Have you ever asked yourself: What makes writing good? Deep? Able to find and touch the lowest parts of the soul? The parts we keep dormant?
Nietzche certainly had a criticism of most writers in that most of their writing, it does nothing more for the reader but idle them.
But what does he mean? He means that most writers, they don’t write anything new, that they don’t take risks, that ultimately, most people who offer their writing, they do little more than stagnate their readers.
And being idle is the same as being stagnant, and being stagnant in an everchanging world, it only results in falling behind; failing to adapt. Failing to adapt, as the course of history would have it, means death, eradication, extinction.
But Nietzsche claims he writes in blood, and in blood, you will find spirit. He says that whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart.
And I quite like this imagery he creates, that’s because what’s he really saying? Well, a couple sentences later he later mocks a common statement that is made by many, especially those who’ve turned to nihilism.
“You tell me, ‘Life is hard to bear.’ But why would you have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening? Life is hard to bear: but do not pretend to be so delicate!“
And I like that, that’s because, although he’s being very harsh, he’s telling you that you’re not delicate. You have the strength that bears the suffering of life.
But where do we find the strength to bear this difficult life? Within our spirit. And where do we find our spirit? Within our heart. And what is the color does your heart write in? Crimson, red, blood.
He goes on to continue his criticism by saying agreeing, yes, life is hard to bear, but it is also true we love life. But is it because we love life, or we love loving things?
But then he justifies this love by saying, There is always some madness in love, but then, there’s always some reason for madness, too.
And, although a bit fragmented, here’s the entire argument he’s constructed in his speech from Zarathustra:
Life is hard to bear, but we love life. And maybe there’s a madness to loving life and all its suffering. And maybe that reason for that madness is, what else are we going to do? Suffer arbitrarily? To not, as Dostoevsky said, become worthy of our suffering?
And I think that’s what Nietzsche was trying to get at here. It’s the words written in blood, from the heart, that do more than just speak to us. They reach down within us from the same part in which the author’s words were written, in turn, calling forth that same spirit.
He ends his speech with this final excerpt:
I learned to walk: ever since, I let myself run. I learned to fly: ever since, I do not want a push before moving along.
Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god dances through me.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
And that’s what makes good writing. It allows us to fly; to see our self, beneath our self.; to feel as if God, himself, is dancing within us. It transcends us.
And I thought that was brilliant.
thanks for reading,
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