By Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen
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If you have been trying to find a thinker more likely to attract americans, Friedrich Nietzsche will be faraway from your first selection. in the end, in his blazing occupation, Nietzsche took target at approximately the entire foundations of recent American lifestyles: Christian morality, the Enlightenment religion in cause, and the assumption of human equality. regardless of that, for greater than a century Nietzsche has been a highly popular—and strangely influential—figure in American suggestion and tradition.
In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to inform the tale of his curious charm. starting her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche learn fervently, she exhibits how Nietzsche’s rules first burst on American beaches on the flip of the 20 th century, and the way they persisted alternately to invigorate and to surprise american citizens for the century to come back. She additionally delineates the wider highbrow and cultural contexts in which a big selection of commentators—academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right—drew perception and idea from Nietzsche’s claims for the demise of God, his problem to common fact, and his insistence at the interpretive nature of all human concept and ideology. even as, she explores how his picture as an iconoclastic immoralist used to be placed to paintings in American pop culture, making Nietzsche an not likely posthumous megastar able to inspiring either young ones and students alike.
A penetrating exam of a robust yet little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American inspiration and tradition, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our realizing of yank highbrow life—and places Nietzsche squarely at its center.
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Additional info for American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas
With what is aesthetically going on in the more civilized countries, ... "45 Mencken considered Huneker not only America's "official" ambassador for European philosophy and aesthetics but also, more significantly, the "first [in America] to sense the true stature of Nietzsche. "46 Over the course of his three-decade-plus engagement with Nietzsche's philosophy, Huneker promoted a thinker who stripped himself of"all metaphysical baggage" and "dared to be naked" of every vestige of speculative thought.
Though committed to a notion of intellectual cosmopolitanism, by emphasizing Nietzsche's European context and influence they suggested that advanced thought was something exclusive to Europe. In doing so, they questioned whether Nietzsche's philosophical dawn would ever break in the United States. Nietzsche's philosophy made its first significant debut in American literature in September 1892 in Robert Reitzel's German-language, leftist newspaper, Der Arme Teufel. 25 Until his death fourteen years later, Reitzel's newspaper became the organ of his aspirational anarchism-a unique blend of political liberalism, literary romanticism, religious free thought, and proletarianism-as well as a major forum for excerpts from and exegesis of avant-garde European writers.
Rather, this study argues that confrontations with Nietzsche laid bare a fundamental concern driving modern American thought: namely, the question of the grounds, or foundations, for modern American thought and culture itself. First, it shows how American encounters with Nietzsche ignited and revealed larger anxieties 23 INTRODUCTION about the source and authority of truth and values in a modern pluralist society. Second, it demonstrates how Americans' engagement with Nietzsche incited and exposed long-standing concerns about the conditions of American culture for intellectual life.