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176Philosophy and Literature itation on religion. Thinking and writing must follow the same obligations imposed on manual labor: method and discipline. Any yielding to man's most natural enemy—laziness—takes away from truth. That there is no separation between moral and intellectual search, between thought and action, appears witii crystal clarity from Gabriella Fiori's simultaneous exposition of Simone's life and ideas. This book succeeds, with four hundred pages and limited quotations, in offering the reader a thorough spectrum of Simone Weil's all-encompassing inquiry, spanning a period of almost twenty years—from 1925, papers for Alain, to 1943, Ecrits de Londres. The task is one of extreme challenge because the biographer has to make discernible the balance of growth and consistency that characterizes Simone's work, as well as the richness of a thought that, in its Cartesian clarity, still defies the principle of contradiction and resolves opposites on a higher level. Gabriella Fiori has further developed her effort of interpretation in another book—Simone Weil: Une Femme absolue (1987)—but already in this biography she transmits the essential quality of Simone's voice. Her reading is unbiased; and while it stresses certain aspects—e.g., the sociopolitical aspect, or the relevance of Simone's feminine condition, over, for instance, the impact ofher perception ofbeauty— enough is still said and quoted about the latter, to point the reader in this direction in the mare magnum of Simone Weil's work. Even on a mere factual level Gabriella Fiori has much to offer, both in the text and in the rich supplement of notes, as a result of her indefatigable investigation of any and all recollections of surviving witnesses. The lively style of the Italian original has been masterfully kept by Mr. Berrigan's English translation. University of Illinois at ChicagoMargherita Pieracci Harwell Nietzsche Contra Nietzsche: Creativity and the Anti-Romantic , by Adrian Del Caro; 314 pp. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989, $37.50. Asceticism means nothing or too many things, Nietzsche held, by which he meant that it means so many things as to mean nothing at all. Another word that exemplifies this situation is "Romanticism." Most definitions of it are unilluminating . Adrian Del Caro's book does not entirely evade the dangers inherent in his subject, Nietzsche's relation to the German Romantic tradition, in large measurebecause the level ofgeneralization needed tocover such ground leads him into a mire ofuntenable, and finally uninteresting, pronouncements: Reviews177 "It was as if the romanticists were among the first to realize that there is a connection between art and a living system of values" (p. 196); "For the romanticist , idealism was a saving grace" (p. 246); "... the romanticist feelsjustified, indeed fulfilled, when creativity manifests itself through infinite imaginai progressions" (p. 258), and so on. The German Romantic tradition is the backdrop, great and dark, against which Del Caro pursues his thesis, namely, that for Nietzsche self-creation, acts ofcontinual self-molding or overcoming, were the only adequate counterweight for a world emptied of values, God, truth, or even a unified entity called the ego. Only by resolving to recreate himself could Nietzsche displace the nihilism inherent in his destructions. Del Caro's argument resembles at several points that put forward recendy by Alexander Nehamas. Unfortunately, Del Caro makes no use of his predecessor: Nehamas's book does well many of the things this book does awkwardly. If the chapters such as the eleven pages devoted to "Romanticism Viewed as a General Trend" do not heed the somewhat old warnings of A. O. Lovejoy, others are more useful. Best among them are the discussions of Goethe, Kant, Schelling, and the Schlegels. In discussing Wagner, Del Caro observes that Wagner became for Nietzsche a "cipher for a greater foe, namely, romanticism" (p. 146). True enough. One only wishes that Del Caro's understanding of influence remained at this level. Our notions of influence, so greatly influenced by (ironically) Nietzsche, are not as benign as Del Caro seems to feel. Schopenhauer , who mattered most to Nietzsche, is omitted entirely. Equally un-Nietzschean is the view Del Caro takes of the relation of poetry and philosophy. In following Schlegel's arguments...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 176-178
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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