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 clone of Nietzsche for the new release among the wars. It received the Nietzsche Society's first prize and used to be in demand by means of luminous contemporaries together with André Gide, Hermann Hesse, Gottfried Benn, and Thomas Mann. even though translated into French in 1932, the booklet 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 significance for twentieth-century proposal undisputed, the paintings through one in every of his such a lot influential interpreters can finally be learn in English.

Employing a perspectival method encouraged by means of Nietzsche himself, Bertram constructs a densely layered portrait of the philosopher that exhibits him riven through deep and finally irresolvable cultural, old, and mental conflicts. without delay lyrical and very probing, richly advanced but thematically coherent, Bertram's e-book is a masterpiece in a forgotten culture of highbrow biography.

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The form a historian creates (or the one he serves: for even while conducting his most sober and objective reasoning, the historian is still led by something that wants to assume form), that form is a reality of an absolutely new and higher degree, a replaying, so to speak, of the turbid past in a more crystalline element and according to more transparent laws. This becomes clear especially when we are speaking about history in its most concentrated manifestation, namely the history of an individual who has remained visible to us or who has become visible again.

25 What gratitude, a few pages later, for the paternal heritage of his so extraordinary life: “I consider it a great privilege to have had such a father: it even seems to me that that explains all of the other privileges I have—not including life, the great Yes to life. Above all that there is no need for me to intend to do so, but merely to bide my time in order to enter involuntarily into a world of elevated and tender things: I am at home there, my innermost passion becomes free only there.

Revolution, above all in the spiritual realm—and every revolution is ultimately spiritual—is the rejuvenating bath of all that endures. Catiline,3 according to Nietzsche, is the preliminary form of existence of every Caesar: all legitimate greatness must first traverse the stage of disreputable and criminal illegality. Yet Caesar, as a type, also requires repeated baptism in the Catiline element. Caesar, as a rightful heir, always has to remember that he possesses an usurper’s power within himself so as not to wither away in mere Augustan legitimacy; yet Catiline is also Caesar’s forefather and thus even in revolt occupies a legitimate place in the order of things.

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