A God Torn to Pieces
The Nietzsche Case
Publication Year: 2013
Giuseppe Fornari’s groundbreaking inquiry shows that Friedrich Nietzsche’s neglected importance as a religious thinker and his “untimeliness” place him at the forefront of modern thought. Capable of exploiting his own failures as a cognitive tool to discover what other philosophers never wanted to see, Nietzsche ultimately drove himself to mental collapse. Fornari analyzes the tragic reports of Nietzsche’s madness and seeks out the cause of this self-destructive destiny, which, he argues, began earlier than his rivalry with the composer and polemicist Richard Wagner, dating back to the premature loss of Nietzsche’s father. Dramatic experience enabled Nietzsche to detect a more general tendency of European culture, leading to his archaeological and prophetic discovery of the death of God, which he understood as a primordial assassination from which all humankind took its origin. Fornari concludes that Nietzsche’s fatal rebellion against a Christian awareness, which he identified as the greatest threat to his plan, led him to become one and the same not only with Dionysus but also with the crucified Christ. His effort, Fornari argues, was a dramatic way to recognize the silent, inner meaning of Christ’s figure, and perhaps to be forgiven.
Published by: Michigan State University Press
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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright
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Introduction. A Strange Debt to Europe
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.... . . this time I shall come as victorious Dionysus, who will make this world a holiday . . . Not that I have much time . . . [. . .] I have been hanged on the I feel a certain emotion now at seeing this study on Nietzsche, written several years ago, finally published in the United States, while I am quite curious to discover how it will fare in a cultural context very diff erent from the Italian intellectual environment in which I first became acquainted with his works, in the late seventies. However, my emotion has also a more ...
Chapter 1. The Hunt for the Whale
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Th e drama’s done. Why then here does anyone step forth?—Because one The figure of Nietzsche is of fundamental importance for a better understanding of Christianity and its uniqueness; this is the conclu-sion that can be reached from a careful and objective examination of his writings.2 It is an unusual conclusion since, while the role of religion in Nietzsche’s thought has been stressed by several commentators, as much cannot be said for the uniqueness that he attributes to Christianity. Th is ...
Chapter 2. The Eternal Recurrence of Madness
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Once the right key to interpretation has been identified, Nietzsche’s own writings and documents about his life provide what seems to be almost overwhelming confirmation, compelling us to see his ideas and fate with fresh eyes. To start with, there is the conclusion that set the tragic seal on his life, and that the ‘good’ will of many interpreters has vainly tried to minimize: the mental breakdown that occurred at Turin In a fascinating and well-documented study La catastrofe di Nietzsche a ...
Chapter 3. The Philosopher and His Double
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Girard helps us to understand the concrete, recognizable answer to the question of what caused Nietzsche’s mental breakdown: his madness, the madness of modern man is rivalry that remains unresolved.1 Nietzsche went mad because of the basic assumptions underlying his life and thought, and the symptoms of nervous instability can be clearly traced in his earliest writ-...
Chapter 4. The Foundation of Dionysus
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For the purpose of examining the archeological strata uncovered by Nietzsche our starting point must once more be the “double-bind” dynamics of desire, freely developing from Girard.1 Perennially active in shaping men’s lives within the social environment, they make the creation of rivalries and violence inevi-table sooner or later, and these in their turn tend to multiply. Nothing is more ...
Chapter 5. The Antichrist and the Crucifixion
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In the last few months of his conscious existence, the opposition of Dionysus to Christ did not bring Nietzsche the solace that he had expected; on the contrary, it was a source of ever-increasing irritation and led him to make further futile eff orts at destruction. Driven by his growing resentment, the doubles crisis that defined the mask of Zarathustra began to oscillate wildly ...
Chapter 6. What None Have Perceived
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Oh, lonely death on lonely life! Oh, now I feel my topmost greatness lies What was there in the “rest” that followed from the Law against Christianity, regarding the fate of the unfortunate antichrist? Th ere was madness, obviously, “. . . the vision of a feast [Festes] that I have yet to experience . . . ,” as Nietzsche declared in Ecce Homo,2 but not only that. By way of comment on concluding Th e Antichrist he wrote, again in Ecce Homo: “30 September great victory; seventh day; a god takes his ...
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Page Count: 161
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth