Academic journal article Mosaic (Winnipeg)

Introduction

Academic journal article Mosaic (Winnipeg)

Introduction

Article excerpt

The topography of the general issue is always rough and unpredictable. As the poet Trevor Joyce would put it, the granularity of every essay is different. The terrain is uneven, the content variable, and on the micro level all mapping gives way to terra incognita. Every general issue also has its high point: here especially the pages Joseph P. Vincenzo devotes to Nietzsche's environmental aesthetics. In the present issue we have called upon "Zarathustra's Animals" to introduce the fundamental problem, to perform a certain work, and to showcase and model a kind of relation to what Vincenzo isolates in Nietzsche's texts as the "sensible particular (aistheton)," "small things," the "little that makes the best happiness." The logic here is simple: working against the symbolist cosmologies of the nineteenth century and now, we stage again and again what Nietzsche describes as the most fruitful comportment to the world. Openness to the variable ecology of the general issue and the world at large is our Dionysian aim.

Thus Nietzsche's exhortation from Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "Step out of your cave! All things would be your physicians."

Many readers will know the short passage from Ecce Homo, where Nietzsche "relate[s] the history of [his] Zarathustra." I have always cherished these lines set in the Upper Engadine, with Nietzsche hiking on a summer's day pausing before a rock "6000 feet beyond man and time." With remarkably few details Nietzsche conjures an exceptionally uplifting scene that I have turned to now and again on sleepless nights to chip away at things like the genre of autobiography, Nietzsche's philosophical system, but also my fascination with mountaineering literature, and an object choice for mountains and the cult of action these presume over academe and its brand of high thinking. …

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