Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)


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Published by Ed. About this Item: Ed. To understand the dif- ference one should attempt to summarize the works. One can certainly do so with The Birth of Tragedy and Unfashionable Observations but one certainly cannot summarize the aphoristic writings, which have neither a particular subject nor a particular order—or so it appears. Despite the optimistic tones in the titles and also the contents of the books from this aphoristic period—Daybreak and The Gay Science—Nietzsche was still very ill.

Again, he wrote in a letter to O. Out of the last three years there is not one day that I want to go through again; tension and contrasts were too big! One of the things Nietzsche discovered through his solitude was the value of friendship, and in fact he experienced some intense friend- ships during this time. He was a philosopher by education who, like Nietzsche, traveled around writing down his un- masking analyses of human conduct before starting a study of medicine and becoming a physician.

Nietzsche must have appreciated her very much. She may have been jealous of the brilliant woman. This was one reason for the radical split between Nietzsche and his sister. They nevertheless married and went to Paraguay, where they tried to build a new society, Nueva Ger- mania, according to racist principles. She returned only after the entire project had failed and her husband had committed suicide. One other thing Nietzsche learned from his long history of illness was the value of health. Sometimes, for days or even months, his suffer- ing suddenly subsided.

He gradually learned how to feel the joy of life, even in moments of pain. Al- ready in book 4 of The Gay Science we see the traces of these moments of recovery. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! It contains his deepest thoughts.

But more important than that, it draws a line between human beings: those who will stay behind, and those who will determine the future. In addition, the book is, again according to Nietzsche, written in a style such as was never realized before. We will return to the will to power in chapter 3, to the overman in chapter 4, and to the eternal return in chapter 5.

Indeed, his creativity and productivity was enormous at this time. Nietzsche did not have a plan for the whole book while writ- ing each of the parts. Some interpreters have suggested that Nietzsche later wanted the Dionysus Dithyrambs to replace the fourth part. It consists of thousands of aphorisms brought together in speeches, songs, and allegorical stories of Zarathustra, all gathered in the framework of a narrative about this character. The form suggests that one should read it as a story, but every two or three lines force one, rather, to meditate.

Apart from this, the book contains hundreds of al- lusions to the Bible Nietzsche himself calls it a gospel and to all kinds of contemporary events, people, books, and so forth. Its language is full of images and its composition is very well thought out. It is not by chance that there already exist many commentaries on this book, and that it has more often been analyzed from a literary point of view.

The last part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra was sent in to certain friends on the condition of secrecy. It was the beginning of a period of silence, an absence of publications that lasted until the end of For Nietzsche, two years was a very long time. If it really was the summit of what could be written, how could he then write another book after it?

A related reason may have been that Nietzsche was struggling with his style of language. Zarathustra was written in a peculiar style of language: lyrical, often allegorical, sometimes parodic. Nietzsche him- self calls it dithyrambic dithyrambs being the songs that belonged to Dionysian rituals. But the reason why it is not communicable is exactly what Nietz- sche tries to communicate. In another letter he calls Zarathustra an in- comprehensible book because it develops from experiences which he has shared with nobody August, 5, ; KSB 7, p.

He will even claim of several of his later books that they are means to a better un- derstanding of, or even commentaries on, Thus Spoke Zarathustra see GM, pref. More and more Nietzsche suffered from his solitude. Sometimes it is as if he yells in- creasingly louder in an effort to be understood or at least heard.

At the same time, he becomes more and more convinced that being misunder- stood is a necessary result of the radicalness of his critique of present culture and of the otherness of the new age that announces itself in his philosophical experiments. They are depicted as necessarily misunderstood, even seeking misunderstanding and concealment, homeless, stretched as they are be- tween the criticized present and the announced and prepared future.

For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else. But despite this tormenting solitude and apart from those mo- ments in which his continual suffering from illness forced him to re- frain from working, he certainly did not stop thinking and writing dur- ing these years. The many volumes of unpublished notes are evidence of that.

And after these two years an outburst of publications took place which lasted until the very end of his philosophical career. KSA 14, p. The genesis of this book shows exactly how Nietzsche worked: he made plans, wrote notes, organized them, and did so again several times until he decided that it could be published. Finally Nietz- sche published it at his own expense with Naumann in Leipzig. He started to receive some attention. One year later a Danish historian of literature from the University of Copenha- gen a Jew by the name of Cohen, though he lived under the name of Georg Brandes even made plans to lecture on him, which he indeed did in Nietzsche was delighted.

In this same year he published On the Genealogy of Morals. Eighteen-eighty-eight is the last year in which Nietzsche lived at least partly in good mental health—albeit not in good physical health. The force of life is not intact any more. It was published in It was an unbelievable production of work indeed, and would have been even for one who was not ill. Nietzsche himself was in a kind of ecstatic mood because of this success. This huge output was, however, also the beginning of the end. He tried to withdraw his books from Fritzsch and bring them to Naumann who was also the publisher of Beyond Good and Evil.

Die unbekannte Wahrheit über Rammstein

Nietzsche was convinced that before long his works, mainly Thus Spoke Zarathustra, would be translated into many languages and sold in millions of copies. Although we know now that he was right about this, one cannot blame the publishers for not expecting that same kind of success at that time. Nietzsche planned to publish The Anti-Christ in seven languages at once and in every language in one million copies.

He talked about his world-historical mission and about his life reaching its acme. By now he had received some partial recognition from famous people such as Henri Taine and August Strindberg, among others. In part he imagined this recognition though he fully enjoyed the feeling of being famous. He had the impression that in only one or two months the earth would be changed, that he would be the most prominent man on earth, and thus that he had to arrange publication rights immedi- ately.

He reread and greatly enjoyed his own former writings, begin- ning with Unfashionable Observations. It is a strange book. Although he had lived there before, he now had the feeling that the people behaved dif- ferently toward him and were beginning to celebrate him. In one of his last letters Nietzsche wrote that he did not remember his address, but that before long it would be the Palazzo Quirinale December 31, ; KSB 8, p. On January 2, he withdrew the manuscript of Nietzsche con- tra Wagner from the publisher. The next day he was brought home by bystanders after having embraced a horse that had been beaten.

But I did live among humans before and I know everything what human beings may ex- perience, from the lowest through the highest. This time, however, I come as the victori- ous Dionysus, who will make the earth into a holiday. Which is not to say that I would have much time. The heavens celebrate that I am there. I also hung on the cross. January 3, ; KSB 8, p. Overbeck went to Turin immediately and committed his friend on January 9 to a mental hospital in Basel.

It is not completely certain what his illness was. The most defended interpretation speaks of syphilis infection as the cause of a dementia praecox dementia paralytica progressiva. In the beginning he was sometimes clear-headed, sang a lot, and played the piano. His mother walked with him every day for many hours, which he seemed to like. But more and more he slipped into complete absentmindedness, only now and then interrupted by moments of a furious mania in which he would yell and shout and often undress himself.

It was not an easy life for his mother, who survived him by seven years. She started to obtain or buy back all the letters her brother wrote and began work on an edition of his com- plete works. After a few years she moved to Weimar which was much more distinguished than Naumburg , where she bought a beautiful villa outside of town and where the Nietzsche Archives were further developed. There she sometimes exhibited her brother for famous or wealthy visitors. She di- rected the publication of at least four different editions of The Com- plete Writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, some of them completed, others not.

Besides that, she published some minor editions and several books on Nietzsche. She had good connections with the National Socialist Party in Germany, welcomed Hitler to the Nietzsche Archives, and re- cruited assistants who were of the same political ideology Martin Heidegger was one of them, as was Rudolf Steiner for some time. Most people worked with her only for a short time because she wanted un- disputed control despite her lack of scholarly knowledge and technique.

Of course, she could not make any changes in the works that were already published, so there was little problem with those. Although Nietzsche was very much determined, until his last days, to publish The Anti-Christ and Ecce Homo, Elisabeth held back publi- cation for many years, in part because their contents were against her own convictions The Anti-Christ and in part because she felt of- fended personally Ecce Homo. One should know this when reading those books and es- pecially when reading them in English because all current English translations are made from the tampered editions.

Elisabeth used the letters mainly as quotations from in her publi- cations on Nietzsche to support her interpretations of his philosophy. On the one hand, her alterations were deceitful and opposed to all rules of scholarship. She published this book as the posthumous major work of Friedrich Nietzsche with the famous title The Will to Power.

Yet he did not write it. What did Elisabeth do to compile this book?


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Nietzsche did for some time plan to write a book with this title, and he even gave the impres- sion that it would be a kind of a summary of his thinking. He also made for this plan many sketches and outlines for its contents. Elisabeth took one of these outlines and worked it out in more detail according to her own misunderstandings. Maybe because of the success of this book she made a new edition, published in , in which the book was completely reworked, including as many as 1, aphorisms. Since then, several other compilations from the unpublished notes have been published, most of them including yet more than the 1, aphorisms of The Will to Power.

In K. It is only in recent decades that we have a reliable edition at our disposal— albeit not yet an English translation. Their search for the best German edition on which to base their translation revealed that there was none that was really reliable, so they conceived a new plan to make a critical German edition. Since the publication has been in progress as the Werke: Kritische Gesamtaus- gabe, published by W. By now thirty of them and certainly the most important ones are pub- lished.

The edition appears also in French, Italian, and Japanese. Al- though many English and American philosophers presently publish on Nietzsche, there is still no complete English translation of this critical edition, forcing them to rely on outdated editions. The KSA features six volumes of published writings in volumes 1 and 6 there are some writings that were not actually published by Nietzsche, but that were at least prepared for publication or at least completed by him , and seven volumes which are much thicker than most of the other six of unpublished notes.

Elisabeth could draw from a rich source indeed!

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In volume 9 of the yearbook Nietzsche-Stu- dien a concordance is published of each of the two editions of The Will to Power, the Schlechta edition of the notes, and the critical edition. Ad- ditional concordances can be found in each of the volumes of unpub- lished notes in the KGW. Nevertheless, there are important differ- ences between published and unpublished writings, and this is certainly so with Nietzsche, who carefully arranged and tuned his texts accord- ing to rhetorically well-considered procedures.

We will study those in chapter 2. Already now we may conclude that the unpublished notes are important but have to be read in their chronological order, and should not be used without taking into ac- count that they stayed deliberately unpublished! The possibility re- mains after all that Nietzsche did not want to say these things, did not want to say them at that time, or did not want to say them in this way.

Notes 1. See also KSA 7, 30[8]. In PT ten early notes are gathered under this title pp. See Ricoeur , p. As main sources for this biographical section I used the best biogra- phy of Nietzsche, written by C. See Janz I, p. Nichts das Ethische. Not the ethical. But the problem- atical of the fragments. See KSA 7, 1[7], 8[14, 15]. In volume 1 the sections are continuously numbered; in volume 2 there are two parts that keep their own titles and in each of which the sections are numbered.

See KSA 15, p. See Groddeck See GM, pref. See also chapter 2, pp. Heidegger f , Eng. I, The Will to Power as Art, p. Quoted from Wahl, p. The question, however, is how to read them. It would be wrong to think that there is only one way of reading and that everyone who is able to read is likewise able to read any author. Writers wish to be read in the proper way, that is, in a manner appro- priate to the way they wrote, especially in proportion to the extent to which their writing style originated in and was necessary for the content of their writing.

As Hegel shows truth to be the systematic whole, he requests the reader to read his Phe- nomenology of the Spirit in a way appropriate to this essential fea- ture of its content. And in fact his books differ from most other texts in the history of philosophy by his masterful use of lan- guage. He almost forces his readers into a proper way of reading. In this chapter we will discuss some peculiarities of his texts, ask why they are written in such a manner, and point out what they demand from their readers. The chapter especially from p.

He must be quiet and read without hurry. Finally he should not expect at the end, as a result, new tables. That is: only for a very few. Frivolous spender! You are my reader, because you will be quiet enough to enter with the author a long road, the goal of which he cannot see. In that case he would most trustingly hand himself over to the guidance of the author, who would dare to speak to him only because of the not-knowing and the knowing of this not-knowing. The only thing on which he prides himself over other people is a highly stimulated feeling for what is typical in our contemporary barbarism, for that what makes us as the barbarians of the nineteenth-century tower above other barbarians.

Now he seeks, with this book in his hands, for those who are being driven back and forth by a similar feel- ing. Let yourselves be found, you individuals, in whose existence I do believe! Er darf endlich nicht, am Schlusse, etwa als Resultat, neue Tabellen erwarten. Und zwar nicht, um eine Recension oder wieder ein Buch zu schreiben, sondern nur so, um nachzudenken! Leichtsinniger Verschwender! Du bist mein Leser, denn du wirst ruhig genug sein, um mit dem Autor einen langen Weg anzutreten, dessen Ziele er nicht sehen kann. Write with blood, and you will experience that blood is spirit.

It is not easily possible to understand the blood of another: I hate reading idlers. Whoever knows the reader will henceforth do nothing for the reader. Another century of readers—and the spirit itself will stink. That everyone may learn to read, in the long run corrupts not only writing but also thinking. Once the spirit was God, then he became man, and now he even becomes rabble. In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs.

Aphorisms should be peaks—and those who are addressed, tall and lofty. The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full of gay sarcasm: these go well to- gether. I want to have goblins around me, for I am courageous. Von allem Geschriebenen liebe ich nur Das, was Einer mit seinem Blute schreibt. Schreibe mit Blut: und du wirst erfahren, dass Blut Geist ist.

Noch ein Jahrhundert Leser—und der Geist selber wird stinken. Dass Jedermann lesen lernen darf, verdirbt auf die Dauer nicht allein das Schreiben, sondern auch das Denken. Ich will Kobolde um mich haben, denn ich bin muthig. Muth, der die Gespenster verscheucht, schafft sich selber Kobolde,—der Muth will lachen. Yet worse is the German who reads books! How lazily, how reluctantly, how badly he reads!

A misunderstanding about its tempo, for example—and the sentence itself is misunderstood. Wie faul, wie widerwillig, wie schlecht liest er! Wie viele Deutsche wissen es und fordern es von sich zu wissen, dass Kunst in jedem guten Satze steckt,—Kunst, die errathen sein will, sofern der Satz verstanden sein will! The German does not read aloud, not for the ear but only with the eye: meanwhile his ears are put away in a drawer. In antiquity men read—when they did read, which happened rarely enough—to themselves, aloud, with a resounding voice; one was surprised when anyone read quietly, and se- cretly asked oneself for the reasons.

A period in the classical sense is above all a physiological unit, insofar as it is held together by a single breath. We really have no right to the great period, we who are modern and in every sense short of breath. All of these ancients were after all themselves dilettantes in rheto- ric, hence connoisseurs, hence critics and thus drove their rhetoricians to extremes; just as in the last century, when all Italians knew how to sing, virtuosity in singing and with that also the art of melody reached its climax among them. Wie wenig der deutsche Stil mit dem Klange und mit den Ohren zu thun hat, zeigt die Thatsache, dass gerade unsre guten Musiker schlecht schreiben.

Daybreak, Preface 5 —Finally, however: why should we have to say what we are and what we want and do not want so loudly and with such fervour? Above all let us say it slowly. A book like this, a problem like this, is in no hurry; we both, I just as much as my book, are friends of lento.

It is not for nothing that I have been a philologist, perhaps I am a philologist still, that is to say, a teacher of slow reading:—in the end I also write slowly. Nowadays it is not only my habit, it is also to my taste—a malicious taste, per- haps? My patient friends, this book desires for itself only perfect readers and philologists: learn to read me well! Vor Allem sagen wir es langsam. Man ist nicht umsonst Philologe gewesen, man ist es viellecht noch, das will sagen, ein Lehrer des langsamen Lesens:—endlich schreibt man auch lang- sam.

Regarding my Zarathustra, for example, I do not allow that anyone knows that book who has not at some time been profoundly wounded and at some time profoundly delighted by every word in it; for only then may he enjoy the privilege of reverentially sharing in the halcyon element out of which that book was born and in its sunlight clarity, remoteness, breadth, and certainty. To communicate a state, an inward tension of pathos, by means of signs, including the tempo of these signs—that is the meaning of every style; and considering that the multiplicity of inward states is exceptionally large in my case, I have many stylistic possibilities—the most multifari- ous art of style that has ever been at the disposal of one man.

Here my in- stinct is infallible. And until then there will be nobody to understand the art that has been squandered here: nobody ever was in a position to squander more new, unheard-of artistic devices that had actually been created only for this purpose. That this was possible in German, of all languages, re- mained to be shown: I myself would have rejected any such notion most unhesitatingly before. Before me, it was not known what could be done with the German language—what could be done with language in gen- eral. Mein Instinkt ist hier unfehlbar. Some are best character- ized as treatises or essays.

The Birth of Tragedy, with about pages, is by far the longest, unless one consid- ers the three essays of the On the Genealogy of Morals as one treatise, in which case this would be the longest, with about pages. Sometimes these compositions have a title, though they are always con- tinuously numbered therefore we call them sections and refer to them by their numbers. We will elaborate on these aphoris- tic writings later in this chapter. Third, there is the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. According to Nietzsche himself this book has a very special place among his other writings: Among my writings my Zarathustra stands to my mind by itself.

With that I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. EH, pref. The speeches, talks, interior dialogues, and songs of Zarathustra almost all consist of very short paragraphs of either one or a few lines. They can be read as aphorisms although they are joined together into greater entities and have a coherent place in the story of Zarathustra.

But this coherence is to some extent illusory. Nietzsche himself repeatedly and for several reasons indicates that this book is incomparable. In reviewing his own books in Ecce Homo, he wrote more extensively on Zarathustra than on any of his other writings. He calls this book the result of an extraordinary kind of inspiration, to be considered as music rather than literature.

It is not only about the Dionysian, but it presents the Dionysian in the language of the dithyramb: Epigrams trembling with passion, eloquence become music, light- ning bolts hurled forward into hitherto unfathomed futures. These notes are sometimes aphorisms or provi- sional sketches for aphorisms, sometimes smaller essays or plans for such, and sometimes they are simply outlines, sketches, memos, ex- cerpts, and so forth.

It seems therefore inappropriate to call these notes a fourth type of writing. We should instead try to understand better what he did publish and the way in which he did so; that is, to understand better the form that Nietzsche apparently thought to be the most appropriate for his philosophy. They are relatively short and for the most part they stand more or less apart from each other. Sometimes Nietzsche will say that what he is going to write is based on lengthy research without, however, showing any of this research see, for example, BGE 3, 6, 59, , But again, this is done deliberately: I approach deep problems like cold baths: quickly into them and quickly out again.

That one does not get to the depths that way, not deep enough down, is the superstition of those afraid of the water, the enemies of cold water; they speak without experience. The freezing cold makes one swift. GS Such surface explanations mean that understanding aphorisms re- quires special skills from the reader. By means of their characteristics, aphorisms force their readers to become active themselves. Whoever cannot or does not will be left behind, misunderstanding the text. And every reader must not only do so, but must do so again and again.

A great man? We will return to most of these characteristics later in this chapter. The aphorism addresses the reader and challenges him or her to react by opposing, answering, continuing, or applying what was ex- pressed in the aphorism. He began writing aphoristically from the moment where he left his more or less regular life as a professor, a life in which he was at least bound to a permanent residence.

From Nietzsche often left Basel for reasons of health. In he had to resign from his chair for these same reasons. He then started to wander from one place to another, ever searching for the best conditions for his weak constitution, without any permanent address, living either in rented rooms or with friends, pref- erably at the seaside or in the mountains see chapter 1, pp.

In addition to this type of living his headaches and other sufferings also prevented him from reading much. When his condition allowed, he often walked and let his thoughts come while walking: We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors—walk- ing, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful.

Cramped intestines betray themselves—you can bet on that—no less than closet air, closet ceilings, closet narrowness. And often this writing and copying was the most his health would allow him to do. Are they aphorisms? KSA 9, 7[] Apart from remarks like this, there are several other reasons that entail the conclusion that Nietzsche intentionally wrote his texts as apho- risms.

An example is section 63 from Human, All Too Human, vol. Sometimes the develop- ment of a passage into a more aphoristic form takes place over a longer time. Thus Nietzsche inten- tionally used the aphoristic style. This appears to be true of Human, All Too Human, vol. I, sec- tions 35—38, as it does of Human, All Too Human, vol. I, sections — and — The fact that Nietzsche did not write only aphoristic works, and that most of his last writings are instead treatises, does not prove that he would prefer the latter over the former.

Twilight of the Idols contains many pure aphorisms. And as the third essay of the On the Genealogy of Morals is presented as the interpretation of an aphorism from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the treatise turns out to be instrumental to the aphorism instead of the other way around. Apart from intentionally writing aphorisms, Nietzsche also in- vested a lot of work in arranging them, dividing them over several chapters, and determining their order. The meaning of a text lies in what it is able to tell us and bring about in us both because of and de- spite the intention of the author.

Texts do not simply deliver their con- tents in an arbitrary form; rather, they reveal their meaning by bringing about something in the reader. Their style intended or not is the in- strument of this accomplishment. To understand the meaning of texts, we have to let them do their work; that is, we have to learn to read them. At the end of the chapter we will return to the question of how to read his texts pp.

Already in these early notes it turns out that Nietzsche tries to re- alize through his style a kind of discourse that overcomes as much as possible the distorting and alienating effects of language. And as al- ways, the great rhetoricians of antiquity are his examples. The Distorting Effects of Language Though thinking does not exist outside of the words in which it is ar- ticulated, there is still a certain tension between thought and language.

These frames are estab- lished through the rules of grammar, but, even before that, through the most elementary material of language: words. The instincts of this or- ganism its survival instinct, its craving for domination , its physiologi- cal conditions, its relation to other specimens of the same species and to its wider surroundings, all these things have left their mark in lan- guage. Language creates regularity and order. They attribute actions to causes and distinguish the latter from their respective effects.

In this way an articulated order originates from an original chaos, as in the story about the creation of the world in the Old Testament. But now it is not God who creates this order, but humans, and, more particularly, a certain type of human: the one that dominates through strength or number and is the most successful in the struggle for survival or for power. How- ever critical such thinking might be, it will unavoidably reformulate the conditions of life that express themselves in the words which it uses. Even when this thinker tries to be radical and to clarify precisely this domination of language over our perception and conception of reality, he will necessarily do so by means of language.

And even supposing that such a thinker would succeed—or to the extent to which he or she succeeds at, for example, creating a new lan- guage, or talking ironically or parodically and in so doing saying new things with old words, or by singing instead of talking as Zarathustra sometimes does see ThSZ III, Convalescent —even then the distort- ing power of language would persevere in the ears of those who are ad- dressed by this new way of speaking. Those who want to de- nounce this particular type of human existence—existence framed by language—will by necessity constantly struggle with the frames that are forced on them by the language they use, and by the ears and eyes of those they want to reach with their spoken or written words.

The pathos of the weak expresses itself in a need for a stable and reli- able world in which a thing is what it is and words have unequivocal meanings. For that reason this pathos must hide its own effectiveness in language formation and development. Clearness, stability, and uni- versality are the ideals of the style of the intellect which develops from this pathos.

Its language is an abstract language of concepts and gener- alizations. The speaking person is, as much as possible, repressed or hid- den behind logical structures. Nietzsche reads a much stronger pathos in the words of some of the ancient writers. In his own writing he tries to realize a new style of pathos himself. This style of pathos will, contrary to the style of the intellect, put the speaking or writing person in the foreground, acknowledge its own ef- fectiveness, and leave space for a plurality of meanings and interpreta- tions. It will dismiss the idea of language as a representation of the world but instead use language as a creative force.

Its language will not be a language of dead concepts but rather will try to redress the solidi- fying tendency of language as much as possible by means of living im- ages. This language will have to give an account of the pathos of life, and for that reason it will have to be as versatile, full of contrasts and even contradictions, as is life. As said before, this language will hardly be understood, particu- larly by those who do not share this same pathos of the strong life.

But he does want to be understood by those who can, or, to say it more accurately, he does want to change people into those who can understand, and through his writing he tries to select those who can. His weapon in this struggle is his mastery of language. I will start by discussing the way in which Nietzsche deals with the problem of communication by looking at his types of writing and the way he presents or hides himself as their author. Finally, we will consider some more or less explicit hints Nietzsche gives to the reader to encour- age an appropriate reading of his writings.

In hiding himself, Nietzsche tries to prevent an overly quick understanding which would inevitably be an understanding according to the rules of prevalent thinking and speak- ing, and thus a misunderstanding. Nietzsche uses these techniques throughout his texts. Aphorisms do this not simply by saying what they say but by hiding their content in a rid- dle, or by leaving open a space for interpretation. But there are more means besides the aphorism which Nietzsche uses to bring about this effect. Often Nietzsche uses dialogue in such a way that any attempt by the reader to determine the intention of the author will be in vain.

He hides behind either or both of the persons who are presented as speak- ing with each other. Therefore the reader is forced to determine his or her own position. Or is it, on the contrary, just a second mask? Wanderer, who are you? Name it: whatever I have I offer to you! You are inquisi- tive! What are you saying! Say it! A second mask! This melancholy seems to set the tone for the second half of the last part of the book.

But that does not mean that Nietzsche simply put the remaining apho- risms at the end of the book, not having another place for them. The end of a text is, on the contrary, a very important part of the text, and we may expect Nietzsche to reserve it for a special element of his think- ing. There are dialogues that are being commented on by him , but most are not, and some of them are interior dialogues , Apart from the last two sections, in which Nietzsche clearly gives himself an important role, it is never completely clear whether he hides behind one or more of the dialoguing partners.

In section he presents him- self as being the student of a mysterious God, and in section he hides himself by complaining that his written words do not meet his thoughts. This art of concealment is a double weapon. Were you able to read it for your own account without attributing it to this particular author?

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Are you among those who know how to hide themselves? But its placement at the end is also important for rhetorical reasons. From this perspective we might also look with a different view at the book which is in a certain sense at the end of all of his writings: Ecce Homo. Even its title suggests that here the author himself as a per- son will come to the forefront. That is also what he explicitly announces he will do in his preface: [I]t seems indispensable to me to say who I am. One form of this weapon of self-concealment that Nietzsche uses most often is irony.

Irony is a way of appearing differently from what one is, or a way of saying something different from or even opposite to what one says literally. It is a way of using old words without handing oneself over to those words, a way to say new things with old words. And when it smashes this framework to pieces, throws it into confusion, and puts it back to- gether in an ironic fashion [.

TL, p. Regularly he will try to wrest writing and speaking from the serious- ness of the prevailing modes of thinking through some ironic turn. Sometimes, however, Nietzsche will appear to be critical of irony itself. But in most cases that is due to Socrates who is proverbially re- lated to this concept but who uses it, according to Nietzsche, in a com- pletely opposite way. For Socrates, irony becomes a means to remove all concealment behind traditional or fashionable and unauthentic knowledge, to thus present himself completely honestly and without any mask, and to require his fellow citizens to do the same.

Nietzsche opposes against this plebeian Socrates his image of the noble philoso- pher. And it is an ironic turn of Nietzsche to present this noble philoso- pher as characterized by his masks. That is, we ridicule something by using its own words. Nietzsche makes use of the patterns of language to denounce its distorting func- tioning. But he also speaks explicitly about his writings being parodical.

According to the preface to The Gay Science, Nietzsche as a poet in the poems which were added to this book makes fun of all poets, and he announces that there is a lot more parody to expect GS, pref. That is what happens in The Gay Science: science making fun of sci- ence. The book ends with a reference to an approaching tragedy which would at the same time be a parody. Rhetorical Figures and Procedures Being born into a family of ministers, Nietzsche may have had almost by birth a sense for the power of words.

Certainly his education was oriented towards becoming a master in the art of speaking, and his training in Schulpforta as well as his study of ancient philology without doubt contributed to his excellence in this art. As a professor in Basel, several times Nietzsche taught courses on the ancient rhetorics. Rhetorical forms are not just secondary ad- aptations of language, but language itself is from the beginning rhetori- cal. All words, ac- cording to Nietzsche, are the result of such a transition. There are thus no so-called adequate formulations.

Language is essentially and structurally metaphorical or rhetorical. As his theory of language develops, he will be more and more convinced that conditions of life are being trans- ferred or translated into language, and that through their survival in language they maintain their grip on us. It becomes clear to him that language should be one of his main points of attention. And as his un- derstanding of the rhetorical nature of language grows, he enables him- self more and more to make use of this power of language itself.

Meta- phor, metonymy, and synecdoche are not only key concepts from his theory of language, but also the main procedures in his own rhetorical use of language. Those techniques are of differ- ent kinds and perform different functions. The others work on the level of clauses, sentences, or clusters of sen- tences and often perform the function of structuring the parts of a unit into a whole, be it a sentence, a section, a chapter, or a book inclusio, parallelism, gradation, repetitio. Some perform the function of involv- ing the reader and pushing him or her into a more active role, either directly interrogatio, apostrophe , or indirectly by challenging him or her through antithesis, understatement, or hyperbole.

Some enhance the imaginative force of the language and so the need and possibility of interpretation on the level of words, others do the same but on the level of sentences and sections irony, parody. The language of someone like Nietzsche who is experienced and skilled in the art of rhetoric cannot be adumbrated in simple schemes or rules. His mastery enables him to make free use of all the possibili- ties which language gives him see TL, p.

For Nietzsche, the metaphor represents several different kinds of related rhetorical procedures. In this transmission unequal things are being equalized, rela- tions like those between the whole and its parts, the species and its specimens, cause and effect, activity and passivity. All these concepts themselves are being invented; that is, all kinds of metaphorical, meto- nymical, and other rhetorical operations are taking place in this process of transmission. Language is itself metaphorical.

There is no principal difference between literal and metaphorical language.

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But Nietzsche will argue against theories that pretend to be the true description or explanation of reality itself by pointing to their metaphorical or rhetorical nature. And he himself will develop a language full of new metaphors in order to open new perspectives. Sec- tion 19 of Beyond Good and Evil gives an example of, on the one hand, the complicated metaphorical constructions that Nietzsche discovers and exposes behind philosophical theories about the will, and, on the other hand, his own metaphorical way of speaking about the will.

For example, scien- tists are represented by a person lying stretched out on the ground with his or her arm in a swamp, waiting to be bitten by leeches in order to study them ThSZ IV, Leech. His or her characteristics are supposed to show some- thing of the actual topic.

So Nietzsche writes that the name of truth might be Baubo GS, pref. Through his presentation of this kind of messenger Nietzsche explains something regarding the mes- sage, as we will see in chapter 5. Another famous example is section of Beyond Good and Evil, where Dionysus is eulogized.

Through indicating that he was addressed by someone, the author presents himself in a per- sonal way. The author personally ad- dresses his readers. Much of his mastery of language is put in the service of this: the transformation of the philosophical treatise into the self-communication of one person, Nietzsche, to an- other person, his reader: Good is any style that really communicates an inward state [. Always presupposing that there are ears—that there are those ca- pable and worthy of the same pathos, that there is no lack of those to whom one may communicate oneself.

The distinction between the dif- ferent types of techniques is not clear cut. A sustained metaphor can be the constitutive ele- ment of the unity and entirety of a textual entity. It would be a mistake to attribute this to the literary nature of his texts. Although it does constitute, at least partly, this literary mark, it is mo- tivated by what I mentioned before as being the two main goals of his linguistic struggle: the realization of a plurality of meaning and the se- lection and transformation of his audience see pp. The second goal will give his writing an explicit and extreme performative nature.

It will have to bring something about in and among those who expose themselves to this literature. The composition of a text in the sense of making a coherent whole from a plurality of thoughts and interpretations, and producing at least part of the effect of a text through this organization, takes place at sev- eral levels: the sentence, the aphorism, and the collection of aphorisms in a chapter or book.

The way in which Nietzsche constructs his sen- tences will be discussed at the end of this section. We have already ob- served the aspects of the aphorism, which itself challenges the reader to become active and to leave space for a plurality of interpretations. It selects through these effects because it leaves behind those readers who are not prepared or not able to read actively, to create their own inter- pretation, and to endure the undecidability of a single true interpreta- tion.

For example, he uses the dialogue to pre- sent different perspectives in one text, sometimes further multiplying the perspective when the partners each have different voices. Irony and parody are ways of saying something and not saying it at the same time. This kind of plural and performative text demands a strict organiza- tion. Even if the aphorism is rather short, and certainly if it is longer than an aphorism in the strict sense, it must be organized and con- structed in a way that guarantees its effectiveness.

It requires special attention and tech- niques to compose a book out of seemingly distinct aphorisms and to prevent such a book from becoming like a card tray in which the items have only an arbitrary order. In our discussion of sections —96 of Be- yond Good and Evil see pp. The inclusio is mainly used for larger por- tions of texts.

Sometimes Nietzsche is very ex- plicit about this. We will elaborate on this in our discussion of the will to power see chapter 3, pp. But even the aphorism must have a coherent form, and so must a book of aphorisms if it wants to be different from a card tray. Nietzsche uses all his linguistic mastery to realize this combination of antithesis, plurality, and tension on the one hand, and coherence, style, and form on the other.

The inclusio is one of his favorite instruments to this effect. We al- ready saw a good example of this in our discussion of sections —96 of Beyond Good and Evil. Two aphorisms with a similar thesis or form, two texts that, so to speak, rhyme with each other, hold together every- thing that is put in between.

The inclusio brings some coherence in an otherwise polyphonic, versatile, and equivocal writing, and it is to be used by the reader to get a grip on the texts. Even where there is no inclusio in the strict sense of the word, Nietzsche will sometimes make connections in his writings in a similar way. Apart from using the beginning and the end of an aphorism, a group of aphorisms, or a chapter as the points from where the texts are bound together, the middle of a text is also often used in this same way. We saw an example of this in the second half of the last chapter of Be- yond Good and Evil.

Section played an important role. By pointing to that passage, or at least to that topic, he shows that it is the central theme of the book and makes clear that he now, in this supplementary part, will elaborate the state of affairs with respect to this event of several years ago. By paying attention to the ways in which Nietzsche builds coher- ent texts from a sometimes diverging plurality of notes, we might be- come more sensitive to the effectiveness which precisely is the result of this structuring.

Nietzsche will probably make use of the ancient tech- niques of eloquence in order to attain this result. As an example we could refer to his On the Genealogy of Morals. Gradually more unrest; sporadic lightning; very disagreeable truths are heard grumbling in the distance—until eventually a tempo feroce is attained in which everything rushes ahead in a tre- mendous tension.

In the end, in the midst of perfectly gruesome detonations, a new truth becomes visible every time among thick clouds. Nietzsche opens his essay with an exor- dium or a proemium. This will be easily recogniz- able for the audience and, because of its polemical character, will en- gage them 1—3. Then follows the treatment of the problem in a threefold argumentatio.

Three times Nietzsche starts a new line of arguments for his hypothesis: sections 6— 7, 10—11, and 13— The last two sec- tions are a perfect peroratio in which the author not only gives his con- clusion but also gives a prediction as to how the described development will continue. Finally, he delivers his instructions to the audience in or- der to make them continue in an appropriate way 16— Nietzsche turns out to follow a well-tried and trusty rhetorical device of Quintil- lianus in constructing this text. We will have to account for this when reading his writings.

In concluding this section we pay attention to still another lesson Nietzsche learned from the an- cient rhetoricians: how to bring the reader to the required mode of reading. He states: My sense of style, for the epigram as a style, was awakened almost instantly when I came into contact with Sallust. And even in my Zarathustra one will recognize a very serious ambition for a Ro- man style, for the aere perennius in style. Nietzsche wants to write in the same way in which the ancient rhetori- cians spoke. The sentences have to be constructed in a way that the readers will be carried along by them, even seduced by them.

Nietzsche does so in several ways. Many of these instructions are intended to activate the reader, to involve him or her explicitly in what is read. We saw already that Nietzsche often addresses the reader in a very personal way see above, p. The reader is forced not only to take note of what the author says, but to relate it to his or her own situation. There are too many names, but at least they all seem to say that we are different.

The alternative Nietzsche offers his readers is the choice between being behind or being ahead, between belonging to those who are criti- cized or to those who are criticizing even criticizing themselves as self- criticism is one of the main characteristics of those critics , between old and new. This is not only a very seductive way of putting the alternative, it also turns it into a polemic: the choice is between being a companion or being an opponent.

The function of these numerous questions is to incite the reader to answer them and eventually to guess the answers. Often the questions are rhetorical. In such a case the question marks have a function similar to the exclamation marks which are also frequently used. The reader should also pay attention to the arrangement of both types of punctuation marks throughout the texts. A noticeable example is the preface to the second edition of The Birth of Tragedy The last section counts another ten question marks in two pages of text and contains even more exclama- tion marks.

The function is clear: through the many rhetorical ques- tions the reader is well prepared for the categorical nature of the clos- ing section. This philosopher will deliberately use quotation marks for this purpose, to show that he or she uses typical or common words but in another way. Quotation marks are the trademark of an ironic philosophy. This section is about the relation between morality and nature. Initially Nietzsche presents morality as tyranny against nature. But then a different thesis is gradu- ally developed: nature itself is presented as tyrannical. It is nature which makes morality tyrannical, and at the end tyranny is presented as shorthand for the moral imperative of nature.

Does Nietzsche suggest that there exists no nature without any moral interpretation, as there exists no morality without a natural basis? A rather different way in which Nietzsche selects and molds his readers lies in his use and placement of periodic sentences. Repeatedly he stresses the importance of tempo and rhythm for that which is at stake in a text: to communicate by means of signs an inner state or pathos of the author to the reader, to let the reader take part in this pathos.

It is evi- dent that this art cannot be described in measures and forms that can be exactly determined in a general way. Such would contradict its task of being appropriate to the pathos it has to communicate, apart from yielding to a much-too-mechanical rhythm to allow real effectiveness. Nevertheless, we can give some characteristics. This shortness has the effect of leaving the read- ers their autonomy.

When that has been done, the reader can successively be carried along by means of one or two longer sentences which often are true periodic sentences. Section of BGE is a perfect example, and treats, not by chance, this art of writing. Most readers consider underlined words or parts of a sentence as representing the key elements with regard to the contents.

An underlined word usually has to be read with emphasis. Nietzsche does want to write in this style of antiquity and he demands that his texts be read in that way. Apart from underlining, one of the other instruments he uses for this are capital letters. Usually this indicates that the word should be pronounced with emphasis. A very important punctuation mark is the dash, not only because it occurs all too often, but also because of its many intentional func- tions.

Nietzsche writes in several unpublished notes that he likes in his books the dashes more than everything that is expressed with words KSA 11, 34[65; ]. In fact, he makes many outlines for books with dashes, as the intended titles suggest. Sometimes he uses the dash to indicate the presence of a thought without expressing it. This may mean that the reader has to complete the sentence, and that those who cannot do so reveal them- selves to be unsuitable for an understanding of the text. It may also mean that Nietzsche does not want the corresponding thought to be pronounced, neither by himself nor by others, perhaps because any wording of it would degrade it.

In Zarathustra for example, it turns out that the thought of the eternal return does not allow itself simply to be expressed. The dash can, however, also indicate that at this point even for the author new ground is opening up to develop, new channels are present to explore. It even can indicate an aporia, one that is not hidden but appears literally. But the dash can indicate still more. Sometimes it divides the text and makes a cesura between its parts. It might have the musical func- tion of one count of rest or, again as in music, point to the fact that the thought has to be held.

It can mark the place in a text where the readers have to breathe to enable themselves to continue to the sentence which follows, and it also can simply have the function of marking off an in- terjected clause. The text shows many dashes that successively have the following functions. We saw that according to Nietzsche writing is the art of communicating through signs an inner state or pathos to the reader. Zarathustra expresses this by saying that worthwhile writing is written with blood.

This evidently puts high demands on the reader: Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart. ThSZ I, Reading and Writing When I imagine a perfect reader, he always turns into a monster of courage and curiosity; moreover, supple, cunning, cautious; a born adventurer and discoverer. The rules which he formulates for the reading of his texts can be summarized in two main rules, both narrowly related to each other: to read slowly and to read ruminatively.

Reading slowly is requisite because the text is also written slowly, or rather, be- cause the text only says what it has to say slowly. Both the book and its author are so much ahead of their age that they will have to wait quite some time for their readers anyway. The reader will need so much time to arrive at the contents of the book that there is no rea- son for the author to hurry. But does not this mean that the reader needs to hurry to under- stand the book? The more the reader hurries the longer the book will last and the more he or she will become distanced from it.

Nietz- sche appeals to his skills as a philologist. The comparison with philology may provide us also with an ex- planation for this necessary slowness. The texts with which the philolo- gists work are a great distance from us: temporally speaking, two thou- sand years or more separate us from their authors. The greater the distance, the more time is needed to bridge it. Whoever reads quickly what was written long ago will merely read the prejudices of his or her own age into the text. Close reading reaches further. And this is even more true because our age is one of haste and speed, tending to bridge ever greater distances in ever less time.

Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)
Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition) Die letztgültigen Wahrheiten (German Edition)

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