Monday, 11 August 2008


In Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche says: 'without music, life would be a mistake'. I understand (I think) the sentiment, but the phrasing puzzles me ('Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum': 'Sprüche und Pfeile', 33). Whose mistake? If we read this as 'it would be a mistake to try and live life without music' it becomes banal; but 'if there were no music in the universe, it would be a mistake for anything to be alive' surely rebukes an imagined creator? Imagine if the phrase were: 'without the ability to square the circle, life would be a mistake'; or 'without temperatures of minus 500 Kelvin, life would be a mistake' (or we might say: 'without psfugghl, life would be a mistake'). What else could we say to this except: possibly, but it is in the nature of life that sometimes we must make the best of it, mistaken or not.

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