Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nietzche Drives Me Nuts

I dislike Nietzche. Not because he's a pompous misogynistic, anti-Semite. No. I dislike him because he makes me feel like an uneducated yutz. I'm so frustrated! How am I supposed to learn anything from this guy if I can't understand what he's trying to say?

Here's an example, taken from The Birth of Tragedy: "One need only to reflect more deeply on the linguistic difference with regard to color, syntactical structure, and vocabulary in Homer and Pindar, in order to understand the significance of this contrast; indeed, it becomes palpably clear that in the period between Homer and Pindar the orgiastic flute tones of Olympus must have been sounded, which, even in Aristotle's time, when music was infinitely more developed, transported people to drunken ecstasy, and which, in their primitive state of development, undoubtedly incited to imitation all the poetic means of expression of contemporaneous man."

To which I reply..."Huh?"

As a writer I can't really wrap my head around works so badly in need of an editor. Wordy much? Grammar would be nice. Notice that it's one long sentence? I have to read stuff like this several times before I get the jist of his babbling.

I'm starting to think;

a) He was making a concerted effort to be as academic and snooty as possible. He had a lot of critics, and maybe this was his way of saying, "I can use bigger words and sentences than you. Can you hear me now?"

b)Or these are the rantings of a complete lunatic. After all, he did die a demented recluse.

I hear all the time what a genius he was. I think the emperor has no clothes. Do people applaud his musings because to admit he confuses them means they feel as stupid as I do? Can someone enlighten me?

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