Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reading Response III Shoshanah Tobesman

Shoshanah Tobesman
19th Century Literature and Culture
Ned Sparrow
Veni Veni Nietzsche

Nietzsche starts off with an almost humorous (something even vaguely resembling hilarity is not something you expect to see in a Nietzsche book) observations and goes from there into his critiques of Socrates. He later goes into critiques and observations about other philosophers, as well as critiquing Germans and Germany. This book has plenty of what I normally like and dislike about Nietzsche. Dislike, sometimes reading his work is about as exciting as watching paint dry and he comes off personality wise as way too anal-retentive, dogmatic to his own worldview and humorless.

Nietzsche whines incessantly about things like the downfall of German intellectualism. He said Christianity made him "sick, miserable, filled with ill-will towards himself, full of hatred for the impulses towards life, full of suspicion of all that was still strong and happy.” Nietzsche’s idea to remedy the downfall of German spirit and intellectuality was veering away from power politics, changing the religious emphasis of in the country and fixing the institutions of education. If you combine Twilight of the Idols with the Anti-Christ, one can quickly discover the root of all problems plaguing German society in the eyes of Nietzsche—which of course correlates to his critiques of famous authors who, to Nietzsche, were too steeped in Christian morality and pre-conceived notions to think deeply and critically. Really, it is very clear from "Twilight of the Idols" that Nietzsche blames Christianity for the downfall of intellectuality. 

His style of writing is disjointed, however. I found his thought and writing patterns to be erratic, contradictory (at times), and often incomplete. He comes off as pompous and completely arrogant as well. Nietzsche’s writing come off as if he is berating the reader with his abrasive tone: even when the reader is obliged to agree with him.

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