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on 5 December 2010
This is one of the few books that comes close to an understanding of Nietzsche's thought. It is by no means an introduction, and says a lot more for Deleuze than Nietzsche, but this book shows Deleuze is one of the first philosophers to read an understanding of Nietzsche.
By prioritising the affirmation and the radical ontology of a becoming flux; Deleuze comes close to an non-moral understanding of the will to power. It is certainly to be read against the works of Kaufmann; but it is meticulously close to the text of Nietzsche, and doesn't gloss over tricky passages to advance an unwieldy interpretation.
This book has inspired all subsequent scholarship, as with I highly recommend Leiter and Cox. It is also wonderfully close to the use of Nietzsche by Derrida, in his essay 'Difference' and 'Margins'.
If you want to understand Nietzsche on his own terms, then read this after reading Nietzsche's Oeuvre.
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on 17 November 1999
This is not an introduction to Nietzsche as a thinker; there are no biographical details or judgements of his legacy. This book is an exposition of Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche - indeed he includes 4 rules for reading him rewardingly. If you agree, Deleuze's perspective is a profound one; an in-depth analysis Nietzsche's project - from nihilism to the revaluation of values. Deleuze suggests that Nietzsche's greatness could lie merely in his discovery of how to seperate 'ressentiment' and bad-conscience. Nietzsche, however, through his use of genealogy or symptomatology, also exposed the role nihilism plays in shaping the all-to-human.This finds its latest dogmatic manifestation in the German dialectic which Nietzsche is contemtuous of. It turns out that Deleuze is sympathetic to Zarathustra's counsel to dance, play and roar with laughter; in other words to affirm Dionysus, rather than attempt to escape him in nihilism. This book valiantly attempts to explain the puzzling and difficult positive side of Nietzsche's thought. For a moment I thought I had grasped a coherent idea of eternal return. Deleuze may have understood it, but after one reading I'm not there yet. According to Deleuze, Nietzsche is an infuriating, profound, mercurial and radical thinker of enormous influence in contemporary French philosophy. Rather like Deleuze.
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