by Bataille, Georges (1992)
A poetic, philosophical, and political account of Nietzsches importance to Bataille, and of Batailles experience in Nazi-occupied France.Georges Bataille wrote On Nietzsche in the final months of the Nazi occupation of France in order to cleanse the German philosopher of the stain of Nazism. More than merely a treatise on Nietzsche, the book is as much a work of ethics in which thought is put to the test of experience and experience pushed to its limits. At once personal and political, it was written as an act of war, its publication contingent upon the German retreat. The result is a poetic and philosophicaland occasionally harrowingrecord of life during wartime.Following Inner Experience and Guilty, On Nietzsche is the third volume of Batailles Summa Atheologica. Haunted by the recognition that existence cannot be at once autonomous and viable, herein the author yearns for community from the depths of personal isolation and transforms Nietzsches will to power into his own will to chance.This new translation includes Memorandum, a selection of 280 passages from Nietzsches works edited and introduced by Bataille. Originally published separately, Bataille planned to include the text in future editions of On Nietzsche. This edition also features the full notes and annotations from the French edition of Batailles Oeuvres Complètes, as well as an incisive introductory essay by Stuart Kendall that situates the work historically, biographically, and philosophically.
Between the ideas of Fascist reactionaries and Nietzsche's notions there is more than simple difference-there's radical incompatibility. While declining to limit the future, which has all rights according to him, Nietzsche all the same suggested it through vague and contradictory suggestions. Which led to confusions and misunderstandings. It's wrongheaded to attribute definite intentions to him regarding electoral politics, arguing that he talked of "masters of the world." What he intended was a risked evocation of possibility. As for the sovereign humanity whose brilliance he wanted to shine forth: in contradictory ways he saw the new humankind sometimes as wealthy, sometimes as poorer than the workers. sometimes as powerful sometimes as tracked down by enemies. He required of the new humankind that it possess a capacity to withstand adversity-while recognizing its right to trample on norms . Still he distinguished this humanity on principle from men in possession of power. He recognized no limits, and confined himself to describing as freely as he could the field of a possible. (p.162)
KeywordsNietzsche, Bataille, German, Political Theory, War, Nazism, National Socialism, Wartime
ThemesOn Nietzsche, Bataille Citations
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