There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya 'bout the raising of the wrist ...
November 24, 2004 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Plato was a bore. Everything Nietzsche ever wrote is available on The Nietzsche Channel, in both English and German. They have many other Nietzsche-related resources, including a quiz. (Geocities, unfortunately.)
posted by louigi (12 comments total)
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Sorry, this site is temporarily unavailable!" he cried; "The web site you are trying to access has exceeded its allocated data transfer. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea?"

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment.
posted by ori at 10:35 PM on November 24, 2004 [1 favorite]

and for your cleverness and for being from vancouver and for having published on linenoise, you win ... one contact!

keep your eye out in metatalk - i'll be calling a metafilter meetup in vancouver in the next few days.
posted by louigi at 10:44 PM on November 24, 2004

I got midway through the quiz until the collective mass of mefi brought the site down. It was a pretty easy quiz.

I used to love Nietzsche, and to an extent I still do. I don't think many people have shaped my way of thinking quite like he has, save for the writers of the Buddhist sutras and other such writings. I am a practicing Zen Buddhist, and I had one hell of a time trying to reconcile the two schools of thought (although, I suppose you could argue Zen Buddhism isn't a school of thought, but spare me). The cognitive dissonance was awful. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that Nietzsche is a nihilist who can't stand, for some reason, the idea that he is a nihilist, and wrote numerous books trying to convince himself otherwise, and crafted numerous, beautifully written though somewhat odd ideas (ie, eternal recurrence) to give some heroic meaning to his life.

While I'm here, I do love reading Nietzsche's comments on Buddhism. As has been commented to me, he seems to confuse Buddhism with Hinduism, and Hinduism with smoking opium.

Finally, there's the terrible, awful, saddening piece by Bertrand Russel on the issue. It makes me cringe.

Awesome post, and hilarious, ori.
posted by NoamChomskyStoleMyFace at 10:54 PM on November 24, 2004

Freddy was my favorite in college. As I've gotten on in years, I've come to see more of the glaring problems in his point of view. There was a substantial bit of immaturity and misogyny happening. But few teach you to think like this man. Too bad the site has crashed - I'd like to see it.
posted by sirvesa at 12:22 AM on November 25, 2004

Take a look at Nietzsche's letters from his 'insane' period and ask yourself who was more insane, Nietzsche or Germany.

To me Nietzsche went sane whilst the world went crazy.
posted by dwordle at 3:31 AM on November 25, 2004

As a non-Nietzsche expert, it was interesting to find that my favourite bit of Mad Freddy N's ouvre appears in a very different translation here to the one I know best. From The Gay Science, the appendix "Songs of Prince Vogelfrei". Interesting to compare and contrast - I can't decide which I prefer:

Song of a Theocritical Goatherd

Here I lie with intestinal blight,
Bedbugs advancing;
Over there, still noise and light;
I hear them dancing.

She promised - she is late -
She would be mine;
But like a dog I wait,
And there's no sign.

She swore again and again:
Was it be rote?
Does she run after all men,
Just like a goat?

You give yourself such airs:
Who gave you silk?
How do I know who shares
Your goatlike ilk?

We're poisoned by love when we wait,
It makes us barbaric:
Thus damp nights generate
The fly agaric

Love eats me like a blight,
It is the seventh hell.
I've lost my appetite:
Onions, farewell!

The moon set in the sea,
The stars fade in the sky,
The day is dawning gray:
I'd like to die.

Song of a Goatherder
(To my neighbor Theokrit of Syracusae)

Here I lie, sick to my stomach —
Eaten by bugs.
And over there still light and noise:
I hear them dancing.

At this hour, she wanted
To sneak off with me:
Like a dog I wait —
But no sign comes!

She swore on the cross!
How could she lie?
Or does she run after everyone,
Just like my goats?

Where's her silken skirt?
Ah, my pride —
Does it still live as many a ram
In these woods?

How curled and poisonous love
Makes one in the waiting —
Like toadstools, in the stifling night,
Growing in the garden.

Love consumes me
Like a seventh hell —
I eat almost nothing,
Onions, farewell!

Into the sea the moon wanes,
The stars fade away,
Along comes the gray day —
I would like to die.

The first (the Walter Kaufman translation) seems a little desperate in its grasping for rhyme, but I wonder if that in itself manages to capture far more of Nietzsche's original tone than the second (by the webmaster of this site). Hopeless melodramatic melancholy or hopeless mundane melancholy? - decisions, decisions...
posted by flashboy at 3:48 AM on November 25, 2004

Nietzsche is dead. Nietzsche remains dead. And we have killed him.

There is a ton of stuff here, thanks louigi. As a Nietzche neophyte this site is treasure trove. As I delve into philosophy these are the kind of sites I've been looking for - lots of information and writing about philosophy / philosophers and their writings, but not written exclusively for people that have spent a lot of time studying the subject. It's not an easy one to just jump into, although I'm trying.
posted by HifiToaster at 5:13 AM on November 25, 2004

The first (the Walter Kaufman translation) seems a little desperate in its grasping for rhyme, but I wonder if that in itself manages to capture far more of Nietzsche's original tone than the second...

I would take anything from Walter Kaufman over some webmaster as far as accuracy. Kaufman's translations of Nietzsche have become the de facto standard for the English language texts, and if you read his essays on Nietzsche, he seems to have a better grasp on Nietzsche's overarching philosophies than many of the other scholars who can not see past the contradictions and pretty prose.

I took an Ethics and a Nietzsche class in the same semester, and interestingly, Nietzsche just seemed to be making more sense than Bernard Williams/Thomas Nagel/Michael Smith/et al. Nietzsche definitely managed to shape my thought much more than the "traditional" philosophers, who seemed to be inextricably bound up in history and logic.
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:50 PM on November 25, 2004

My favorite modern use of Nietzsche is as the inspiration for a race of ubermensch in Andromeda.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:02 PM on November 25, 2004

I went to a party recently where I overheard some blowhard make a reference to Kierkegaard's concept of the ubermensch. And nobody batted an eye! They just continued with their conversation! I started laughing, at which point everyone's glance kind of flickered to me in what I can only assume was annoyance. I decided to let the whole thing slide and go find another conversation.

In retrospect, I should've gone in there with both barrels blazing, but y'know, it is the function of woman, not to fight herself, but to provide fresh warriors for the fray.
posted by trappedinabay at 7:44 PM on November 25, 2004

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed...

Sing along, everybody...
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 11:18 PM on November 25, 2004

Thank you for that runningdogofcapitalism. Made my night.
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:16 AM on November 26, 2004

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