December 10, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on December 9, 2017

Before bed these days I’m reading a few pages of Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae. A couple of nights ago I finished the chapter on the Italian Renaissance: Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo. I get what she’s on about with the anti-Chthonian, pro-Apollonian “western eye,” its drive to elevate the individual from out of the muck of earth, the ashes-to-ashes, dust-to-dust origin story we sentient mortals share. Apollonianism is a kind of bid for immortality, for “safety”-through-danger. That is, you become “safe” (from the sucking-you-back muck) through aggression, delineation, will.

We watched “You Can’t Take It With You” last night: the young lovers (Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur) are both Apollonian ideals. She’s an Artemis, evolving into a righteous Athena. He’s slightly hermaphroditic, cleaving to her clarity and enriching his masculine side through her. If mothers have a different feeling-relationship with sons, it probably does have something to do with this Apollonian angle of immortality, especially if those mothers are themselves somewhat masculine.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: