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Nietzsche's Philosophy: An Opera in Five Acts / A Course in Twelve Weeks

Lecturer: David Rathbone

Originally Taught: Evening School Sem 1 2016

A core anxiety of Nietzsche's breakdown was the worry that he would be "mistaken for what I am not" as he put it. Subsequent history has borne out the validity of this anxiety, from the syphilis myth started by Dr. Möbius, to the Nazi collaboration engineered by Nietzsche's uncomprehending sister Elizabeth and facilitated by philosophers such as Bäumler, Bertram, to the many highly selective appropriations such as Heidegger's or Deleuze's. In this course, we shall focus exclusively upon a selection from each of Nietzsche's own published works in an attempt to let the phenomenon that is Nietzsche show itself from out of itself. Only once we have let Nietzsche speak for himself shall we attempt a survey in the final session of some important landmarks in the extensive terrain of secondary literature surrounding Nietzsche.

Session one: orientation & occidentation
Overture: overview.

Sessions two and three: Act 1.
Prelude: Back to the Ancients.
Early philological works; Birth of Tragedy; Untimely Meditations.

Sessions four and five: Act 2.
The Dawn of the Future from out of the Horizon.
Human All Too Human, Dawn, Gay Science.

Sessions six and seven: Act 3.
High Noon.
Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Sessions eight and nine: Act 4.
The Geneaolgy of Good and Evil – and Beyond.
Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogy of Morals.

Sessions ten and eleven: Act 5.
1888: Sunset.
Twilight of the Idols, The Anti-Christ, the Case of Wagner, Ecce Homo.

Session twelve.
Why there are no Nietzscheans
Overview of the secondary literature from H.L.Mencken to Wolfgang Mueller-Lauter.