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il faut tuer les passions

The church fights passion with excision in every sense: its practice, its “cure,” is castratism. It never asks: “How can one spiritualize, beautify, deify a craving?”— It has at all times laid the stress of discipline on extirpation (of sensuality, of pride, of the lust to rule, of avarice, of vengefulness).— But an attack on the roots of passion means an attack on the roots of life: the practice of the church is hostile to life … [Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, “Morality as Anti-Nature”, 1889, sec. 1. (Kaufmann trans.).]

Nietzsche’s sensibilities recall, in some measure, D. H. Lawrence’s vituperations in a similar vein some years later, especially in his Study of Thomas Hardy. Except for sensuality, the other victimized passions are all emblematically masculine. As with Lawrence, Nietzsche attempts to establish a masculine territorial presence here below in rebellion against otherworldly imperative. This endears him to that strain of feminism utterly uncomprehending of any such ambitions. But Lawrence’s and Nietzsche’s passions betray the pull, the very real force that must be contended with, lending their case the air of tragedy in the face of exuberance.

Posted by luno in Nietzsche (Thursday July 21, 2005 at 1:03 pm)

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