Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology by Ernst Bertram

By Ernst Bertram

First released in 1918, Ernst Bertram's Nietzsche: test at a Mythology considerably formed similar to Nietzsche for the new release among the wars. It received the Nietzsche Society's first prize and was once famous by way of luminous contemporaries together with André Gide, Hermann Hesse, Gottfried Benn, and Thomas Mann. even though translated into French in 1932, the ebook used to be by no means translated into English following the decline of Nietzsche's and Bertram's reputations after 1945. Now, with Nietzsche's value for twentieth-century proposal undisputed, the paintings via one in every of his so much influential interpreters can eventually be learn in English.

Employing a perspectival approach encouraged by way of Nietzsche himself, Bertram constructs a densely layered portrait of the philosopher that exhibits him riven by way of deep and eventually irresolvable cultural, old, and mental conflicts. instantly lyrical and very probing, richly complicated but thematically coherent, Bertram's ebook is a masterpiece in a forgotten culture of highbrow biography.

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Abroad, in Switzerland as well as in Italy, I was often addressed as a Pole.  . ”—and I did remember them in many of my judgments and prejudices.  . It did me good to think of the right of the Polish nobleman to overturn the resolution of an assembly with his simple veto. And the Pole Copernicus seemed to me only to have made the greatest and most worthy use of this right against the conviction and visual evidence of every other human being.  . 35 One easily senses the peculiar satisfaction with which Nietzsche here, as in other places (in Ecce homo in particular), supports his status as a “good European,” his harsh cultural criticism, and his romantic, Hyperion-like36 condemnation of everything German and all-too-German with the biological legitimacy, so to speak, of his Polish descent (for which there was in truth such scant evidence and that at best had been almost absorbed by his German ancestral components), and how he attempts to lend the supreme un-Germanness of his last years the air of a venerable necessity.

For the notebooks, most of which have yet to be translated into English, I simply indicate where the original can be found. For all other citations, I used the standard editions when I could, or I referred to the book Bertram consulted where this was necessary or possible. And, so as not to make this substantial book even longer, the explanatory notes have been kept to a minimum. Acknowledgments I am grateful to several institutions and individuals for helping me undertake and complete this project.

Certain traits that were entirely foreign to the image of Nietzsche in the 1890s are becoming increasingly more apparent to us. Other traits are rapidly fading. His countenance sometimes shimmers uncertainly in a transitional light. What we see today or believe we see is already something other than what that first generation, in ecstatic dismay, imagined it saw in the visionary of the overman and in the glorifier of the blond beast. We are probably still too close to measure the precise stature of such an exotic figure—a figure that at first seemed so exotic, particularly among the Germans—in comparison to his immediate predecessors.

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