Creative Writing Workshop with Lars Iyer: “The Love of Fate: Creative Practice as a Spiritual Exercise”
The Love of Fate: Creative Practice as a Spiritual Exercise
August 25 (3-5 pm and 6-8 pm Paris time)
This workshop asks whether there might be spiritual exercises that might help us form ourselves as creative practitioners. Here, the word, spiritual should not be understood in terms of a particular religious practice; nor should the word, exercise recall the writing prompts that are ubiquitous in creative practice pedagogy.
I borrow the phrase, spiritual exercise, from philosophy – specifically the ancient Stoics, who used such exercises to help them bear the strokes of fate, sickness, poverty and exile. To progress as a Stoic was to form oneself thereby – a process the ultimate aim of which, as summarized two thousand years later by the philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, was to achieve amor fati, the love of fate.
I will show how Nietzsche develops a spiritual exercise of his own – the doctrine of eternal recurrence – that provides an updated version of this Stoic idea. We will assess and creatively respond to Nietzsche’s claim that we should learn not simply to bear or to accommodate what has happened to us, but actually affirm these events in our lives, in our work.