" (p. 76). (emphasis mine)

The italicized line happens much too often in this modern age. I think everyone can say they've experienced it time and time again.

Kierkegaard, again, in The Present Age: "In Germany they even have phrase-books for the use of lovers, and it will end with lovers sitting together talking anonymously. In fact there are handbooks for everything, and very soon education, all the world over, will consist in learning a greater or lesser number of comments by heart, and people will excel according to their capacity for singling out the various facts like a printer singling out the letters, but completely ignorant of the meaning of anything" (p. 77). (emphasis mine)

This occurs every single day. No one wants to know the meaning of anything, because it's so much easier to let things slide by without analyzing everything, or even some thing. Oftentimes, it's what the school system boils down to. "Memorize this! You don't have to understand it; just memorize it so you can do well on the test (so we can get money from the state)!"

And, to be off topic, here is my future wedding dress.

Marchesa spring/summer 2011 via

The other two pictures are kind of random. They're just pretty, and the post would look really dreary with just one photo. They're aesthetically pleasing, which is what Apollo represented, among other things.

(other photos via fashiongonerogue)


Josh said...

"yet the conversation leaves one with the impression of having talked to an anonymity" (p. 76). (emphasis mine)

The italicized line happens much too often in this modern age."

Absolutely fantastic.

Leora said...

Erin - Just wanted to say, I LOVE this blog! Can't wait to follow and see what's happening in fashion.

FYI - I did get my NYC wish worked out and will be traveling there once a month until April to continue my studies and exposure to what's happening in the Big Apple music scene.

No recordings yet, but I'll keep you posted!