Friedrich Nietzsche used to call a balance between Apollonian and Dionysiosian culture in his early work The Birth of Tragedy, which was a representative work of his early life. If our traditional literature including poems and prose should be called an Apollonian culture, then Science Fiction should be the Dionysiosian side. In The left hand of darkness, Ursula Le Guin wrote that “Apollo blinds those who press too close in worship. Don’t look straight at the sun.” Based on that, Science Fiction is a balance of power as a Dionysionian power — insane, madness, irrelated to the true world, messy imagination of an inexisted world.
But wait, that is not all. Someone has mentioned the Sun in some other way — that Sun will no longer be represented by Apollo — instead, that is the Sun which people are trying to get rid of. In a Science Fiction like Cixin Liu’s Wondering Earth, the Sun played the role of the “dark side” of the Star Wars. The role of Dionysios and Apollo was inverted and Apollo was no longer that Apollo of light, reason, proportion, or harmony. The Apollo used to be had become the dark, the end, the irrational old world, the broken balance.
That is Science Fiction. Science Fiction is a descriptive show of the ultimate form of Schrodinger’s cat in the box, as well as a metaphor which was called “impossible” by the current world dominated by the Apollo. What will something which had happened before in this world be in the future? Will it happen again? If so, will it form in the same way or different, or even inverted way? It is not a philosophical thought, but viewing and imaging of history before and future after. It is a descriptive conclusion of one guess toward the world of Apollo and Dionysios. If Nietzche’s Apollo and Dionysios in Greek time made the birth of Greek tragedy, Science Fiction is our new form of Greek Tragedy.
Who is Dionysios: A Metaphor and The New Birth of Tragedy
Who is Dionysios_ A Metaphor and The New Birth of Tragedy