Thursday, February 02, 2012

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.


Dead crab. Or maybe it's sleeping. Little Howrah Beach. January 2012.

Theme Thursday again and our minds are firmly fixed on the concept of STORM. Well, I should really say that my little mind is actually geared towards STURM (und Drang).

Typically, people have translated STURM und Drang as "STORM and Stress" and use it to describe the proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music that occurred in the late-eighteenth century. Ever the dissenter, I prefer the less frequent translation of "STORM and Urge". The implications of the difference is not a minor one.

STURM und Drang was characterised by the liberation of individual subjectivity and the embrace of spectacular extremes of emotion – i.e. ladies fainting, men challenging each other to duels/ love affairs/ adventures. This free expression emerged largely in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and its associated aesthetic movements.

An example, previously to STURM und Drang I might have been strolling on the beach and said something to the effect of
Schau mal, ein toter Krebs .... [Oh look, a dead crab...]

STURM und Drang comes along and I'm walking down the same beach and see the same dead crab and suddenly I'm collapsing to my knees, weeping, slapping my friend for looking at me oddly, threatening suicide and then going home and forcing myself onto my twelve-year old cousin.

[Ahem]

It was surely an exciting time to be around.

Sure, the German romantics were an odd mob, but there is something in the idea that the Enlightenment ideals of rationalism, empiricism, and universalism had failed to adequately capture the human experience. Humans are much more than ‘rational beings’ as evident by their emotional extremes and the inherent impurity of personal motivations.

Of course, there is a broader socio-political point to be made about the need for greater human freedom and more respect for the natural world, but that’s not nearly as exciting as all the love affairs and dueling…..

3 comments:

Brian Miller said...

hey i am all for flamboyant emotion...for instance...OMG what and INCREDIBLE piece today, your pic was FAB and insight into socio-political and artistic movement SUBLIME....not just a dead crab. smiles.

Mrsupole said...

I can't even type anything because I can barely see through all the tears running down my cheeks. Oh and the Kleenex I have been using lately makes me wonder why I am so remiss in not buying stock with all my spare change. But then I do not have any spare change because I have to give it to those who need it for the constant funerals we have every day because of the riots caused by those who now occupy everything and we cannot handle the stress of them not taking over the world. Geez and I kept crying while watching them piss on my neighbors garden and I could not even tell the kids to clean the veggies before they eat them because I did not want to upset the pissy ignorant thieves and so I finally just got out my shotgun and told them to piss off or I would just shoot their dumb asses but then I started crying again and oh the stress is just killing me and so I went to the bank and gave them all my money because I felt so bad and then I just had to shoot them and get it back before hubby beat the crap out of me. What fricken year is this anyway? What was it that we were talking about?

Whew, I think I lost my mind there for a moment!

Happy Storm TT!!

God bless.

Carola said...

Sturm und Drang. Indeed to translate Drang is complicated. I think you don't have a word that realy fits. Urge is good, or what about impulse? Drang can be another word to just use straight away like kindergarten.

Great shot.