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Thread: Writers like Nietzsche

  1. #1
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    Writers like Nietzsche

    I think I've chosen the title accordingly, for it's Nietzsche's style of eminently personal writing that interests me. A certain indelible mark of subjectivity that permeates everything he conceived. But there's something more—the very way in which we wrote, the epigrammatic deliveries, the bits, the chops, the fragments, the inherently aphoristic manner, the propensity for maxims, for terse and stark utterances. It must be something highly anti-sistematic. Something that resembles pieces of chaos put together in a book than an inflexible system. Always polemical. Witty, subversive, subtle, intelligent—and, quoting Barthes, someone that can offer pleasure, that's how I want this writer! So, who's going to be then?

    Schopenhauer? Pascal ? Montaigne ? Lichtenberg ? La Rochefoucauld, Vauvenargues, Joubert, Chamfort, that is, the French moralists whom Nietzsche so dearly adored? Gracian? E. M. Cioran (he's the closest in terms of chronology)? Roland Barthes ? Walter Benjamin? Theodor Adorno ? Kierkegaard ? Heraclitus ? Valéry ? Bataille ? Shestov ? Benjamin Fondane ?

    I know these. I've read them. They're very much akin to Nietzsche.

    But there's got to be more of them! To be fair, I'd prefer someone more contemporaneous like Barthes, Benjamin and Cioran than the Greeks or some renaissance scribbler, but...

    I'm very sorry to have omitted Wittgenstein and Leopardi—two great writers who had no notions of a coherent system. The first, subtlety itself, the second, one of the gravest writers Europe has ever produced.
    Last edited by EmptySeraph; 06-04-2017 at 05:48 PM.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

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    EmptySeraph,

    "Lebensphilosophie" is intoxicating and finds many a new mind everyday, but you'll never learn or discuss them in an undergrad setting or in a current Philosophy department that does not address German thought. What I know: you won't find too many thinkers of this ilk before Kant, because "Lebensphilosophie" is Post-Kantian in its approach to the "thing-in-itself". However, there are many thinkers and texts that influenced the names you mentioned above: Aristotle's "Metaphysics", Seneca's "Epistles", Montaigne's "Essays" and, finally, Kant, Hegel, and possibly Schelling.

    As for contemporary thinkers that may "resemble" or engage in dialogue with these thinkers? Rene Guenon is the only one I can think off the top of my head. Maybe Heidegger, Leo Strauss, or Carl Schmitt? After Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, "Philosophy" was ripped in two by Analytic and Continental thought.

    I would ask you to give Wittgenstein another chance. Instead of reading the philosophical "texts" of Wittgenstein, I would recommend reading his one or two published texts along side his texts on religion and his notes. Just as important as his philosophical texts, is Wittgenstein's biography by Ray Monk. Wittgenstein must be read as a "whole person", rather than just a text.

    Alvin Pepler

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    EmptySearch,

    "Lebensphilosophie" is definitely what interests you. It is a 19th Century Post-Kantian movement that was driven by the over saturation of overly hypothetical, Scientific Positivism in European academia. It is never studied anywhere, unless you go to true-to-Earth Philosophy program that introduces you to German Idealism. So, no, decent readings of Nietzsche which place him in the proper context hardly ever take place in an academic setting. Stanley Rosen's book on Zarathustra is as good as any as a starting point. Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Seneca’s Letters, Montaigne’s Essays, Bacon, Kant, Schelling and Hegel are probably the greatest influence on the likes of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

    After Nietzsche? That's tough. I'd suggest, Heidegger, maybe Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt. I think Wittgenstein borders on Lebensphilosophie, but you must read Witt as a whole: religious writings, notes, published works(1?), and most important his bio by Ray Monk. The growth of Witt will introduce you tremendously when you look at him as a man, rather than a producer of a philosophic text. Rene Guenon is the only 20th Century I’d highly recommend, if this is the type of reading you looking for. Guenon is light years beyond Nietzsche but well worth venturing into. I would strongly recommend that you stay away from the Frankfurt School, they are Marxists, and practitioners of Lebenspilosophie are antithetical to the Marxist articulation for the masses. Schopenhauer and Nietzsche wrote for the individual looking to bolster his or her individual spirit, which is highly opposed to the Frankfurters that looked to meld the individual into the whole an their materialistic values.

    Alvin Pepler aka Mike

  4. #4
    Heraclitus would be my guess for a possible influence on Nietzsche's enigmatic epigram-writing style.

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    Nietzsche said that he wanted to say in a sentence what others could only say in a book. Perhaps he wrote in epigrams because he had so many books inside him

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