Reading progress update: I've read 278 out of 422 pages.

I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Nietzsche - Sue Prideaux

When I put the book down last night, I just finished reading about Nietzsche's sister, Elisabeth, and her husband, whose proto-fascist views and racism led them to set up a colony in Paraguay. This part read like some kind of dystopian fiction, but was just the appalling conclusion of their efforts to create a society that had been cleansed of undesirable elements. The parallels between their ideals and those spouted by national-socialists a few decades later were unmissable. 

 

It was a good time to take a break from reading last night. 

 

When I picked up the book again this morning, I was delighted to find that Prideaux used this background to Nietzsche's life (he ardently disagreed with his sister and had no time for his brother-in-law) as the setup to delve into Nietzsche's own ideas of the world and provide a useful context to some of his works.

 

"He saw the principles on which Nueva Germania [the colony in Paraguay] was founded as contemporary expressions of the slave mentality. Fatherland-ism, super-patriotism, and anti-Semitism simply masked the jealous, vengeful ressentiment of the impotent."

 

I especially enjoyed the way Prideaux uses the background as a clarification of how his works were misused by his sister after Nietzsche's death. This was an aspect I hoped would be clarified in the book. 

 

I've got just about 80 pages left in the book (the rest are additional materials, aphorisms, references) and will probably finish this early this afternoon.