ARTICULATION, 'ETRANGETE,' AND POWER: ASPECTS OF NIETZSCHE IN THEORY AND PRACTICE.
AuthorBARKER, STEPHEN FREDERIC.
KeywordsNietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900 -- Influence.
English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAlthough Derrida, Deleuze, and others have shown the centrality of Friedrich Nietzsche's work for contemporary philosophy, the breadth of his influence is only just beginning to be understood in literature. Nietzsche saw himself as a philosopher and as a poet, and wrote in all his major works of the importance of understanding the vital interaction of conceptual thinking and its "practical" application by the litterateur. The place of the philosopher/poet, modelled on Nietzsche himself, was to be considered the highest attainable by man. Yet Nietzsche's elevation of poetic thought contains a dynamic paradox, which he himself not only saw but which was for him a--perhaps the --pivotal aspect of his philosophy: since both thinking and writing occur in the same place, language, man must acknowledge that to engage in either is to accept the destruction of his "unity," and to place his attention "out" into language. To articulate, then, is to establish a double focus, an outer one first (in language), and then an inner one posited in that outer medium. The paradox is that this distancing is both necessary to man and disruptive to his sense of himself. Once one perceives this condition as, after Nietzsche, endemic to man, one can begin to see how pervasively the dilemma can be used as a strength, a source of power, by the writer. This study explores applications of Nietzsche's etrangete. Part One considers Nietzsche's writings themselves, selectively, and some precursors on whom he depended for his insights. Part Two applies these ideas to criticism of a number of contemporary writers, showing how the Nietzschean triangulation of articulation, etrangete, and power (Nietzsche's "eternal recurrence," "Overman," and "will to power") informs such diverse writers as Joyce, Faulkner, John Fowles, and Samuel Beckett. Each of the chapters of Part Two explores an aspect of Part One's conclusions relative to a particular writer, showing how he works within the Nietzschean paradigm whether he would repudiate that paradigm (as in the cases of Faulkner and Fowles), or acknowledge it (as with Joyce and Beckett). The dissertation's effort is to demonstrate that Nietzsche's pervasive influence on contemporary literature is systematic, indigenous, and inescapable.