“Nietzsche is the most sarcastic son of a bitch ever to set foot on this
earth. Just say that; then write whatever else you want, like he would.” —
— So my friend Werner Timmermann tells me, with a gleam in his eye.
He helped with my translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra, a four-year-long
labor of love, so he knows what he is talking about. Zarathustra (1885)
was Nietzsche’s magnum opus; everything before it was preparation,
everything after it expatiation and elucidation.
But, for some, the question remains: Why Nietzsche? Friedrich
Nietzsche (1844-1900) was quite simply one of the most original and
influential philosophers who ever lived; in addition, his writing style was
brilliant, epigrammatic, idiosyncratic [“It is my ambition to say in ten
sentences what everyone else says in a book — what everyone else does
not say in a book.”] The language dances, prances, whirls and twirls; it
ranges from ghetto-verbalizations and vulgarizations to high art, from
lyricism to sardonicism, from satyr-play to passion play. No one really
writes like Nietzsche, though the number of his stylistic apes and
imitators is legion (especially in the ranks of academe).
-from the introduction 2004 translation of Ecce Homo & The Antichrist
Ecce Homo & The Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche (2004)
sympatico-ally discovered via Time’s Flow Stemmed (take a look!)
6 thoughts on “Ah, vitality”
Standing on the top of the mountain
the first light of day is seen
climbing down the back side
is going back into the dark
climbing down the front side
is sliding into the unknown alone
Thank you for your thoughts, and for directing your readers to the new translation of his work. I admit that when I read Nietzsche many years ago, I had more reservations than appreciation, but I will consider a revisit now, thanks to your enthusiasm.
I especially believe much of his work (or un-working) of a long line of philosophical thought is still stringing itself into the world. Fresh translations are welcome for all of his works!
Just read a lovely essay on Nietzsche, part of a larger philosophical piece, In Defense of Ardor, by Adam Zagajewski. I agree with him that we are mostly amiss of the ardor in tone and thought that is Nietzsche. So that Nietzsche is kept alive during these times is great. Thanks.
i really enjoy Zagajewski’s essays as well
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