Friedrich Nietzsche was a stoic

"He was basically the actual writer, while I was just the author." Friedrich Nietzsche's poetology of authorship as a paradigm of French poststructuralism (Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault)

Authorship: Positions and Revisions pp 80-106 | Cite as

Part of the German Symposia Reports book series (GERMSYMP)


Friedrich Nietzsche is one of those writers who have reflected on their status as an author throughout their lives. Nietzsche's conceptualization of one's own authorship1 began in the late summer of 1858 with the autobiographical attempt by the almost fourteen-year-old to retrospectively distinguish three phases in the genesis of his youth poems, of which he chronologically chronicles 46: the first phase, which emerged from the grandeur of "natural scenes" without any precedents, but because of the awkwardness Poems marked by ›linguistic hardships‹, which gives way to the second, subsequently abhorred phase, in which the missing craft of rhyme and measure was compensated for by an excess of “decorated and radiant language” before the adolescent poet tried in the third phase, “ connect the first and the second d. H. Unite loveliness with strength «.2 Thirty years later, Nietzsche's conceptualization of his own authorship tends to make the autobiographical attempt to give the corpus of his writings the legislative appearance of a second, supposedly replacing and hysterical decalogue of the entire epoch by retrospectively examining the genesis of his books as both compelling and disastrous Inscribes the teleology of their number ten,3 to its end: »I have now told myself with a cynicism that will become world historical: the book is called 'Ecce homo' and is an assassination attempt without the slightest consideration for the crucified […].

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  1. In principle, but from the limited perspective of Nietzsche's later autobiography, see Kittler, Friedrich: How to do away with what one speaks of: The author of ›Ecce homo‹ «, in: Literary magazine No. 12 (May 1980), special volume "Nietzsche", pp. 153-178, Google Scholar
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