Nietzsche – Human, All Too Human (BBC)

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3 thoughts on “Nietzsche – Human, All Too Human (BBC)

  1. David Finley

    While the dramatic readings, the presence of one of Nietzsche’s most sympathetic translators, and the production values are marvelous, this documentary often woefully misunderstands, miscommunicates, and diminishes the complexity of the philosopher’s views. There is too much reliance on playwrights and novelists who have only a passing acquaintance with his The characterization of Nietzsche as the “first punk”, complete with digiti impudici and fashion accessories, is absurd. Nietzsche was in many ways a true neo-conservative, desiring as he did the return of the original aristocratic, tragic values of the Celts, Teutons, city-state Greeks, and republican Romans as well as the extinction of what he regarded as the degenerate Christian liberalism of his day. His attitude toward art is completely antithetical to the sloppiness of punk and postmodernism. Nietzsche’s “do it yourself” means put absolutely every ounce of yourself in your work until you produce something of eternal value. His artistic models were the Renaissance masters, Mozart, Goethe–none of whom could be associated with anything remotely redolent of “punk.” And the notion that Nietzsche did not believe in any kind of absolute truth or that he preached absolute freedom–have the documentarians not read the works where he rhapsodizes about amor fati and eternal recurrence? “Self-making as therapy”? Give me a break! While Nietzsche (with Dostoevsky as a precursor) was a pioneer of psychology, he would have cringed in nausea at what we call psychotherapy.

    Overall, I rate this video as philosophically-flavored entertainment. I suppose it will attract some young people to Nietzsche’s works, but he would detest their presentation of him.

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  2. Taimur Khan

    I agree that the documentary does not deal comprehensively with all the details of Nietzsche’s views, his perspectivism among other things, but that is not even possible. If it were, Nietzsche wouldn’t have been what he is. I just ignored the “first punk” statement, but I did not like the Nietzsche nude which visually falsifies his idea of Übermensch.

    That the go-it-alone Nietzsche would have cringed at the idea of what we know as psychotherapy does not rule out the possibility that his ideas may have informed some of its principles. I assume that Freud, who carried out self-analysis, would also have been too proud to undergo the treatment he pioneered with another analyst.

    The documentary successfully manages to dispel gross misconceptions about Nietzsche, deals quite well with important biographical details, and also remains intelligible to the lay listener. Did you notice two commentators and a narrator were female, and there was no mention of his occasionally embarrassing views on women?

    I think it would be the film’s great success if it manages to attract some young people to Nietzsche, as you suppose. I liked it for enabling me to view from a great distance, some unseen photographs, the home, the school, the university, the boarding room in Sils Maria and the grave of my Nietzsche.

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  3. Ken Steiner

    So much interest in the comment as the “first punk”, I find it so much more intersting that the “novelist” who used this line has the Nietzschian name of Will Self.
    I am also thoughtful about the concern that finding the path of understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy through a biography of his psychology can minimize its philosophical import into a “pop psychology” how-to book for people simply trying to get through life rather than create it.
    And I also want to point out that I found this video through Taimur Khan’s web site, Taimur Kahn who truly seems like a kindred spirit to those who walk this path, and whose site seems like the new and better format than simple prose or (traditional) art for the journey.

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