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224Philosophy and Literature Nietzsche's New Seas: Explorations in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics, edited by Michael Allen Gillespie and Tracy B. Strong; vi & 240 pp. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, $24.95 cloth. The editors of this collection present recent international Nietzsche scholarship from a variety of disciplines with ambitious claims of "another rebirth" of Nietzsche, and a "new approach" (p. 1) which is described as understanding "the meaning of what Nietzsche says by coming to terms with how he says it." There is a good introduction of seventeen pages, tracing the history of previous Nietzsche criticism, all of which is somewhat flawed in die editors' opinion because it fails to reconcile the philosopher with the poet in the way their "new approach" attempts to do. They credit Nietzsche widi practicing "a new way of thinking and being that would not be subject to nihilism," and see him fostering a return to pre-Socratic unity of art and thought (p. 7). The introduction then gives a detailed summary of the nine articles to follow, and concludes by conceding that neither these contributions nor Nietzsche himself attempt to find solutions to basic philosophical problems. Nietzsche's poem "Nach neuen Meeren" sets the tone of what is to come. The first section, entided "Beyond Philosophy and Poetry: Sailing a Sunless Sea," features two articles meant to demonstrate how Nietzsche blends philosophy and poetry. Karsten Harries in his "The Philosopher at Sea" correcdy links die openness of Nietzsche's aphoristic style and thought to moralistic concerns and traditions, while Robert Pippin in "Irony and Affirmation in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra" shows through key passages how NietzscheZarathustra resolves contradictory options by adopting various roles or masks— which demonstrates precisely the opposite of what the editors consider an elimination of relativity (p. 11). The second section, "Toward a New Logic: Singing the Sirens' Song," presents a translation of an article in Jean-Michel Rey's L'Enjeu des signes, C. P. Janz's "The Form-Content Problem in Nietzsche's Conception of Music," and M. A. Gillespie's "Nietzsche's Musical Politics." Rey, in typical deconstructionist manner , affirms Nietzsche's aphoristic perspectivism—what is new about that?— and concludes that Nietzsche's texts are nothing but an agglomerate of signs to be appropriated and interpreted by the reader. Janz deals with Nietzsche's appreciation of music, positing a shift therein from Wagner's romantic to more classical aesthetics, from an emotional to a structured form of expression. Gillespie links the latter to a kind of "musical logic" in Twilight ofthe Idols, and argues that this kind ofstructure is fundamental to Nietzsche's mode ofthought and writing. The last section groups papers by T. B. Strong, Sarah Kofman, Eugen Fink, and H.-G. Gadamer under the tide "Visions of the Blessed Isles: Nietzsche's Reviews225 New World." T. B. Strong's "Nietzsche's Political Aesthetics" tries to establish that the author's political intentions did not envision domination, but rather transfiguration dirough art. Kofman's "Baubô: Theological Perversion and Fetishism" attempts to prove that Nietzsche was not really a misogynist, even though it remains hard to see how Nietzsche's linking of seduction and perversion to the feminine gender would clear him of the charge. In "Nietzsche's New Experience of the World" Fink explores the author's anthropology and cosmology, and finds that, for Nietzsche, individuals postulate their personal worldview, and thus create a fictional universe which includes themselves. Finally , in "The Drama of Zarathustra," Gadamer reflects upon Nietzsche's emphasis on play being both a beginning and a goal in the view of the eternal recurrence of things. This attempt to introduce an innovative understanding of Nietzsche must be considered unsuccessful. Despite the emphasis on text, the findings of the nine critics are really rather traditional, and there is a notable lack of unity due to their different disciplines and backgrounds. Therefore, the realms of philosophy , aesthetics, and politics in Nietzsche's work fail to be transcended by the "new approach." Still, this volume succeeds in providing an interesting survey of recent scholarship on Nietzsche, perhaps because of its diversified views. An integrated bibliography would have been a welcome complement to the good...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 224-225
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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