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- DescriptionIn arguing that Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a philosophical explanation of the possibility of modernism-that is, of the possibility of radical cultural change through the creation of new values-the author shows that literary fiction can do the work of philosophy. Nietzsche takes up the problem of modernism by inventing Zarathustra, a self-styled cultural invator who aspires to subvert the culture of modernity (the repressive culture of the last man ) by creating new values. By showing how Zarathustra can become a creator of new values, twithstanding the forces that hinder his will to invate, Nietzsche answers the skeptic who proclaims that new-values creation is impossible. Zarathustra is a story of repeated clashes between Zarathustra's avant-garde, modernist intentions and figures of doubt who condemn those intentions. Through a close reading of Zarathustra, the author reconstructs Nietzsche's explanation of the possibility of modernism. Showing how parody, irony, and plot organization frame that explanation, he also demonstrates the central significance of Zarathustra's speeches on the body and the will to power. The author argues that Nietzsche's critique of the modern philosophy of the subject revises Kant's concept of the dynamical sublime and makes allegorical use of the myth of Theseus, Ariadne, and Dionysus. He also proposes an original interpretation of the thought of eternal recurrence (according to Nietzsche, the fundamental conception of Zarathustra). Breaking with conventional Nietzsche scholarship, the author conceptualizes the thought t as a theoretical or a practical doctrine that Nietzsche endorses, but as a developing drama that Zarathustra performs.
- Author BiographyRobert Gooding-Williams is Professor of Philosophy and Jean Gimbel Lane Professor of the Humanities at Northwestern University. He is the editor of Reading Rodney King, Reading Urban Uprising.
- Author(s)Robert Gooding-Williams
- PublisherStanford University Press
- Date of Publication31/10/2001
- SubjectLiterary Theory
- Series TitleAtopia: Philosophy, Political Theory, Aesthetics
- Place of PublicationPalo Alto
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintStanford University Press
- Content Notenotes, bibliography, index
- Weight604 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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