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Zarathustra’s Dionysian Modernism Robert Gooding-Williams

Zarathustra’s Dionysian Modernism

Robert Gooding-Williams

Published
ISBN : 9780804732956
Paperback
440 pages
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 About the Book 

In arguing that Nietzsches 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 doMoreIn arguing that Nietzsches 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 innovator 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, notwithstanding the forces that hinder his will to innovate, Nietzsche answers the skeptic who proclaims that new-values creation is impossible. Zarathustra is a story of repeated clashes between Zarathustras avant-garde, modernist intentions and figures of doubt who condemn those intentions.Through a close reading of Zarathustra, the author reconstructs Nietzsches explanation of the possibility of modernism. Showing how parody, irony, and plot organization frame that explanation, he also demonstrates the central significance of Zarathustras speeches on the body and the will to power. The author argues that Nietzsches critique of the modern philosophy of the subject revises Kants 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 not as a theoretical or a practical doctrine that Nietzsche endorses, but as a developing drama that Zarathustra performs.