Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzche [nr]

What can one say about a classic of philosophy? The translator writes:
The point of that title is not that the author considers himself beyond good and evil in the crudest sense, but it is in part that he is beyond saying such silly things as the Jews are good or the Jews are evil. ... Everywhere he introduces distinctions, etching first one type then another - both generally confounded under a single label. He asks us to shift perspectives.
It is a book to reread and live with.
For all this well-meaning advice, I still found Nietzsche to be a man of the 19th century, fundamentally anti-Semitic,
Germany has amply enough Jews.
The Jews, however, are beyond any doubt the strong, toughest, and purest race now living in Europe.
Woman wants to become self reliant ... this is one of the worst developments.
and elitist,
It is the powerful who understand how to honor; this is their art, their realm of invention.
Nietzsche self-published Beyond Good and Evil because he felt his publisher failed him. He hoped to sell 300 copies, but even after distributing 66 free, review copies, he only sold 114! I am not surprised given the anthology structure of the book with sections on free spirit, religion and morals, (A reader might be advised to stop reading after these) followed by tracts on virtues, fatherlands, and nobles (definitely more discussion of races and elites in these latter sections).

This is definitely not light summer reading.

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