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Friday, February 10, 2017

F. Nietzsche and R. Wright

 F. Nietzsche's Antichrist and R. Wright's God

Rereading Friedrich Nietzsche's The Will To Power  and The Antichrist: A Criticism of Christianity  and Richard Wright's The Outsider and "Man, God Ain't Like That…" amplify a sense of dread.

  The Will…segment 1012:

      He who urges rational thought forward, thereby also drives its antagonistic power ---mysticism and foolery of every kind ---to new feats of strength.

     We should recognise that every movement is (1) partly the manifestation of fatigue resulting from a previous movement (satiety after it, the malice of weakness towards it, and disease); and (2) partly a newly awakened accumulation of long slumbering forces, and therefore wanton, violent, healthy.

# The Antichrist, Part 16:

"……A man is grateful for his own existence; for this he must have a God.  Such a God must be able to benefit and to injure him, he must be able to act the friend and the foe.  He must be esteemed for his good as well as his evil qualities.  The monstrous castration of a God by making him a God only of goodness, would lie beyond the pale of the desires of such a community.  The evil God is just as urgently needed as the good God: for a people in such a as form of society certainly does not owe its existence to toleration and humaneness…What would be the good of a God who knew nothing of anger, revenge, envy, scorn, craft, and violence?"

@ The Outsider, Book Five: Decision

Cross Damon tutors Ely Houston:  "…I've lived alone, but I'm everywhere…Man is returning to the earth…For a long time he has been sleeping, wrapped in a dream…He is awakening now, awakening from his dreams and finding himself in a waking nightmare…The myth-men are going…The real men, the last men are coming…Somebody must prepare the way for them…Tell the world what they are like…We are here already, if others but had the courage to see us…"

# "Man, God Ain't Like That…":

"-----You test Babu like you test Jew that time.  Jew, he no believe.  White man kill you and prove you God.  Then you rose from dead in three days and you make white man powerful.  Now it's black man's turn!"

In Richard Wright: Books & Writers, Michel Fabre noted Wright bought The Antichrist  and The Will To Power sometime after 1940, quoted Nietzsche in The Outsider, Savage Holiday, Pagan Spain, Black Power and White Man, Listen!, and considered him to be a prophet "whose questions are actual and everlasting."  The important word is "prophet."  Nietzsche and Wright can be thought of as secular heirs of Jeremiah, descendents who castigate our contemporary vanity of vanities.  Although Wright found the tragic sense of desperation in a book he purchased on June 11, 1945, Sǿren Kierkegaard's The Concept of Dread, it is through his blending of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Black vernacular existentialism that his legacy haunts us as does Nietzsche's unsurpassed meditations on the Absurd. As we try to identify our locations in the time and space of ideas, reading  Nietzsche and Wright is quintessential.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.                                            February 10, 2017

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