Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dostoevsky and Nietzsche

"What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going." When I read this in the Zarathustra excerpt by Nietzsche, I thought of Dostoevsky's point in "Notes from Underground" that man enjoys the journey rather than the destination. The Underground Man philosophizes about man's tendency to create and destroy, reveling in the process rather than the achievement.
I also was reminded of the yin yang symbol when I read this quote in the Zarathustra excerpt: "The body is a great wisdom, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd." It appears as if Nietzsche is saying that the body is both a follower and leader; the seemingly disparate parts of the body come together to form "a great wisdom".
Can you all find any other similarities between Nietzsche's works and literature and concepts we have discussed?

6 comments:

Samantha said...

Julia, I also notied many similarities between the writings of Dostoevsky and Nietzsche. In the excerpt "How we, too, are still pious," Nietzsche explores the concept of faith and explains that "science also rests on faith." During this discussion, Nietzsche questions how humans know that the act of avoiding deceit is truly the beneficial advantage for them. This is extremely similar to a question that Dostoevsky ponders in "Notes from Underground." Dostoevsky ruminates upon the idea of progress and wonders why humans believe that progress is an improvement.

Katherine said...

As I just mentioned in class- Nietzsche is saying that individual interpretation and perception is very important in life. As Dostoevsky points out, how do we know that 2+2=4? Everyone should be free to think for themselves and not everyone should have the same answers to every question. Individualism is something that should be cherished.

chrissy said...

I recognized the same similarity of emphasizing the journey rather than the achievement. Both Nietzsche and Dostoevsky think that humans should not place so much energy on the end result and focus on the experience reaching up to instead.
Nietzsche famously declared that "God was dead." He directly addresses the absence of God. However, Dostoevsky, in Notes from Underground, never once mentions God. But after learning about his personal life, we learned that he was a devoted Christian. This similarity of an absence of God shows up in both authors's works yet we know Nietzsche believed in the absence and Dostoevsky did not.

Olivia Celata said...

Nietzsche, like the Underground man, is not thoroughly convinced that anyone else exists like him. For a person to be like Nietzsche, he has to be powerful enough to stand on his own and strong enough to create his own morals. Both the Underground man and Nietzsche are blatantly arrogant in this way.

Steven said...

I find it easy to make a connection between Nietzsche and Dostoevsky's Underground Man. Their elitist arrogance is quite apparent. For example, when the Underground Man is at work, he assumes he understands how other's view him. And he quite arrogantly assumes that no one else must consider the way others see him because they don't have that capacity. Similarly, Nietzsche believes in the power of "free spirits." In my interpretation of his writings, as I said in class, I feel as if he feels he is the only person capable of being one such spirit.

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