Friday, January 04, 2013

Reading BASIC WRITINGS OF NIETZSCHE. Presently BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL. Skipped "The Birth of Tragedy" as I found it difficult and somewhat dull. It was of course about literature.

I like BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL immensely, but the part where he challenges and questions various philosophers is a little difficult. Some are not so difficult, where I am a little bit familiar with the philosopher. This from many, many years ago when as an undergraduate I was a philosophy minor.

If anything this whole phase of reading Nietzsche has reminded me of the importance of reading "outside" of poetry. This is not to say I shouldn't read poetry, but that I should expand my interests. Reading Nietzsche helped me write the poems in the collection I am currently revising. I sent it out, but reality tells me it will more than likely be rejected (aha! I have caught myself! No more of this crap. It will be accepted in time because it is good!). His propensity to argue the "will" with a "ruling thought" and what I am in my own way interpreting as confidence. He is wild, unruly and poetic.

"It is almost always a symptom of what is lacking in himself when a thinker senses in every "casual connection" and "psychological necessity" something of constraint, need, compulsion to obey, pressure, and unfreedom; it is suspicious to have such feelings-- the person betrays himself. And in general, if I have observed correctly, "the "unfreedom of the will" is regarded as a problem from two entirely opposite standpoints, but always in a profoundly personal manner: some will not give up their "responsibility," their belief in themselves, the personal right to their merits at any price (the vain races belong to this class). Others, on the contrary do not wish to be answerable for anything or blamed for anything, and owing to an inward self-contempt, seek to lay the blame for themselves somewhere else. The latter, when they write books, are in the habit today of taking the side of criminals; a sort of socialist pity is their most attractive disguise....the fatalism of the weak-willed embellishes itself surprisingly when it can pose as "la religion de la souffrance humaine (the religion of human suffering), that is its "good taste.

He is often out there, wild, willful and like Zarathustra certain of some sort of superiority. For some reason, this outlandish confidence appeals to me. Perhaps I am reading Nietzsche through the lens of someone who has, due to trauma, been weak-willed, uncertain and brooding. Freud, I believe said Nietzsche was noble. And I do find it noble to be self-assured. I find this "will to power" that he talked about in THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA appealing. So it's likely in some ways I am misreading, but I believe even misreading can be a healthy thing at times.

Nietzsche's sister misled people to read Nietzsche as an anti-semite, and for many years his work was used by the Nazis, based on his writings. The introduction of this book discusses how Nietzsche is often misread, if not read in his entirety.

In any case, I am hoping to read more. I still have the Chomsky books to read, which a friend said, are difficult. But I think a book on anarchism will do me some good. :)

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