Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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CONTENTS

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p. ix

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Translator's Introduction: Attempt at a Demythologization

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pp. xi-xxxvi

In 1950, Walter Kaufmann did an extraordinary thing. Only five years after the collapse of the Third Reich, and as a German-born Jew who had fled Nazi Germany at the last possible moment in 1939, he published a book in vigorous defense of a thinker still widely...

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A Comment on the Notes

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pp. xxxvii-xxxviii

As I indicated in my introduction, there are no notes of any kind in Bertram’s Nietzsche. To make this translation useful for scholarly purposes, I have thus identified as many of the sources as I could for the numerous references Bertram makes to Nietzsche’s...

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Acknowledgments

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p. xxxix

I am grateful to several institutions and individuals for helping me undertake and complete this project. The idea of translating this difficult but fascinating work came to me while teaching a course on Stefan George and his Circle as a visiting professor...

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Introduction: Legend

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pp. 1-10

All of the past is but a parable.1 No historical method can give us a window on lived reality “as it actually was,”2 as nineteenth-century advocates of a naïve historical realism so often seem to have believed. History, which is after all the study and testimony...

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1. Ancestry

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pp. 11-36

Everything revolutionary both obeys and enforces the law that ensures that the best part of what is opposed actually continues to endure. 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...

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2. Knight, Death, and Devil

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pp. 37-55

Ultimately, the romantic man of the north wants, as in Schopenhauer’s metaphysics, to fathom the essence of the world by hearing it as music, not to comprehend it by grasping it as form. Nietzsche, who considered himself “too much of a musician not to be a romantic,”2 was not as remote from the sensual sphere as many have thought...

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3. The German Becoming

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pp. 56-78

Throughout all the changing epochs of his thought, Nietzsche, in his need to display gratitude, always honored Heraclitus3 as the oldest ancestor of his philosophy. This great figure, who had discovered and justified Becoming, was for the poet of Zarathustra perhaps the...

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4. Justice

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pp. 79-87

Bossuet writes: justice is a kind of martyrdom.2 It is symbolic of Nietzsche’s thought, which always finds ways to martyr itself anew, that he is compelled to take such self-tormenting, brooding, rigorous pains in making repeated attempts to solve the problem...

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5. Arion

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pp. 88-106

Music is the element in Nietzsche’s life one first perceives when approaching him, gratefully or polemically, as an observer: music is the most colorful flare radiating out from his existence into the outermost periphery of his influence; and music is perhaps the last...

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6. Illness

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pp. 107-120

Nietzsche attested more than once to an innate, inherited Christianity in his blood. But Zarathustra knows that blood is spirit. And one would certainly not need confirmation from Nietzsche’s own lips to perceive the deeply rooted Christian atavism of his mind...

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7. Judas

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pp. 121-133

The great apologetic problem of Judas—how were both Judas and Judas’s betrayal possible, and why were they necessary—this most absorbing of all the problems of justification has preoccupied Christian thought for two millennia.1 For Christianity, Judas’s deed and fate were, next to Adam’s fall, the most concrete embodiment of the eternal question...

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8. Mask

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pp. 134-153

“The problem of the actor has troubled me for the longest time,”3 Nietzsche admits in The Gay Science. Despite this confession, which obviously touches on a fundamental psychological trait in Nietzsche, the problem of the actor does not initially seem to be one that necessarily emanated out of his primary constitution. It was not at first...

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9. Weimar

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pp. 154-170

Among the minor prefigurative inclinations and desires Nietzsche had as a child there is a dream, reported by his sister, that the boy entertained for years: that he would like to round out and complete his later years (which at that point he probably still imagined within a “theological” framework he basically never renounced) in a modest house either on...

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10. Napoleon

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pp. 171-182

Nietzsche proves he is a pupil of the Greeks when he says that for him, as was true of his teachers as well, “the most abstract idea always coalesces into a person,” whereas for the moderns, “even what is most personal is sublimated into abstractions.”2 “The Greeks,” he writes...

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11. Jest, Cunning, and Vengeance

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pp. 183-193

The mystical and didactic inheritances within German literature are the two strongest and oldest forces of continuity that have exerted an uninterrupted influence since its old-High-German beginnings. Initially, they were fused together; then they diverged, the former culminating, before Luther, in the works of Eckhart,1 Suso,2 and Tauler...

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12. Anecdote

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pp. 194-202

“Only what is personal is forever irrefutable. It is possible to render the image of a person with three anecdotes; I try to extract three anecdotes out of every system and discard the rest.”2 Thus Nietzsche wrote in a later preface to the work that remained a fragment, the “Philosophy in the Tragic Age...

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13. Indian Summer

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pp. 203-212

Nietzsche, who disdained Mörike3 and who thought “the highest notion of a poet” was represented not by Goethe or Hölderlin but by Heine’s “sweet and passionate music and divine malice,”4 loved Adalbert Stifter—that is one of those symbolic paradoxes, sometimes...

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14. Claude Lorrain

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pp. 213-222

For several hundred years, ever since Faust and Luther’s Bible gave us our German foundation, one question has stood as a familiar symbol of our forever conflicting German possibilities: Luther’s or Goethe’s journey to Rome and what became of it, Luther’s or Goethe’s...

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15. Venice

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pp. 223-230

Inscribed in the legend of Nietzsche the wanderer are four cities on whose names there now falls a reflection of his own like a gift of belated gratitude. These four cities alone are more than the accidental backdrops to a heroic drama played out entirely within himself, more than mere...

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16. Portofino

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pp. 231-238

Two landscapes live on in the poem about Zarathustra’s downfall. One, containing “all the points midway between the ice and the South,”,3 the most remote, high-lying valley on the continent, the Engadin, where “Italy and Finland form an alliance,”4 where a “constant sunny...

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17. Prophecy

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pp. 239-261

The prophetic flourishes only in half-light. It was not obscurantism, as the entire eighteenth century suspected, that spoke in favor of the sacred dusk. Just as crystal grows only while it is in the mountain and, once touched, rigidifies its growth, so too the prophetic word with...

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18. Socrates

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pp. 262-288

. . . A layman must respect, however, what someone says who is so possessed by the daemon, and it must be seen as irrelevant whether he speaks out of feeling or knowledge, for the gods preside here and sow seeds for future comprehension. . .

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19. Eleusis

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pp. 289-308

Zosimos, a historian from late antiquity who, though he lived in the fifth century, was not yet a Christian, transmits to us a peculiar Greek belief: the Greeks, he says, believed that their mysteries at Eleusis, that great pan-Hellenic cult, “held the human race together.”3 The human...

Notes

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pp. 309-364

Chronology

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pp. 365-368

Index

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pp. 369-382