By Joanne Faulkner
Lifeless Letters to Nietzsche examines how writing shapes subjectivity in the course of the instance of Nietzsche’s reception by means of his readers, together with Stanley Rosen, David Farrell Krell, Georges Bataille, Laurence Lampert, Pierre Klossowski, and Sarah Kofman. extra accurately, Joanne Faulkner reveals that the private id that those readers shape with Nietzsche’s texts is an enactment of the type of identification formation defined in Lacanian and Kleinian psychoanalysis. This funding in their subjectivity courses their figuring out of Nietzsche’s undertaking, the revaluation of values. not just does this paintings make a provocative contribution to Nietzsche scholarship, however it additionally opens in an unique manner broader philosophical questions on how readers grow to be invested in a philosophical undertaking and the way such funding alters their subjectivity.
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Extra info for Dead Letters to Nietzsche, or the Necromantic Art of Reading Philosophy (Series In Continental Thought)
Hence, we do not come to know something about bad conscience when we consider the strange figure of reflexivity that Nietzsche offers us. We are, as it were, caught up in the luring effects of bad conscience at the very textual moment when we seek to know what, precisely, this bad conscience is. (69) According to Butler, Nietzsche's insight is that the subject (bad conscience) only becomes a question for us once we are already caught within its circular movement. I would add that once the subject is produced by this self-reflexive moment, it takes on a life of its own, albeit situated within language.
The mirror image is a precursor to the "I," which is characterized by an emptiness and formality that allows it to stand in for the first-person position of each and every subject. " 10 Against this most austere generality, the body—insofar as it cannot be signified—is felt as dangerous, as there is no symbolic equivalent for it; no means of managing, once and for all, the anxiety to which it gives rise. This moment of splitting inaugurates "the death drive," 11 according to Lacan: It is this moment [at the end of the mirror stage, when the specular "I" becomes a social "I"] that decisively tips the whole of human knowledge into mediatization through the desire of the other, constitutes its objects in an abstract equivalence by the co-operation of others, and turns the I into that apparatus for which every instinctual thrust constitutes a danger, even though it should correspond to a natural maturation—the very normalization of this maturation being henceforth dependent, in man, on a cultural mediation as exemplified, in the case of the sexual object, by the Oedipus complex.
In this respect, the conceptual content of Nietzsche's philosophy is brought DEAD LETTERS TO NIETZSCHE 34 to bear in virtue of the manner of its disclosure to the reader: through an affectively charged relation to the figure of excess. Nietzsche gives ideas such as will to power, the Ubermensch, chaos, and the abyss to be his philosophical purpose, and the limit points of his theoretical apparatus. In fact they are its points of impossibility. And this impossibility precisely designates the site of the reader's desire, wherein the moment of rupture (separation from a mythical plenitude) that founds subjectivity is most likely to be rehearsed ; and recapitulated.