Nymphomaniac is all about freedom. Free sex, free speech and free will versus hypocrisy and bigotry; the nymphomaniac says it clearly. Seligman’s digressions are nothing but digressions; the nymphomaniac says that clearly too. But overall there is still a major digression to her story – the parallel between sex and art.
There is nothing true about sex and art if they’re not free. So ultimately is about the profile of an artist in relation to his own art. It’s reflective, descriptive and didactic. An artist statement we’re learning about while having fun and getting sad, for it implies loneliness, the loneliness of the one who cannot bargain, cannot compromise and cannot lie.
Art is just art (?), words are just words (?) and sex is just sex (?). The question marks only indicate the billions of possibilities to relate to these statements.
The concepts are pure but when human nature is involved purity becomes mere abstraction; art is seen as crap or vice versa, words are never really understood – not by the one uttering them and even less by the one listening to them – and sex is taboo, side dish, religion, sport or anything else you wish to add. And there’s morality to blur it even more and there’s false morality to make it all opaque.
We’re all different, says the nymphomaniac, so there is no possible way to fit the boundaries of morality to protect each individual’s freedom. Some have less freedom to enjoy than others.
The nymphomaniac would erase all rules and morality and would leave us all to be guided by our own consciousness, for those who can refrain themselves from harming others when there’s no punishment in sight deserve an award.
She is both naïve and cynical. An idealist.
And so is the artist who probably feels less free than any other individual in the society. Or the one who feels less free becomes an artist? But the ideal public, who could fully understand and accept the work of art as it is, does not exist, or it exists in a percentage that will always leave the artist unfulfilled and misunderstood.
“Lascia ch’io pianga
mia cruda sorte,
e che sospiri la libertà.
Il duolo infranga queste ritorte
de’ miei martiri sol per pietà.”