ArtiFact #39: On Friedrich Nietzsche’s ”The Gay Science” | Laura Woods, Alex Sheremet

ArtiFact: Books, Art, Culture

08-03-2023 • 2時間 34分

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a large number of books defying systematization, creating a reputation for difficulty that is not altogether fair. For instance, “The Gay Science” (1882) captures the bulk of Nietzsche’s philosophy through great writing highlighting its own anti-obscurantism, which makes it the perfect book for introducing readers to his work. In ArtiFact #39, Alex Sheremet and Irish poet Laura Woods tackle Friedrich Nietzsche’s literary and intellectual accomplishments by carefully assessing the book’s introductory poems and 383 aphorisms, by way of Walter Kaufmann's classic translation. They dissect Nietzsche’s views of women, art, politics, war, questions of personal experience, and more, finishing their conversation in a patron-only discussion on the book’s remainder. Other subjects include: Brett Weinstein and Aella (OnlyFans), Steven Pinker’s misunderstandings of Nietzsche, how Friedrich Nietzsche can be used for left-wing politics, a men’s rebellion on Reddit, and more. You can also watch this conversation on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV8xtLySAx4

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Watch our analysis of Steven Pinker’s rejection of Nietzsche in “Enlightenment Now”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4uAyN00BdM

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Timestamps:

1:11 – introducing Friedrich Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science”; why this is a book one returns to; how Nietzsche combines logical and rhetorical argument; common criticisms of the text; why non-systematization works for Nietzsche; the desire for objective values; how Steven Pinker uses Nietzsche without crediting him; calling Nietzsche a “great stylist” is often a pejorative; why “great style” so often encourages great, re-purposed ideas; Nietzsche’s self-conception as an artist

20:51 – Nietzsche’s poetic writing in the “Preface to the Second Edition” of The Gay Science; the claim that certain books, ideas require experience to understand; rebuffing the pop cultural understanding of Nietzsche; “convalescent art”, Alex’s & Laura’s experience with such; Nietzsche glosses over differing responses to sickness; Jordan Peterson vs. Friedrich Nietzsche; linking subjectivity and objectivity; an art for artists

48:00 – truth, illusion, art, reality; dissecting Friedrich Nietzsche’s poems in “The Gay Science”; the Walt Whitman connection; the meaning of Gay Science as a title; how Nietzsche makes fun of artistic clichés in his poems; how notions of “art and truth” developed over millennia; Dan Schneider’s view of art is almost more Nietzschean than Nietzsche’s

01:04:54 – tackling the aphorisms of Book 1 of The Gay Science; Aphorism 1- explaining what Friedrich Nietzsche means by “good”, “bad”, and “evil”; the see-saw structure of the aphorisms; Nietzsche failed to distinguish war from wars of stagnation; why hasn’t China unleashed more carnage on to the world; Donald Trump vs. Middle America; how stagnation leads to a conflict of attrition; Nietzsche’s endearing response to the Paris Commune; psychology of sickness; levity/laughter as a corrective for life and art

01:28:32 – aphorism 20; science vs. scientism; foundational thinking in the modern world; on the issue of sex nerds; Bret Weinstein gets accused of trying to recruit unicorns into his marriage; Weinstein’s comments on Aella

01:42:50 – aphorism 16: Over the Footbridge: lyrical, structural; its emotional import for The Gay Science; aphorism 54- on the process of writing; aphorism 56 & “ending aphorisms” in Nietzsche

01:58:03 – Nietzsche on women; hidden progressivism in Nietzsche; rejecting the cult of rationality; experiences have pre-rational effects; why it’s impossible to get out of the body; the “concept” of women; aphorism 66: feminine, masculine, exaggerated weakness; what women, men can “afford” to do; how liberals argue from conservative assumptions; mixed messages to men about opening up, showing emotions; Reddit’s AskMen subreddit in open rebellion; “smile more, girl!” vs. “cry more, men!”; the desire of both men and women to “change” their partners based on a mental image;

02:17:49 – aphorism 67; Friedrich Nietzsche’s abusive language vs. progressive content of views; arbitrary metrics in dating apps; aphorism 68; aphorism 71- “on female chastity”;

Tags: #books #philosophy #podcast #nietzsche #booktube

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