- Overused, over-quoted, over-sung aphorisms to no fault of his own
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (countless pop songs and tattoos on wiggers)
- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you. (This is from a pithy aphorism from Beyond Good and Evil that is always chopped in half for some stupid reason.)
- One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star. (taken out of Zarathustra and out of context)
- There are many more, but you get the point
2. In his body of work he criticizes everyone, even his heroes and inspirations, and most of all himself. When a writer offends a reader, the reader tends to stop reading. (There’s a mock-Nietzsche quote for you!) There are all walks of life that either hate/love him for this, e.g. feminists, philosophers, theologians, grad students, whoever.
3. All-too-many non-scholarly types are attracted to his easy-to-read entries, especially his aphorisms which are found in many of his books (this attraction was a fatal flaw that Nietzsche himself recognized). Thusly, you get a handful of pop hip-hop songs and prison tattoos with his basic Darwinian observation, see first quote above. This trendiness invokes ire from scholarly folk who tend to disregard him without thoroughly reading a significant amount of his work.
4. He shut the door on an age of philosophy, and born from his death we get the all-too-confusing postmodernist philosophers some of whom considered themselves Nietzscheans. This leads to some ambivalent feelings for followers of postmodernist thought; they are stuck with the conundrum – “Who did this asshole think he was? Oh, but my favorite postmodernist thinkers loved him and I can’t even stomach reading his rot.” Thus spoke the self-idolizing smart people.
5. Most importantly, no philosopher has ever been so totally misrepresented and misunderstood by so many assholes. For example: Nazis and other anti-Semitic shitheads (Nietzsche disowned his own sister and denounced Wagner for this), nihilist twits (Nietzsche was against nihilism), male chauvinists, grad student sophists, hateful atheists, rock stars and drug dealers, the list goes on.
My advice to anyone who gives a damn about learning from Nietzsche is that one must dig a little deeper about who this man really was and what he was really trying to do, read any of Walter Kaufmann’s commentary about the man. And if you despise him, that’s fine, just know your enemy if you consider him such.
Nietzsche was, like all humans, a walking dichotomy full of severe maturity and childishness, drastically immoral and moral understanding, highly calculating yet sometimes whimsical observations. One of his ultimate struggles was his quest for Truth, and through this he managed to leave behind a legacy for the thinkers of our new age.
I apologize for my lack of citations, I try to keep my blogs simple. If anyone would like me to reference anything, just ask!
Also, wintertime’s acoming, and I’ll go back to exploring the enigmatic Thus spoke Zarathustra.