Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2000

Publication Title

Philosophy and Literature

Abstract

In the western world, twentieth-century literature has been an extended experience of atheism and sadism. Lest this claim not seem dogmatic enough, let me put it differently, more boldly: this century has been an attempt to ingest and digest Nietzsche, to cannibalize the Übermensch philologist, first in order to comprehend the strength and depth of his vision, but second to enact his philosophy. Were this a standard academic essay, I would define atheism and sadism, identify and analyze a few texts that best corroborate my thesis, and draw some conclusions about the twentieth century. But sadism and atheism are not things to be defined, prediscursive conceptual entities waiting for the poet's or the scholar's turn of phrase to disclose their essences. In fact, atheism nullifies prediscursive truths and thereby alters the relationship language has to that which it signifies. In what follows, I bring atheism and sadism into a single constellation. By interacting with post-God writing, and by textualizing and intertextualizing sadism, I detail the radical shift in thought that Nietzsche articulated but that the twentieth century has lived.

Publisher

John Hopkins University Press

Volume

24

Issue

2

First Page

346

Last Page

363

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/phl.2000.0041

ISSN

1086-329X

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by John Hopkins University Press in Philosophy and Literature in October 2000, available online: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/27045

Rights

© 2000

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