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Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Riddle of Nietzsche’s Philosophy

Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche is often severely criticized for twisting Friedrich Nietzsche’s legacy and creating the impression that he was a Nazi prophet. The book that I am currently reading, Ben Macintyre’s Forgotten Fatherland: The Search of Elisabeth Nietzsche, has some good insights on Elisabeth's own thought and the role that she played in Nietzsche’s life and literature. On pages 18 - 19, Macintyre notes how Nietzsche has been associated with all kinds of movements:
Despite his opposition to codified systems of belief, Nietzsche’s name has been associated with practically every ‘movement’, intellectual or otherwise, in this century: feminism and structuralism, Marxism and anarchism and behaviourism, as well as fascism. If you put into one room everyone who considered themselves a Nietzschean, there would be a bloodbath. Nietzsche saw it coming: ‘Whoever believed he had understood something of me’, he wrote in his autobiography Ecce Homo, ‘had dressed up something out of me after his own image — not uncommonly an antithesis of me, for instance an “idealist”; whoever had understood nothing of me denied that I came into consideration at all.’ And he admitted that it pertained to his nature as a philosopher ‘to want to remain a riddle in some respects’. 
I will have more to say on the book once I finish reading it.

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