2005

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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"The AntiChrist" by Nietzsche

"The AntiChrist" by Friedrich Nietzsche, I think, is the last Nietzsche book I've to read. Nietzsche is an idol of mine, he is the most poetical genius writer ever to attempt to teach mankind. Twilight of the Idols and Zarathustra are up there amongst the best books I've ever read.

But... The AntiChrist was a bit of a let down. It is basically a compendium of all his anti-Christian arguments and comments, in one huge, almost immature, rant. The arguments are obfuscated by his constant intense negativity. In the second half of the short book, the arguments are more clear, although in typical Nietzsche style there are so many offshoots that you have to read several pages to understand the larger-scale arguments. Which is part of his excellence, because his style is very readable: You can read a few sentences, and get one argument, a paragraph and get the feel for a general trend of arguments, or a few pages and realize that the total is even greater than all the individual offshoots, and realize some wonderfully poetic argument comprised of a dozen fluid parts, all summarized (occasionally) with beautiful and genius-like key paragraphs and built-up phrases.

Nietzsche writes, therefore, like music... a sentence per beat, with versus and choruses which are all worthy on their own, but the total is so much more.

However, The AntiChrist was perhaps limited by it's limited scope. It is a final "And just in case you ever doubted what the greatest expression of decadence is, just in case you somehow missed the rest of my text, here is it ugly and bold: Christianity sucks".

The best threads in this book are of the "psychological types" and history of Christianity, in particular, the gospels versus Paul, and Jesus versus Paul. He credits the Gospels with some genuine worth and good news, although he relegates this "worth" to not quite as bad as the rest of the attempts of the unhealthy, crap masses at the bottom of humanity, which was still a pretty unhealthy and destructive attempt at rising to power.

As a result of typical Nietzsche writing, I found myself quoting once from the middle of a paragraph that was over two complete pages long. I love Nietzsche :-) He had a unique writing style, completely fluid and wonderous, if the writing world were as intelligent at Nietzsche, his writing style would catch on. However as most writers are not, it is probably best not to try to copy his tangled, synthetic (yet not simplisticly modern) style!

OK... anyone have any thoughts on The AntiChrist, perhaps some slightly more positive ones?

The translation was by Anthony M. Ludovici, for some reason I didnt instinctively like the feel of the translation. It was a plain translation with too few German-language-notes & notes, and N is a big one for playing German word-games in his text, I don't like to miss out on them!

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