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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading Rob Pattinson, Baudrillard and Rand Through Nietzsche

Rob's Early Career
Rob Pattinson's deleted lovely face in Vanity Fair has taken on some legs since first I imagined it into existence. IF that scene with his beautiful 17 year old face had remained in that film, turning everyone else in it into oval oblivion, then clearly his film career would have begun in that moment, and he might never have been Cedric or Art or the cutesy in Bad Mother's Handbook. Can't you just see the stream of studley teen movies they would have put him in, and Rob, who inherently likes to please and be loved, probably would have succumbed for awhile as did Brad Pitt. Yeah I think he would have awakened form his Sleeping Beauty role after awhile. But surely no Edward Cullen would have been considered, nor the Scummit machine tolerated.

This is what Baudrillard calls Nietzsche's revenge when the same happens to him. Baudrillard's reading of Nietzsche is "worse", excessive, too much for the examiners.

This is following Nietzsche through Baudrillard. Rob's beauty in Vanity Fair was more beautiful than beautiful; hyper beautiful; obscenely beautiful as all the others in the scene looked dead; hence, implosion. It was "worse" as Nietzsche might have said. Too  much to be there, to exist there. Crash and burn.

Baudrillard takes his examinations and both the oral and the written are on Nietzsche. Since he has immersed himself in Nietzsche in German, this is a big piece of luck for him. His reading is not agreed with by the examiners and they fail him. He calls this Nietzsche's revenge. At that point in time he stops reading Nietzsche, never to go back to him again until the end of his life. Nietzsche goes underground in Baudrillard's mind, heart and psyche, never to leave, always to be a deep part of him. Forever. This, he acknowledges: (Fragments)

Beautiful I think
Genealogy of Morals

Ayn Rand reads Nietzsche  at University when very young in Russia. Nietzsche is not part of the curriculum so she reads him on the sly, following her heart, already aware of Soviet propaganda and surveillance. This early Rand is even then crossing the boundaries of mainstream. At 21 she comes to the US and she is still reading Nietzsche. Nietzsche is the first book she buys in English. As a young woman in Hollywood she is still reading Nietzsche. Seriously.  Rand did everything seriously. And all the way up until the 1940's (She was born in 1905) until  she is finished writing The Fountainhead. Each chapter was to be headed by a Nietzsche quote. Fountainhead was published in 1943, on wartime paper, even though it was a very long novel. Egad! No Nietzsche no no no must Bobbs-Merrill have said - so no Nietzsche chapter heads. At that point in her journals she disavows Nietzsche as just an early interest - infatuation?  Her journals have been scrubbed and scrubbed again to get Nietzsche outta Dodge. (Goddess of the Marketplace)Some Nietzsche quotes and thoughts about him  had to stay because everyone knew Howard Roark and especially John Galt were Nietzschean Supermen, so the obvious references and interpretations remained. (These are "floating signs" masking the deep references to Nietzsche.)But the deep underground of Rand's mind, heart and soul belonged to Nietzsche. This is what makes her a post modern philosopher who wrote fiction. Just as a Cronenberg makes films.
Rand Early Hollywood

Both Baudrillard and Rand disavowing Nietzsche during the 1940's? While Hitler is praising him to the skies as Leni Riefenstahl shoots him, Hitler that is, against the blue sky in her film Triumph of the Will; the Superman, the Overman of Nietzsche. Even the great and powerful Foucault, after the war, did not admit the great influence and debt he owed Nietzsche for his genealogy. Only towards the end of his life did he say that he wished he had acknowledged Nietzsche earlier on. And we all know the neverending hits and slurs that Heidegger took, and still takes, for his early pro Nazi sympathies. Not to mention the loss of his lover Hannah Arendt.

Baudrillard and Rand were wise to shut up and Foucault also.

Only now is Nietzsche taking his rightful place in the sun. 

Baudrillard acknowledges Nietzsche's permanent and ongoing influence, but more in the vein of flowing through his blood and guts than in any quotes, said or written. Would it have been any different for Rand who doesn't think in terms of unconscious rivers running deep in her psyche? Denial first, second and third for Rand. But Nietzsche is still there for the discerning reader of Rand, Nietzsche and Baudrillard.

But how to tease it out of Rand. Maybe Nathaniel could tell us. Or myself who, once upon a time, long long ago in a kingdom by the sea, was an Objectivist from 1960-1964. A serious one.