Nietzsche and Antiquity: His Reaction and Response to the Classical Tradition (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
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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.
which are not easily relinquished, a true philosopher must harden himself in order to face the often unremitting conditions of nature. To accomplish this, the one who wishes a naturalistic simplicity must undergo a training in askesis, to make himself 186 ♦ ANTHONY K. JENSEN hard and able to bear physical and mental cruelty. It was said of Diogenes that “in summer he used to roll himself over in hot sand, while in winter he used to embrace statues covered with snow, using every means of
audience but aimed at the educated public. Apart from The Birth of Tragedy and related essays, Nietzsche’s work during the Basel decade consisted mainly of a series of critical reflections known as Untimely Meditations (1873-1876), or if you prefer, Unfashionable Observations, in which he attacked the liberal theologian David Friedrich Strauss as a cultural philistine; expressed his anti-Hegelian and anti-teleological views on history and culture; and eulogized Schopenhauer as the ideal
Polytheistic Program of The Birth of Tragedy Undeniably a work of genius, The Birth of Tragedy has serious defects when judged on its scholarly merits. But it would be very unfair to hold it to such a standard. It is obvious that The Birth of Tragedy was never intended as a work of scholarship by its author. It lacks all the hallmarks of a scholarly book or article—it has no footnotes or references; the views of other scholars are never discussed; opinions of unprecedented temerity are presented
such “many-sided,” mixed characters as Plato (PTAG §2). On the other hand, despite characterizing Pythagoras in the first volume of Human, All Too Human as one of the “the tyrants of the spirit” and CULTS AND MIGRATIONS ♦ 157 as a legislator (HA I §261), he repeatedly associates Pythagoreanism with the life-negating principles of Orphism, such as asceticism and selfpurification (KSA 7, 16[17, 24], 399, 403; KSA 8, 6, 101). Much as with Orphism itself, Nietzsche tries to avoid classifying
profanation of cultic knowledge can thus be seen as an act of social and political destabilization. In order to describe the evolution of these cults, Nietzsche has recourse once again to the imagery of spinning; now, the Dionysian itself has turned into the active drive behind (and is not merely the object of) CULTS AND MIGRATIONS ♦ 165 transformational processes—represented by the metaphor of “spinning.” In this manner, old Dionysian cults renew existing mystery practices: “This glow of