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The Thought-Drama of Eternal Recurrence

The Thought-Drama of Eternal Recurrence AUL S. LOEB In Ecce Homo (EH Z1), Nietzsche explains that he conceived eternal recurrence as the Grundconception or Grundgedanke of his best and most important work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Nevertheless, as Robert Gooding-Williams notes in Zarathustra’s Dionysian Modernism (ZDM), contemporary scholars usually explicate eternal recurrence as a thesis that Nietzsche merely happens to illus- trate by means of Z and which can therefore be understood without reference to Z. In his original and decisive break from this interpretive practice, Gooding- Williams asserts the following: [T]he thought of eternal recurrence is (1) principally Zarathustra’s thought and (2) a thought that Zarathustra def ines and develops (forms and transforms) with reference, in essence, to circumstances occurring in Zarathustra. As a Grundconception revealed by Zarathustra’s thoughts and actions, the thought of eternal recurrence is best interpreted within its dramatic context. . . . Qua Grundconception, the thought of eternal recurrence is inextricably bound up with that drama. It is essentially a dramatic thought, a thought-in-the-mode-of- drama that I shall call the “thought-drama” of eternal recurrence. (ZDM 185–86; emphasis in original) Although other scholars have emphasized the dramatic aspects of Z, Gooding- Williams is the f irst to emphasize the dramatic aspects http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

The Thought-Drama of Eternal Recurrence

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies , Volume 34 (1) – Dec 6, 2007

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-4594

Abstract

AUL S. LOEB In Ecce Homo (EH Z1), Nietzsche explains that he conceived eternal recurrence as the Grundconception or Grundgedanke of his best and most important work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Nevertheless, as Robert Gooding-Williams notes in Zarathustra’s Dionysian Modernism (ZDM), contemporary scholars usually explicate eternal recurrence as a thesis that Nietzsche merely happens to illus- trate by means of Z and which can therefore be understood without reference to Z. In his original and decisive break from this interpretive practice, Gooding- Williams asserts the following: [T]he thought of eternal recurrence is (1) principally Zarathustra’s thought and (2) a thought that Zarathustra def ines and develops (forms and transforms) with reference, in essence, to circumstances occurring in Zarathustra. As a Grundconception revealed by Zarathustra’s thoughts and actions, the thought of eternal recurrence is best interpreted within its dramatic context. . . . Qua Grundconception, the thought of eternal recurrence is inextricably bound up with that drama. It is essentially a dramatic thought, a thought-in-the-mode-of- drama that I shall call the “thought-drama” of eternal recurrence. (ZDM 185–86; emphasis in original) Although other scholars have emphasized the dramatic aspects of Z, Gooding- Williams is the f irst to emphasize the dramatic aspects

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Dec 6, 2007

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