Tag: Nietzsche

I’m currently rereading Thus Spoke Zarathustra as a cheery accompaniment to the early signs of civilisational collapse. The translator R.J. Hollingdale captures something important about what has always drawn me to Nietzsche when he writes that “unlike most people, even most philosophers, Nietzsche lived with his intellectual problems as with realities, he experienced a similar […]

“Books and drafts mean something quite different for different thinkers. One collects in a book the lights he was able to steal and carry home swiftly out of the rays of some insight that suddenly dawned on him, while another thinker offers us nothing but shadows – images in black and grey of what had […]

From the Third Treatise: What Do Ascetic Ideals Means of On The Genealogy of Morality: Much more frequent than this sort of hypnotic general suppression of sensitivity, of susceptibility to pain – which presupposes even rarer forces, above all courage, contempt of opinions, “intellectual stoicism” – is the attempt at a different kind of training against conditions of […]

I’ve spent the last week struggling to finish a book chapter which I had assumed I could sit down and complete in an afternoon’s work. I’d forgotten how frustrating writing can be. In fact I can’t remember the last time I found something this difficult to write. I’d forgotten how weirdly gruelling it can feel, as […]

I was recently intrigued to encounter Nietzsche’s evolutionary account of consciousness and find how completely I agreed with it. I would use different language but the point is pretty much the same: a faculty slowly emerges from our biological nature which, as we attain awareness of it, comes to be seen as constituting our essence (partly because, as […]

Not with my hand alone I write: My foot wants to participate. Firm and free and bold, my feet Run across the field – and sheet. – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Prelude in Rhymes: 52 After spending much of the last three days cutting up my PhD and putting it back together again, what […]

The pen is stubborn, sputters – hell! Am I condemned to scrawl? Boldly I dip it in the well, My writing flows, and all I try succeeds. Of course, the spatter Of this tormented night Is quite illegible. No matter: Who reads the stuff I write? – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Prelude: 59

How do you find time to write? I’ve become fascinated by this question in recent months. Implicit within it is an understanding of ‘writing’ which I’m coming to see as deeply problematic. It treats the creative activity of writing as a matter of temporal budgeting. But how much time does writing take? It obviously depends […]