Camelia Elias om Nietzches dynamitt

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Ansvarlig: Johan Schimanski
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Double-Forked Artifice: Nietzsche's Dynamite

One of the chief characteristics of the aphoristic style is the reduction of a set of ideas to an essential minimum. When the practitioner of the aphorism, a fragment, or a maxim, is successful, it takes, however, not only skills to produce elegant bottom-lines, but also a sense of how far such bottom-lines can be stretched. Readers of Nietzsche appreciate the philosopher's capacity to encapsulate complex ideas in a simple form, which is yet quite complex in itself. This being the case, I want to look precisely at Nietzsche's elasticity when it comes to articulating his well-known desire to ignite established ideas, and blow them to pieces with his own dynamite. Quite literally, can an elastic set things on fire, survive the fire? Can a truth be final even when it is elastic? What does it mean to write, for Nietzsche, when writing presents itself as a sin against silence, as a fire that burns the very abstract that is supposed to transcend even the very production of meaning? Thematically, I'm interested in looking at how Nietzsche formulates epistemologies of creative writing against the background of such stylistic devices which have the genre of the aphorism and the fragment as primary media for expression.

Camelia Elias is associate professor of American studies at Roskilde University and visiting scholar in border poetics at the University of Tromsø during April 2010. She has published books on the concept of fragment (The Fragment, 2004), on the gaze in feminist, queer, and postcolonial films (Between Gazes, 2009), and most recently, on the poet Lynn Emanuel (Pulverizing Portraits, 2010). She has also edited books within cultural studies, poetry criticism, and a special volume on the work of Raymond Federman. Currently she is working on a book on epistemologies of creative writing. On the creative side, she writes prose poetry and fragments - she has published a poetry collection, and maintains a blog - and paints. She was a visiting scholar at Columbia University, French Department, NY (2000, 2001) and in 2003 a postdoctoral researcher at University of Lisbon, Center for Comparative Studies.

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