Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations

Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations

Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations

Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations

Excerpt

Perhaps I should begin with why I became involved in a psychoanalytic exploration of Nietzsche's philosophical world and how this exploration came to be joined to the problematics of critical theory.

I studied Nietzsche briefly and superficially in the late 1960s but soon set his work aside in favor of Hegel, Marx, and Freud. By the early to mid 1970s, I had become deeply involved with Freudian-Marxism and critical theory more generally. These theoretical interests were linked to practical political ones and, beginning in 1975, to the exigencies of psychoanalytic training and clinical practice. The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution (1981) and Psychoanalytic-Marxism: Groundwork (1993) emerged from this nexus of concerns.

Sometime in the mid-1980s, Geoffrey Howard, then a UCLA undergraduate student, asked to do an independent studies course on Nietzsche. I agreed, although this meant returning to Nietzsche's writings after a twenty-year hiatus. This time around, I found them much more interesting, no doubt as a result of the inwardizing effects of my psychoanalytic experience. I gravitated first to On the Genealogy of Morals, which now seemed significantly deeper than most psychoanalytic studies of morality (Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents included), and I slowly worked my way into the other major texts as well.

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