Analysis: Persuasion and rhetoric of Carlo Michelstaedter

N. Lygeros

Translated from the Greek by Athena Kehagias




One day, while reading «Le Monde», I came upon an analysis of Roger-Pol Droit's book, and more precisely, on the title of his analysis: A Rimbaud metaphysical. As I much appreciated this poet, and I was excited by the word metaphysical, it of course, attracted me.
I then noticed that there was a plan, a strange and symbolic plan of Serguei.
I suddenly realized that the analysis was focused on the juvenility of the author of this unknown to most book.
The quotes that I was discovering were so beautiful, and so black.
An enchanting and horrific black.
My brain was occupied by the ink that this mysterious writer used, which was his actual soul!
The weight of his words was overwhelming, close to the limits of the intolerable, it weighed heavily on each of my thoughts, I no longer lived, but only so I could die, in the power of those titanic words. It is the understanding of the suffering of the author which saved me from that crucial position.
As Atlas did in regards to the world, he, carried in his two hemispheres, all of the afflictions of humanity and all of the weaknesses of the human thought.
The life of this HUMAN: Persuasion and Rhetorics.
His death: suicide, at 23, he had just written his book and had gone to hear a symphony of Ludwig Van Beethoven, on October 17, 1910.
"The lamp goes out due to lack of oil, I get extinguished from the overflowing of abundance."
It was Carlo Michelstaedter!
A few days later, I had finally this weird book in my possession.
This second encounter, equally overwelming as the first, made me realize the importance of the effect of this work on my way of thinking.
That's how I discovered a self-portrait of Carlo, whose quality has proven to me that, that was no longer necessary - that this man was truly gifted in regards to everything, except perhaps for life, as a ladyfriend pointed out some day.
Thereafter, I was able to read a very enlightening preface by Sergio Campailla, a scholarly interpeter of Michelstaedter's work, enriched by a brief biography, as the young writer's age obliged!
However, I could not make the decision to read that book, as I feared its impact on myself. At that period, I was writing an important article and I avoided any philosophical influence, in order to be as authentic as possible for my readers.
A year after those events, I got myself around to reading this fantastic book.
I had decided to learn, even if it meant that I may die doing so.
Although the theme may seem infertile initially, soon enough one realizes that it touches on the fundamental.
Moreover, a writer is more competent in creating a universe out of nothingness, than to use life, which is full of irrational phenomena in order to write.
As Nietzsche said, through Zarathustra, after the death of God, and the last human, the most contemptible of all, as he had lost the notion of his own exceedance, the hyperhuman will arrive, who will create new values and whose will, will be the fullest assurance of life.
That hyperhuman was C. MICHELSTAEDTER.
But faced with his inability to jolt the human inertia, he committed suicide.







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