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Posts tagged "Friedrich Nietzsche"

Death, Critique, Heaven, and Hell

Death, Critique, Heaven, and Hell

Last spring, I finished my undergrad, where I drug myself through a severely disoriented and disorienting thesis. Among the many lessons I learned in the process, I discovered something that deeply hindered my academic writing: I hated it. This revelation surprised me because I entered that research project believing I liked it and did it well. Now, I could barely sustain either of those beliefs.

Among the many qualities of scholarly writing I now found deplorable: it was infinite, and its vastness offered no longer to enchant but to consume me whole. Every book or article contained a bibliography…

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A Talk with Friedrich Nietzsche – Adam Zagajewski

Most highly respected Professor Nietzsche,
sometimes I seem to see you
on a sanatorium terrace at dawn
with fog descending and song bursting
the throats of the birds.

Not tall, head like a bullet,
you compose a new book
and a strange energy hovers around you.
Your thoughts parade
like enormous armies.

You know now that Anne Frank died,
and her classmates and friends, boys, girls,
and friends of her friends, and cousins
and friends of her cousins.

What are words, I want to ask you, what
is clarity and why do words keep burning
a century later, though the earth
weighs so much?

Clearly nothing links enlightenment
and the dark pain of cruelty.
At least two kingdoms exist,
if not more.

But if there’s no God and no force
welds elements in repulsion,
then what are words really, and from whence
does their inner light come?

And from where does joy come, and where
does nothingness go? Where is forgiveness?
Why do the incidental dreams vanish at dawn and the
great ones keep growing?

(Translated by Renata Gorczynski)

These Are a Few of My Favorite Atheists: Friedrich Nietzsche

These Are a Few of My Favorite Atheists: Friedrich Nietzsche

Rounding out Michael Nicholson’s favorite atheists series (read Thomas Nagel here and Camus/series intro here), we have a reflection on the notorious Prussian artilleryman:

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)

Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart, in The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth, has called Nietzsche’s scathing and relentless critique of Christianity a “great camera obscura” which drew into sharp focus the scandal of Christianity’s origins and especially Christianity’s God: a God “who apparels himself in common human nature, in the form of a servant… who dies like a slave and outcast.” Hart considers Nietzsche’s critique “a most beautiful gift”, bequeathed to Christianity;…

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The Language of Love: On Christian Wiman's Ambition and Survival

The Language of Love: On Christian Wiman’s Ambition and Survival

Update: On May 15th in Charlottesville, VA, Mockingbird is honored to be co-hosting an evening with poet and author Christian Wiman. Details can be found on the Christ Church website. Our good friend and Fall conference speaker (and literary editor of The Dish!) Matthew Sitman has been kind enough to offer some thoughts on what makes Wiman such a rare and wonderful beast:

 

Nietzsche wrote in Twilight of the Idols, “I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” Faith in language and faith God, then, seem to go together for the German philosopher,…

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Searching for Meaning in Western Lit: Exhaustion, Freedom and Cosmic Playacting

Searching for Meaning in Western Lit: Exhaustion, Freedom and Cosmic Playacting

This terrific review of Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrence Kelly’s new All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age comes to us from new Mbird contributor Zach Williams:

One must always bear in mind when reading a book like All Things Shining that unbelieving friends have surrendered all conscious hope of waking up after dying. The empiricist in me greeted the authors’ proposal formula for a meaningful life in a post-Christian era—consisting of kind of purposeful superficiality, wonder at the incidental goods delivered by the world, and gratitude for the acts of the nonexistent…

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Nietzsche, Socrates, Seneca and The Philosopher's Stone

Nietzsche, Socrates, Seneca and The Philosopher’s Stone

A fascinating if somewhat downbeat review of James Miller’s new Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche appeared in this past weekend’s NY Times Book Review, containing more than a few gems about human nature and the search for meaning. In particular, the book details how various philosophers have negotiated, or failed to negotiate, the impossible gap between the ideal and the real (known to us as, well, sin) in their own lives. Lots of prime divided-self/Romans 7-material in here:

If the proof of a pudding is in the eating, and the proof of a rule is in the exceptions,…

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