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 Class Forums - Spring 2013
 PHIL 200-002 - Friedrich Nietzsche
 Inspiration - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Stepfanie Hodson

3 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2013 :  8:37:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really liked part 3 of the discussion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in Ecce Homo. It seemed that Nietzsche was noting, in detailed imagery, what it feels like to stumble across inspiration and how it can possibly lead someone to a truth, kind of like how he leads into his experiences when coming across his thought for Thus Spoke Zarathustra in part 4. At least that was my interpretation of this section. It sounded as though it was the process of discovering an idea or as he puts it "the concept of revelation." He ends this part implying that no one could possibly, or very rarely, have the same experience as he did when going through his moving inspirations when finding Zarathustra. I was posting this in the hopes of getting answers to two of my questions, the first being, why does Nietzsche include this in the middle of this discussion, questioning whether people of the 19th century have thought about inspiration? And does he mean to suggest that inspiration, of any kind, leads to and ends with a truth, and if so, what kind specifically?

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]

David Berger
Old Hand

103 Posts

Posted - Feb 04 2013 :  11:01:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To answer you first question, Nietzsche is discussing what he considers his most triumphant work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I'm sure he feels that he was in the grips of a truly powerful inspiration, the likes of which most do not experience. So hence his initial question, "is there anyone in the 19th century...".

As for the nature of this inspiration, Nietzsche is speaking to a sort of truth which I think we can distinguish from the typical logical proposition. The truth of which he speaks is revelation: "something becomes visible, audible". In the sense that even the skeptics do not attempt to argue the appearances as such, it is like the truth of a bird's song, or the sun rising--it appears something has happened, and from this powerful impetus, the "rhythm" is established. The form of this rhythm varies based on the entire nature of the inspiration. It can be thought of like a very precise metaphor. Every dimension of clarity is understood, and one writes almost as though from a new perspective.

We could perhaps say that inspiration is laden with truth, like an overflowing cup! ;)
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