Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aimless Reading: The N's, Part 8.3 (Friedrich Nietzsche)

The Will To Power by Michael_Kelleher
The Will To Power, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.
Nietzsche, Friedrich
The Will To Power

Purchased at Talking Leaves Books. Like yesterday's title, I think I bought this for a course with Elizabeth Grosz.

I am running a bit short on time this morning, and no memories seem to be surfacing with regards to the will to power, so I may cut this short.

However, as always sees to be the case, as soon as I write that I have no memories of the thing, one surfaces.

It is a vague, intellectual memory.

I remember sitting in Grosz' class struggling to wrap my head around the concept of the will to power. Grosz tied it into her own theories of natural selection and evolution and so forth, will being a crucial element in the concept of the eternal return and also natural selection.

I remember straining to visualize the concept in my mind. I remember failing to visualize it. There were times when I felt my head was breaking open, or that my mind was going to break down trying to stretch itself around the will to power.

There was also a kind of pleasure to this stretching, which I associate with Kant's idea of the sublime, a kind of straining to understand a thing too large to grasp, followed by a release of the muscle or mind into a pleasurably relaxed position.

There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

from The Will To Power

If the innermost essence of being is will to power, if pleasure is every increase of power, displeasure every feeling of not being able to resist or dominate; may we not then post pleasure and displeasure as cardinal facts? Is will possible without these two oscillations of Yes and No?–But who feels pleasure?–Absurd questions, if the essence itself is power-will and consequently feelings of pleasure and displeasure! Nonetheless: opposites, obstacles are needed; therefore, relatively, encroaching units–

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