Our world … 19th, 20th, 21st centuries …

It is a harsh word but still I say it, because it is the truth; I can think of no people more fragmented that the … craftsmen you see, but no humans, thinkers but no humans, priests but o humans, lords and servants, boys and established people but no humans – is this not like a battlefield, where hands and arms and all limbs lie chaotically in pieces, while the spilled  blood of life runs into the sand. (from Holderlin’s ‘Hyperion’ (The Hermit of Greece) 1797 and 1799.

Truly, my friends, I wander among men as among fragments and limbs of humans. This is what is horrifying to my eyes, that I find men in ruins and scattered about as on a battlefield and butcher field. And if my gaze flees from the present to the past: it finds always the same thing: fragments and piles of limbs and grisly accidents – but no humans! (from Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra,’ XLII On Redemption (1883).

This is part of the world of ‘The Fugitive Stag’ …

Cosmic Tone – End of Time

How the Philosophers Invented “God”

A second idiosyncrasy of philosophers confuses the last with the first.

The rationalist philosophers begin with the “highest” concepts, when they would be at the end if they could be reached at all. The good. The true. The perfect.

Since being is static for these philosophers, the “highest” concepts could not have emerged from the “lower” ones.

Because they cannot come to be, they must be treated as causes in themselves.

Since these “highest” concepts must conform perfectly with one another, they are all located in a single being, the “most real being,” “God.”

The human race has paid dearly for this web-spinning by the philosophers.


Curt Stoeving painting of Fiedrich Nietzsche 1894

The Past?

Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there.

Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

George Orwell, 1984

<Giordano Bruno from 'The Heroic Enthusiasts …'

The dog of madness must be the mad god himself; transform these dogs into gods. In heroic frenzy, the great hunter sees, and he himself becomes the prey. Actaeon, who with these thoughts, searched for wisdom, beauty, and the wild beasts outside himself, attained them this way: once he was in their presence, ravished outside of himself by so much beauty, he became the prey of his own thoughts and saw himself converted into the thing he was pursuing. Predator of the marvellous, searching for wisdom, beauty, the wild beast.

Dionysian ffrenzy
Actaeon sculpture Caserta

Myths re-imagined in the tale of The Fugitive Stag

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Bought my first copy in the Summer of 1974 … my first summer with Ann. I was working at Alcan, Rogerstone, at the time – my last ‘student-summer-job.’ The translation was by R J Hollingdale. After MUCH USE, the paperback is just about in one piece! This morning, my 46 years old copy will be replaced by Graham Parkes 2005 … for reading, at least, since the original is full of notes, pasted comments etc.

Zarathustra by the Sea, 2004, Setsuko Aihara
TSZ cover based on Setsuko Aihara’s
Portrait of Helen Parkes (after Dürer) 2007
Albrecht Durer self-portrait 1500 – he was 28, the first artist to paint self portraits

Parkes’s translation is also well presented and arranged. Some might object to the cover illustration, which gives an image of Zarathustra, but very much like an image of Jesus. Based on an original portrait of Setsuko Aihara, who in turn based it on Durer’s original  self portrait of 1500, it shows the figure of Zarathustra with his customary allegorical symbols of staff, serpent, sea and eagle. The resemblance to Christ would seem to be fitting to represent an author, who so very much aimed to imitate and creatively to surpass the originator of Christianity.

Graham Parkes (b.1949) and ‘Zarathustra’

Graham Parkes is Professorial Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Vienna, Austria. For over thirty years he has taught environmental philosophies and Asian and comparative thought at UC Santa Cruz, the University of Hawaii, and universities in China, Japan, and Europe.

To dwell at Oak Tree House

Old oak, that spread’st thy branches to the air,
And firmly in the earth dost fix thy roots;
No shifting of the land, no mighty elements,
Which Heaven from the stormy north unlocks;
Nor whatso’er the gruesome winter sends,
Can tear thee from the spot where thou art chained.
Thou art the veritable portrait of my faith,
Which, fixed, remains ‘gainst every casual chance.
Ever the self-same ground dost thou p. 148
Grasp, cultivate and comprehend; and stretch
Thy grateful roots unto the generous breast.
Upon one only object I
Have fixed my spirit, sense, and intellect.


The Oak at Oak Tree House


The term history has evolved from an ancient Greek verb that means “to know,” says the Oxford English Dictionary's Philip Durkin. The Greek word historia originally meant inquiry, the act of seeking knowledge, as well as the knowledge that results from inquiry ... in German it also means 'story' ... Exactly, history is our story, uncensored.
That evil little man with the odd moustache on my blog!!! Whether I like it or not, he is part of our collective history.

Self-portrait 1944


“I don’t see why one shouldn’t be absolutely fascinated with the human form…,” Tanning once stated. “We go through life in this wonderful envelope. Why not acknowledge that and try to say something about it? What I try to say about it is transformation.”


Dorothea Tanning … 1912 to 2010 … 101 years of an incredible life!

From Legend 1949 – “Please be advised that I will vaccinate the world with a desire for violent and perpetual astonishment … The 3 graces had been looking rather sleepy but at the last words they opened their mouths in horror, then picked up their knitting and fled.
Max Ernst and Dorothea – 34 years together as wife and husband

She and Ernst had “never talked art, … We just had fun. We both had senses of humour, and we enjoyed using them …”

“I was a loner, am a loner, good Lord, it’s the only way I can imagine working. And then when I hooked up with Max Ernst, he was clearly the only person I needed …”