File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2002/nietzsche.0202, message 19

Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 15:05:12 +1200
Subject: Re: Of the Three Metamorphoses

><< what kind of critical posture is steeped in what it denounces?>>
>Almost every critical posture. For example, one can easily find socialists
>who love "humanity" but are nasty and dismissive of the people in their
>immediate sphere. As Emerson (who N admired) said in Self-Reliance, "Thy
>charity abroad is spite at home." It is our own inner paradoxes that surfaces
>through these abstractions.

beautifully put, I know what you mean & my question must have appeared
naive in that these ideas have been central for critical theory for some
time. I guess what I was getting at is that there's a particular problem in
this regard w. ressentiment insofar as one redraws ress when impugning it
(as the work of staten, picart, ridley & derrida has suggested - i'm not
sure this redrawing is necessary, but it's common). this problem is acute
for the analysis i'm working on as ress. has been used extensively (often
rightly) to critique victimology/victim politics but often ends up
facilitating reverse victimologies/ressentiments - redistributions rather
than deconstructions of victim status. in working on this my position is
very far from writing n. off for his difficulty, although my cranky email
probably suggested this.

>N's later writing was episodic, since he was in almost continual pain of one
>kind or another, and his writing can be seen as outburst of someone in pain.
>A portrait certainly, but hardly a systematic exposition, and hardly a
>politics, unless it be a politics of his own body.

yes (i reckon one of the best documents of this writing/pain is
chamberlain's _Nietzsche in Turin_). although deleuze does point out that
GOM is his most 'systematic' work which is significant for the study of
ress. also, in case i've been misunderstood, wasn't really chastising n.
for not being systematic (a reactive reading) - my concern is that
secondary diagnostic use of ress. tends to stabilise/systematise the
concept rather than investigate its instabilities - its forgotten umbrellas
(esp the sense in BGE that there's no clean place to stand contra GOM's
stark typology, among a great many others).

>It is in his personal applications, rather than the political
>extensions, that N strikes deepest.

i would have to agree with this. my only doubt being that ress. does seem
to describe a (not the) process through which political desire (as
anti-politics or otherwise) is forged (N.'s late declarations about being
'ready to rule' come to mind here), so there may be grounds on which to
frey the distinction between personal application & political extension (to
extract a teaching about political desire rather than a political theory).

thanks for your responses - Ruth's framing of the problem is esp.
interesting too. I'll leave it here as you've the child thread to work on &
my deadline is ever closer.

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