Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kierkegaard and dance

Not exactly a tango metaphor, but I thought it might help to collect some philosophical quotations referring to dance:

"[The knight of faith] constantly makes the movement of infinity, but he does it with such precision and proficiency that he constantly gets finitude out of it and at no second does one suspect anything else. It is supposed to be the most difficult task for a dancer to leap into a particular posture in such a way that there is no second when he grasps at the position but assumes it in the leap itself. Perhaps no dancer can do it - but that knight does. The majority of people live absorbed in worldly sorrow and joy; they are wallflowers who do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and have elevation. ... But every time they drop down they cannot assume the posture at once; they hesitate an instant, and this hesitation shows that they are really strangers in the world. ... One does not need to see them in the air but only at the instant they touch and have made contact with the ground to recognize them. But to be able to land in such a way that it looks as if one were simultaneously standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a gait, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian - that only the knight of faith can do - and that is the only miracle." (Fear & Trembling, trans. C. Stephen Evans, Sylvia Walsh, 2006, 34)

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