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    Nietzsche

    Well, for one thing, Nietzsche was a German who wrote in German, so hardly appropriate for a thread sewn under the heading "English Literature".

    I am a minor expert on Nietzsche. Yes, the mind tires quickly when reading Nietzsche. This is because his witings are dense. He would spend hours and sometimes days writing and re-writing an idea, debating it with himself from all angles until he had condensed it like a well simmered sauce. His use of language is extremely clever. His little sauces set off neuronal storms in the mind.

    The translation of Nietzsche into English was a major undertaking with many poor translations in the past. The first really acceptable translations being those of Kaufman. Kaufman discussed this issue in The Portable Nietzsche.

    I also like the translations of Ian Johnston.

    First time readers of Nietzsche should know that Fritz reversed his opinions slightly several times over his 15 years of prolific writing.

    If one does not commit to reading 5 or 6 of his works spanning this period and instead reads only one or two, then one will definately get the wrong idea about his perspectives.

    He may in fact have had few beliefs and his period of writing more or less just an excersize in exploring the limits and the confusions embedded in language and how the linguistically constructed consciousness then also contains those limits and confusions, and this then is the basis of chaotic humanity, which only reflects the chaos of the universe.

    One of the best explanations of Nietzsche's thought processes was given by Lou Salome, the only person who interviewed him extensively while he was alive and lucid.

    It is also important to read Nietzsche's biography. The Curt Janz book is good. During the time of his prolific writing, Nietzsche had taken leave from his professorship due to migraine headaches, and for 15 to 20 years wandered Europe , writing, never settling down, and gradually alienating family and most friends with his drama-queen-like interpersonal behavior, though in public he behaved reservedly.

    The migraines progressed, his vision worsened and he took very poor care of his body and was rather sickly overall.

    He did not share really good times with people - though polite he was not warm. He may not have understood the concept of "fun".
    He was awkward in his relations with women, never married, and if he ever had sex it was likely only with a prostitute.

    The real person was quite different than the person one imagines by way of his writing.

    Nietzsche sometimes got things wrong. For instance, it was popular amoung the fringe philosphers of his day, and other Westerns from previous times, to contend that humans have no free will at all, and all thought and action proceeds in a manner similar to the way the weather changes. Consciouness and sense of at least some free will are illusions.

    He held this concept simply to be at odds with the Catholic Church.

    Thus when he discussed Cornaro, the Italian who lived to be 100 years old after changing his diet from that of an obese person to that of a monk, Neitzsche claimed that Cornaro had committed the error of mistaking effect for cause. According to Nietzsche, Cornaro's slight need for food, especially carbs and fats, was the reason he could eat like a monk, and his longevity was pre-determined. Cornaro mistakenly attributed his long life and good health to his diet.

    In other words, Nietzsche needed to deny that one could change one's destiny to some degree. Nietzsche may not have know that Cornaro was originally obese before changing his diet.

    Then, Nietzsche went on to defend his own poor diet, claiming his brain needs so much more fuel than Cornaro's. Nietzsche is known to have overly favored breads and pastries, and likely suffered from sugar rushes and depressions.

    Modern dietary science has of course confirmed the value of a healthy Spartan diet for all people, and since around 1970 (in the West) millions and millions of obese people have corrected their diets. Many of these people still report living with food cravings, yet they manage to resist, they manage to have at least some free will. It is not the case that they simply don't need or no longer crave the food.

    This is typical of little flaws in Nietzsche's reasonings that betray biases of his own weaknesses. Nietzsche questioned all of humanity's thinking, but rarely his own.

    It may even be that he had a need to rationalize his sorry existence and project his perspective onto all of humanity.

    Also, from time to time Nietzsche mentions Kant. Nietzsche would voice objections to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and other writings, but never attemtped a serious refutation, resorting instead to little snide remarks.

    Lou Salome claimed that Nietzsche criticized most harshly and regularly that which he valued highest. Thus, the occasional but repetitive theme of critisizing Kant may actually indicate that Nietzsche supported Kant's ideas.

    It is also generally agreed that Nietzsche favored the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and that may explain his constant attacks on Christianity. (But few would claim that the Catholic and Protestant churches were not corrupt at that time)

    Nietzsche's praise for Manu and the Brahmins, on the other hand, may indicate he actually despised them as con men.

    Finally, thanks to the Western presence in India and Salaam Bombay! Indians are beginning to shake off the caste system concept.

    The problem with the works of Nietzsche is that he became demented at age 45 and lived the last 10 years of his life more or less a vegetable. No one was able to inteview him at length or debate him, aside for Lou Salome who recorded his ideas and gave her psychological evaluations of them and him, but she did not debate him.

    Despite that there are many incredible and valuable psychological observations and analysis of hypocrisy in Nietzsche, anyone who would live their lives by his ideas, and many have tried, ends up without many good, warm, genuine friends. Ayn Rand, for instance. Also Ivan Boesky (American corporate raider of the 1980's). Not to mention Adolph Hitler and the Nazi upper echelon, and of course Joseph Stalin.

    Cheers
    language is limited

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