Nietzsche and Antiquity: His Reaction and Response to the Classical Tradition (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

Nietzsche and Antiquity: His Reaction and Response to the Classical Tradition (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

Paul Bishop

Language: English

Pages: 519

ISBN: 1571132821

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This volume collects a wide-ranging set of essays examining Friedrich Nietzsche's engagement with antiquity in all its aspects. It investigates Nietzsche's reaction and response to the concept of "classicism," with particular reference to his work on Greek culture as a philologist in Basel and later as a philosopher of modernity, and to his reception of German classicism in all his texts. The book should be of interest to students of ancient history and classics, philosophy, comparative literature, and Germanistik. Taken together, these papers suggest that classicism is both a more significant, and a more contested, concept for Nietzsche than is often realized, and it demonstrates the need for a return to a close attention to the intellectual-historical context in terms of which Nietzsche saw himself operating. An awareness of the rich variety of academic backgrounds, methodologies, and techniques of reading evinced in these chapters is perhaps the only way for the contemporary scholar to come to grips with what classicism meant for Nietzsche, and hence what Nietzsche means for us today. The book is divided into five sections -- The Classical Greeks; Pre-Socratics and Pythagoreans, Cynics and Stoics; Nietzsche and the Platonic Tradition; Contestations; and German Classicism -- and constitutes the first major study of Nietzsche and the classical tradition in a quarter of a century. Contributors: Jessica N. Berry, Benjamin Biebuyck, Danny Praet and Isabelle Vanden Poel, Paul Bishop, R. Bracht Branham, Thomas Brobjer, David Campbell, Alan Cardew, Roy Elveton, Christian Emden, Simon Gillham, John Hamilton, Mark Hammond, Albert Henrichs, Dirk t.D. Held, David F. Horkott, Dylan Jaggard, Fiona Jenkins, Anthony K. Jensen, Laurence Lampert, Nicholas Martin, Thomas A. Meyer, Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek, John S. Moore, Neville Morley, David N. McNeill, James I. Porter, Martin A. Ruehl, Herman Siemens, Barry Stocker, Friedrich Ulfers and Mark Daniel Cohen, and Peter Yates. Paul Bishop is William Jacks Chair of Modern Languages at the University of Glasgow.

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contradiction, a law which Nietzsche does not always feel obliged to obey.) Second, I discuss Nietzsche’s criticism of the notion that the truth/falsehood dichotomy is based on the correspondence, or lack of it, between propositional statements and “reality,” focusing particularly here on the propositional statements which are the “truths” of logic. Nietzsche does this, I suggest, by attempting to consider the human being in her condition of embeddedness in both nature and culture. Third, he

at the beginning and/or end of the play, the 33 standard convention in Euripides. In the successive episodes of the play, Apollo and Dionysos alternate their stage epiphanies, thus replicating the pattern of alternating Dionysian and Apollonian stages in Greek culture (BT §4). I am fully aware of the double irony of reconceptualizing The Birth of Tragedy as a drama with characters and a plot, and of recasting Nietzsche’s Dionysian scenarios in the manner of Euripides. But what I just did to The

myth by emphasizing the god’s mortality, and thus his “suffering,” an experience the god shares with mortals. At the same time, Nietzsche revalidates the chthonian gods, Dionysos included, by claiming that they were conceived by the Greeks as a necessary counterpart to the beautiful world of the Olympian gods. The nine students who took the lecture course of 1871 must have been mystified by Nietzsche’s enigmatic comments on Dionysos and by 132 ♦ ALBERT HENRICHS the exceptional status he

to, and cultic identification with, the divinities they serve. On more than two pages he collects passages from Greek sources to illustrate “the original concept of the priest as a temporary incarnation of the god” (die ursprüngliche Auffassung des Priesters als einer zeitweiligen Inkarnation des Gottes) (KGW 2.5, 464). Several years after The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche was still ex- “FULL OF GODS” ♦ 133 ploring the Greek boundaries between human and divine, but it is significant that he

raven-black music!” (GS §383). Their laughter signals a shift in tone in preparation for the ludic “Songs of Prince Vogelfrei,” a sort of satyr-play appended to the incipient tragedy. Among the poems that frame the five books of prose, at least two can be read as Cynic parodies, most notably §34, “Seneca et hoc genus omne,” and the song entitled “Fool in Despair.” Thus the very structure of The Gay Science registers a serio-comic ambivalence: poems “in which a poet makes fun of all poets in a

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