Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Yesterday was my errand day and I always drive to CBC radio playing.  The station seems to have been recycling many shows be it summer break or new fall season.  So, amazingly, in the plain middle of the afternoon we got a show on the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche from the IDEAS program.  Usually, IDEAS is on after 8:00 or 9:00 PM.--Well, here I sat in front of Costco, and the radio was in the middle of Nietzsche.  I listened for another ten minutes and took a few notes.  There were three Canadian scholars providing information and discussion.  One was a female French Canadian and I lost my confidence in here when she described Kierkegaard as a Christian (as opposed to Nietzsche).  From what I've seen of Kierkegaard he is the father of existentialism, not a Christian, certainly not in the orthodox sense, which is the only sense to me.  The other one was from the philosophy department of the University of Toronto and I forget the third, another female who brought in a lot about Homer and heroes.

Anyhow, in a way I think that I know already more than enough about Nietzsche from various programs and discussions--more than I really care to know.  But he keeps on coming up, and this program was focusing on his philosophy as in opposition to Christianity, the way he characterized a "slave morality" as something characteristic of Christianity and how impoverishing it is.  We, of course, know that Nietzsche went mad, and we have our theories as to how this happened, my own ideas running with the thought that he directly opposed the "slave morality" and contracted some nasty viruses.

It seems, if one were to decide to read him, that he ought to be read him in German.  Some English speaking friends say that he is unreadable.  But I have read little bits of Nietzsche in German and found those bits quite exquisite.  He did know how to write.   One might read him just for that.

To illustrate the language barrier, one of the professors on the CBC program spoke about a phrase or title of a book "Der tolle Mensch" which is generally translated as "The mad human" , or something implying insanity.  She said that in current German "toll" also means "great", "fantastic".  This is true.  So when you say "Der tolle Mensch", there are a number of interpretations possible and various connotations that will never be caught in English.  So, if I were to read him, I would read him in German.

I did look at I-books.  For $10.00 you can have the collected works in German.  I am thinking about it.  Three bucks, four bucks, yes.  Ten bucks.  I don't know. --Is Nietzsche worth ten bucks to me? -- Probably not.

We can see that you can even get baby clothes with Nietzsche quotes, on Amazon.  Thankfully, the baby is real and the poop in the diaper is, too.  Thankfully, the real world is real. -- Anyone who has ever dreamed of having a baby, "imagined" a baby, and run into the wall of infertility knows very well that the real is much bigger and better than the imaginary.

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