Reading Nietzsche

Reading Nietzsche

Reading Nietzsche

Reading Nietzsche

Synopsis

Addressing the issue of how to read Nietzsche, this book presents an accessible series of essays for students and general readers on Nietzsche's individual works, written by such distinguished Nietzsche scholars as Frithjof Bergmann, Arthur Danto, Bernd Magnus, Christopher Middleton, Eric Blondel, Lars Gustaffson, Alexander Nehamas, Richard Schacht, Gary Shapiro, Hugh Silverman, and Ivan Soll. Among the works discussed are On the Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols and The Will to Power.

Excerpt

In February of 1985, the College of Liberal Arts and the philosophy, German, and literature departments of the University of Texas at Austin sponsored a symposium on the subject Reading Nietzsche. Behind the conference was the recognition of Nietzsche's renewed importance, not just as a rediscovered topic or tool for intellectual criticism for scholars but as a profound source of inspiration for students. Students were reading him whether or not he was required reading in courses. Students were discussing him, taking his side, even when the scholarly opposition turned against them. But reading and interpretating Nietzsche is not so easy as it seems, and while there may be no one way of getting Nietzsche "right," it was clear that there were many, many ways of getting him clearly wrong. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm was and is there. It was that enthusiasm--and the confusion about interpretation--that prompted the conference.

We decided, against the current wave of scholarly attempts at an overall synthesis, not to focus on Nietzsche's ideas as such. There are currently quite a few studies of this sort. They try, some insightfully, others merely desperately, to capture the central theme and characterize the dominant style of Nietzsche's work. But, unlike Rousseau, who famously (and probably falsely) declared that his entire career was the development of one single idea, Nietzsche was above all an experimentalist, who tried out ideas as he tried on styles, not so much later rejecting them as moving beyond them, occasionally reaching back and borrowing from them. There is no Nietzschean überhaubt, no single theme, and those that are most often promoted to fill this role--the übermensch, the will to power, and eternal recurrence--do not bear even slight scholarly scrutiny. There are, of course, grand and personal concerns that permeate Nietzsche's work--the nature of morality, the pathetic motives . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.