By Peter Stamm
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Additional info for Agnes
By invoking the inhuman, Miller, in addition to his former traditional and full present dichotomy, has now importantly qualified the sense of the inhabitants of these respective realms. Establishing the inhuman enables Miller to distance himself and the artist kind firmly from the traditional present and the humans. ” We saw before that the inhuman’s task is largely twofold: he should wreak havoc on the traditional present but also build up a new world—the full present. The inhuman then has both negative and positive qualities.
The traditional present has brought about by the very same “historical men” of Spengler’s that saw history as ever evolving and progressing. It sees history as being necessary, linear, and teleological. However, this “delusion of historical destiny,” Miller responds, “is merely the counterpart of our picture of scientific planetary destinies” (61). He thus rejects this view of present describing it as “ … a vacuum, a painful frozen state, a sort of gloomy vestibule in which we lie suspended” (50).
If it were to have any practical use at all, philosophy would have to serve as a catalyst for both artistic and everyday rejuvenation for Miller. Ideas, always, have to be “wedded to action,” he said (CAN, 246). Concerning the issue of Miller’s own philosophy, or the question whether he does in fact have one, the commentators have so far remained fairly skeptical, if not outright dismissive. It has been argued, for example, that “no explicit or systematic philosophical approach” could possibly be drawn from Miller’s works3 and that he has feelings rather than “a philosophy” (LP, 194).