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Customer Review

on 26 September 2006
This is an extremely valuable book for students of Nietzsche. Particularly recommended are the exposition of the eternal return - as a thought that selects the best, and as the thought that transcends the illusion of conscious goals (or allows its transcendence)- and the excavation of Nietzsche's last letters for threads of his earlier thought. The book treats Nietzsche's thinking pathologically, in such a way as he intended to write himself - of himself and of others.

A reservation: Klossowski may go off the rails in considering Nietzschean tropes and modern societies. For example, he takes what appears to be a Marxist-influenced position on the modern age: there is a 'strangeness' to modern society for all its inhabitants (alienation, surely is the idea here). Klossowski claims this is not accounted for in Nietzsche's distinction between overmen and the last men - masters and sensually-satisfied drones. This seems suspiciously like an attempt to sneak in a slave morality - a concern for the plight of the masses - and to say that Nietzsche's problematic could only be solved in a world where such strangeness was overcome by all. I doubt very much whether the 'strangeness' is a phenomenon Nietzsche would wish to recognize, relying as it seems to on a materialistic view of our experience. I'm not sure that his idea of the increasing perfection of the pleasure-economy could not account for such a phenomenon were it to exist (outside of ressentiment-filled bourgeois, bourgeois-hating intellectuals). I certainly do not think he would give two hoots for the plight of the 'rabble'. One has to be aware of the spread of the Marxist sickness after the liberation in France.

Nonetheless, this is a fantastic book. The influence of Bataille and Bergson is evident in places, and students will see some Deleuzian concerns appearing here. (There are moments when one suspects that some Deleuzian ideas are translations of Klossowski's. In particular, the explication of the will to power early in the book seemed to me to be an example of this.) I can not recommend this highly enough for all those with a passion for Nietzsche.
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