Kuvan kaunis. Apollonisesta ilmenemisestä

The Beauty of an Image. Of Apollonian Appearing

The Finnish idiom "kuvan kaunis", roughly comparable to the English "pretty as a picture", relates beauty to image. The same connection can be found in Nietzsche’s concept of the Apollonian. Nietzsche, whose major philosophical task was the overturning of Platonism, confronts the Platonic tradition in the name of the life-illuminating force of images. Reflecting on this proto-artistic impulse, which is operative for example in dreams, he attends especially to the Schein of images, to their way of appearing as "shining", which betrays in a fleeting sensation that they are merely images. As John Sallis has shown, this peculiar imaginality of an image is to be analysed phenomenologically, not as its object-character, but as the way in which the image is, as its mode of being. Only then the power of images is disclosed as revelatory: an image does not call us back to an already existing original, but to the becoming present of the original.

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