American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

By Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

note: this PDF is a google play books experiment, consequently now not marked retail because the writer deals a PDF that has vector textual content. whereas it is a very prime quality test, it really is actually a experiment. I took the freedom of including a TOC and growing searchable textual content. The metadata is the same.

If you have been searching for a thinker prone to attract american citizens, Friedrich Nietzsche will be faraway from your first selection. in any case, in his blazing occupation, Nietzsche took objective at approximately all of the foundations of recent American existence: Christian morality, the Enlightenment religion in cause, and the belief of human equality. regardless of that, for greater than a century Nietzsche has been a highly popular—and strangely influential—figure in American proposal and tradition.

In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to inform the tale of his curious charm. starting her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche learn fervently, she indicates how Nietzsche’s rules first burst on American beaches on the flip of the 20 th century, and the way they endured alternately to invigorate and to surprise american citizens for the century to come back. She additionally delineates the wider highbrow and cultural contexts during which a wide range of commentators—academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right—drew perception and concept from Nietzsche’s claims for the loss of life of God, his problem to common fact, and his insistence at the interpretive nature of all human idea and ideology. even as, she explores how his photo as an iconoclastic immoralist used to be placed to paintings in American pop culture, making Nietzsche an not likely posthumous megastar in a position to inspiring either kids and students alike.

A penetrating exam of a strong yet little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American idea and tradition, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our knowing of yank highbrow life—and places Nietzsche squarely at its center.

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Turn-of-the-century commentators did not characterize the arrival of his philosophy as a homecoming. None regarded his entrance into American intellectual and cultural life as the return of a prodigal son. Despite the traces of Emerson in Nietzsche's philosophy, most American commentators either failed to notice the connection or, when they perceived similarities, stressed differences. In other words, what most struck American interpreters of the period was Nietzsche's exoticism. He came from Europe.

The thought of advertising myself is utterly alien to me personally; I have not lifted a finger with that end in view. Of my Zarathustra, I tend to think that it is the profoundest work in the German tongue, also the most perfect in its language. But for others to feel this will require whole generations to catch up with the inner experiences from which that work could arise. 71 Nietzsche may have thought that his philosophy awaited an audience of readers yet unborn, but given Knortz's enthusiasm, he had reason to suspect that he might first find that audience in America.

But both enthusiastic and enraged responses serve as a point of entry for the historian seeking to recapture moral outlooks of the past. This book, then, is neither a hagiography of, nor a screed about, Nietzsche. It is not even a book about Nietzsche. It is a story about his crucial role in the ever-dynamic remaking of modern American thought. 27 The Making of the American Nietzsche I tunneled into the foundations, I commenced an investigation and digging out of an ancient faith, one upon which we philosophers have for a couple of millennia been accustomed to build as if upon the firmest offoundations-and have continued to do so even though every building hitherto erected on them has fallen down: I commenced to undermine our faith in morality.

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