Nietzsche – Der Zeitgemässe by Julien Rochedy
The author, Julien Rochedy, introduces the teachings of Nietzsche and puts them into the context of our current struggle. Interestingly, Nietzsche himself said that his work should be appreciated 100 years after his death – which is now, and this turned out to be a good prediction.
Rochedy also discusses Nietzsche’s life (i.e. when and under which circumstances he wrote his most important works) as well as clearing out some misconceptions about the man:
- Nietzsche was indeed sickly later in his life, but was in good physical and athletic condition in his youth (he also spent time in the Prussian army).
- Nietzsche did not, as some believe, triumphantly proclaim the death of God. Rather, a character of his laments the death of God. Thus, it is more a warning of atheism than a celebration of it.
- Nietzsche also warns about nihilism, and encourages the new aristocracy (that will save European civilisation) to revolt against it.
- The Overman (Übermensch) is not something that you are born as, but rather something you become. ‘Man is something to be overcome.’ A common misconception is to link the concept of the Overman with eugenics.
- Eugenics is good, but Nietzsche’s concept of the Overman does not refer directly to it, but rather to do with the overcoming of oneself. That being said, Nietzsche presented the path of the Overman as a viable option for but a few. This reminds us of Evola’s Aristocrats of the Soul.
- Nietzsche started out as a German Nationalist, but would later come to a more pan-European vision (similar to yours truly).
The book is in German (it is also the first book in German I have read), so I am certain I missed a few insights and nuances, but I found it interesting and understandable enough to recommend it to those who are interested in Nietzsche.