Alexander Small © 1998 - 2021 all rights reserved


Jean Fisher - 'Towards a Metaphysics of Shit' (2002)

'Trickster is the symbol of the liminal state and its re-creative potential. His and her precipitation of disorder, or “noise,“ wherever new insights are needed to engender social renewal is a ruse to reconfigure the “dynamic equilibrium of existence.”’XII However, he or she is not always the agent that restores order.' 

Terry Eagleton - Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2002)

'Each dimension will then play into the other, as dream-world and intoxication merge and begin to speak each other’s language, beauty or the Apollonian rescuing the Dionysian from pure amorphousness, and the Dionysian redeeming the Apollonian from the dead-end of sheer vacuous form. Tragedy is Dionysian impulse discharging itself in Apollonian imagery.'

Friedrich Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy Section 21 (1872)

'So we could truly symbolize the complex relationship between the Apollonian and the Dionysian in tragedy with the fraternal bond between both divinities: Dionysus speaks the language of Apollo, but Apollo finally speaks the language of Dionysus, and with that the highest goal of tragedy and art in general is attained.'

Carl Jung - Collected Works, Vol. 14 para. 513 (1977)

The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness. In the age-old image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself. The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This 'feed-back' process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolizes the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which [...] unquestionably stems from man's unconscious.