Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The opening line of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil is "Supposing truth to be a woman..."

I have heard the blogger debating this idea many times. Could it mean that Truth is a thing of beauty and to be desired? Is it that Truth has to be lovingly coaxed, and that to just grab it hard and fast is to miss its softness and subtlety? Is it that Truth is multiplicity, changing from moment to moment, unable to be pinned down to one constant? Or is it even a thing to be scorned, given that Nietzsche was something of a misogynist?

Or perhaps some women understand a deeper Truth. For example, I overheard the blogger's wife saying, "It's all very well you pontificating about the universe, but someone still has to empty this washing basket!"


MikeP said...

Being bamboo must be liberating in the sense that you are neither male nor female, and don't have to live up to those labels.

But surely you have experienced the philosopher's sense of frustration when confronted by nagging counterarguments to his own reasoned dogma.

N. means "woman" only as an analogy to the struggle between voices in a household--traditionally husband and wife, but not necessarily so in our contemporary times.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the truth may change from moment to moment, though I suspect that for a piece of bamboo these many moments may be subtley identical.Apart from a spell of 65 years I spent frozen into a bubble in a glacier during the last ice age, my moments can be quite diverse. It's hard to believe when you're rattling around some hillwalkers ears on Queensberry Hill that only a few minutes earlier you were turning a Cumbrian wind turbine, but such is/was might be life.

Harry the bit of air.

Stick of Bamboo said...

MikeP - it doesn't stop me prowling the internet for bamboo porn when he's out

Harry - I like that phrase, subtly identical. It has a great resonance for me.