Friday, February 14, 2020

After the Fall

"The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man" by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder
“To experience a thing as beautiful means: to experience it necessarily wrongly,” says Nietzsche in The Will to Power. What a refreshing breath of air for those who find the wild and ubiquitous exclamations of delight disconsonant with their inner being. After all man is the creature who once fell from a garden and was forever exiled from his place among other species who remained free and unconscious of literally everything. It’s easy to be bludgeoned into believing something is wrong with you for not singing hosannas about another orange sunset. One's supposed to react a certain way, even if the perception of some idealized bit of nature actually only underscores how ugly and imperfect you might feel amidst a chorus of angels. This is one of the downsides of well-meaning people who treat the questioning of their idealized universes as sacrilege. Is one not entitled to maintain the notion that an industrial park possesses a beauty tantamount to that of the gently lapping waters of an idyllic beach at summer’s end? Beauty is truth,” says Keats. It’s also “in the eyes of the beholder.” The Asphalt Jungle (1950) was the fame of a famous crime movie, but you may prefer it to getting lost on the Appalachian Trail.

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