How to read Nietzsche.
Nietzsche has always hammered home that one should NOT read his works like one would read just about any other book. They are not to be read like books AT ALL. As he describes it on numerous occasions, you should pick out one aforism, or one idea, and then go for a walk, meanwhile digesting it, playing around with it, looking at it from all possible perspectives and thinking it through, to the very end. Nietzsche is about learning how to think, and how to think correctly, how to observe the multiple traps and the fallacies of language, reason and logic. Nietzsche is not about memorising and parotting nice lines, although he excelled at masterfully crafting plenty of them.
There is no Nietzsche System, despite some Academic pundits still trying desperately to prove there is. There are no contradictions, although his works seem to be full of them. What seems outrageously inconsistent from one perspective makes perfect sense from another one. Perspectivism is what matters more than anything else. As such it is not so much an exercise in finding the Truth or the real Value, but rather questioning whether Truth and Value could even exist and be real, without getting caught up in a nihilistic quagmire. In many ways it is not so much about finding answers, but more about looking closely at how (in)valid most of our questions really are.
Does it matter whether God created the Universe or whether Darwin's theory should apply, if the initial question - and everything it implied - was a stupid and invalid one anyway? You can question and even reject Darwin's theory without therefore logically supporting the Church's, if the question both theories were trying to answer turns out to be an invalid one to start with. The question of the origin of life is automatically implying that there has to be one. And what if there isn't? What if it is all "eternal recurrence" instead? In several ways Nietzsche put a bomb under the Hegelian dialectic method that is still being abused so often in our contemporary society to manipulate discussions and decisions.
Nietzsche's relationship with what is now generally known as "The Enlightenment" is as puzzling - and funny - at times as Mephistopheles' with Faust and his ilk in Goethe's masterpiece. Although it is unlikely that Nietzsche had much knowledge of them, there are definitely occasional similarities to be found with ancient classic Chinese Taoism and even classic Chinese Zen, "Classic" here meaning the earliest ancient versions of them, not the Californicated versions that have become so popular in New Age circles.
Nietzsche has been used and abused and accused of just about any sin in the moral catalog. But was he really Atheist? Would that term have had any meaning for him? Was he really Anti-Christian? Or was he just being overly provocative and using these Mephistophelean outbursts to drive his point home? His criticisms on issues like education, politics, arts and even science, including philosophy, are no less harsh - and well over 100 years later one can add: and to the point.
Nietzsche's legacy is a journey. Forget about the destination. There's plenty of enchantment awaiting you on those mountain tops, if you have the nerve to confront your Seven Solitudes and if you have the strength to carry your Ego along on those steep climbs, where the air gets thinner and the views can become overwhelmingly bewildering.
Jan 24th 2011: Site was updated to deal with wide screen monitors and recent browsers. The days of 800x600 resolution and IE supremacy are long gone! Made some layout changes as well, fixed search and cleaned up the links page... and then some.
The idea for Nietzsche's Features came
from the experience we had over the last years that although several individuals
invested a lot of time and effort in creating Nietzsche pages, after a while
they somehow seemed to disapear from the web. In particular Universities
seem to have the (questionable) tendency to simply delete students' and
even lecturers' accounts on their servers - including the files stored on
them of course - as soon as those people leave the institution.
We have no problem admitting that a
lot of work on the texts you will find here has initially been done by others.
That's why we give them credit for it. However, we do not just simply "steal"
their pages. All pages are completely redesigned as you will notice from
the uniform look of all works presented herein. As anybody involved in webdesign
knows, redesigning can sometimes be a more tedious effort than designing.
We had to abandon the idea of linking
to other peoples pages for two reasons :
The best way to link to this website is to link
Yes, you are free to use the search form on our search page on your website or Nietzsche page. Just save the page to your hard drive and copy and paste the code. (you'll have to figure out how to do that yourself or email us)
This website works in any modern browser, be it Opera, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or even IE and I'm sure there's a few out there I don't even know about. If they support html and CSS it should be OK. For fancy round borders etc don't use IE.(and be more secure online at the same time).
temporarily removed while doing a makeover of the site.
All works on this website, as far as we know and have been able to track down, are in the public domain and therefore NOT copyrighted (anymore).
Thanks to James Chester from publicappeal.org for hosting this site for several years. And thanks to COMBELL for hosting it now.
Anyway Enjoy !!