Husserl is actually a beautiful writer. I was not expecting that. Joy proves to be the major affective mode dominating Ideas. Joyousness is an element in the free flowing flux of thought. “For instance, in vivid intuition (imaginative, if you like it), we picture ourselves in this or that act, in joy, it may be over a theoretical train of thought that is running its free and fruitful course.” And it is joy that becomes an object of reflexion, as we distinguish between “what is experienced and not noticed, and the joy that is noticed.” (pp.198-9),
What should one make of this difference between Husserl and Heidegger, the difference between joy versus angst, pure streaming flow versus the kind of stoppage that stops one dead in a clearing or around one group of objects like a pair of peasant shoes? I love in Ideas the appearance of trees (an apple tree?), paper, whiteness, tables, and the sight of Husserl wandering through the Dresden galleries.
I’m betting it’s this. Heidegger was a German Expressionist, whereas Husserl was a more cosmopolitan type of fellow, a French Impressionist. This became clear to me here, where Husserl writes about how to follow joy in all its temporal phases, and to the mode of that joy “declaring itself: to the modus of the actual “Now” and to vanishing of that now into “ever-new just vanishings of the just vanished, and so forth (pp.217-18). What struck me suddenly as Impressionism was the attention paid by Husserl to “impressional phasings,” the “continuous chain of retentions of retentions,” “form [receiving a continually fresh content,” and finally, “the impression” continuously transforming itself into retentions, and modified impressions.
Husserl’s use of the terms “impressional” and “impression” combined with all the flow and flux reminds me of the sunlight reflecting off intentional objects in Impressionist painting, the same free play and limpid impression. Husserl published Ideas in 1913. There’s a beauty that you won’t find in the Expressionism that was already on the scene, or in Heidegger, who was soon to enter the scene. It’s clear that this Impressionism was not going to be able to stand up to the shock to consciousness registered by the First World War.
It’s unclear for how long this streaming kind of joy can last, but is this not also the kind of “experience” to which consciousness always comes back for however long it can sustain itself?