Philosophy and Literature
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.
John Hopkins University Press
Lackey, Michael. 2000. "Atheism and Sadism: Nietzsche and Woolf on Post-God Discourse." Philosophy and Literature 24.2: 346-363. doi:10.1353/phl.2000.0041