A God Torn to Pieces

A God Torn to Pieces: The Nietzsche Case

Giuseppe Fornari
Translation by Keith Buck
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 186
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/j.ctt7zt5x5
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  • Book Info
    A God Torn to Pieces
    Book Description:

    Giuseppe Fornari's groundbreaking inquiry shows that Friedrich Nietzsche's neglected importance as a religious thinker and his "untimeliness" place him at the forefront of modern thought. Capable of exploiting his own failures as a cognitive tool to discover what other philosophers never wanted to see, Nietzsche ultimately drove himself to mental collapse. Fornari analyzes the tragic reports of Nietzsche's madness and seeks out the cause of this self-destructive destiny, which, he argues, began earlier than his rivalry with the composer and polemicist Richard Wagner, dating back to the premature loss of Nietzsche's father. Dramatic experience enabled Nietzsche to detect a more general tendency of European culture, leading to his archaeological and prophetic discovery of the death of God, which he understood as a primordial assassination from which all humankind took its origin. Fornari concludes that Nietzsche's fatal rebellion against a Christian awareness, which he identified as the greatest threat to his plan, led him to become one and the same not only with Dionysus but also with the crucified Christ. His effort, Fornari argues, was a dramatic way to recognize the silent, inner meaning of Christ's figure, and perhaps to be forgiven.

    eISBN: 978-1-60917-392-0
    Subjects: Philosophy, Psychology, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. INTRODUCTION. A Strange Debt to Europe
    (pp. vii-xviii)

    I feel a certain emotion now at seeing this study on Nietzsche, written several years ago, finally published in the United States, while I am quite curious to discover how it will fare in a cultural context very different from the Italian intellectual environment in which I first became acquainted with his works, in the late seventies. However, my emotion has also a more direct connection. As a matter of fact, the initial impulse to write this essay came to me in America, on my summer visits to Stanford University in the nineties for study and discussion sessions with René...

  4. CHAPTER 1 The Hunt for the Whale
    (pp. 1-10)

    The figure of Nietzsche is of fundamental importance for a better understanding of Christianity and its uniqueness; this is the conclusion that can be reached from a careful and objective examination of his writings.² It is an unusual conclusion since, while the role of religion in Nietzsche’s thought has been stressed by several commentators, as much cannot be said for the uniqueness that he attributes to Christianity. This uniqueness is certainly of a negative order in Nietzsche’s view but it carries so much weight with him that he is compelled to return to it again and again with increased intensity,...

  5. CHAPTER 2 The Eternal Recurrence of Madness
    (pp. 11-24)

    Once the right key to interpretation has been identified, Nietzsche’s own writings and documents about his life provide what seems to be almost overwhelming confirmation, compelling us to see his ideas and fate with fresh eyes. To start with, there is the conclusion that set the tragic seal on his life, and that the ‘good’ will of many interpreters has vainly tried to minimize: the mental breakdown that occurred at Turin around the end of 1888 and the first few days of 1889.

    In a fascinating and well-documented studyLa catastrofe di Nietzsche a Torino[Nietzsche’s Catastrophe in Turin] Anacleto...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Philosopher and His Double
    (pp. 25-52)

    Girard helps us to understand the concrete, recognizable answer to the question of what caused Nietzsche’s mental breakdown: his madness, the madness of modern man is rivalry that remains unresolved.¹ Nietzsche went mad because of the basic assumptions underlying his life and thought, and the symptoms of nervous instability can be clearly traced in his earliest writings, not to mention the evidence of his letters and other testimony. Sadly, they are symptoms in which we can see a reflection of ourselves. Nietzsche’s mind broke down as he rashly attempted to surpass and reject the imitative models that are at the...

  7. CHAPTER 4 The Foundation of Dionysus
    (pp. 53-80)

    For the purpose of examining the archeological strata uncovered by Nietzsche our starting point must once more be the “double-bind” dynamics of desire, freely developing from Girard.¹ Perennially active in shaping men’s lives within the social environment, they make the creation of rivalries and violence inevitable sooner or later, and these in their turn tend to multiply. Nothing is more contagious than violence; every violent action against us provokes violence as an equal and contrary response in a way that is almost irresistible. This symmetrical, destructive imitation can lead to a group crisis, adoubles crisis, which represents the original...

  8. CHAPTER 5 The Antichrist and the Crucifixion
    (pp. 81-100)

    In the last few months of his conscious existence, the opposition of Dionysus to Christ did not bring Nietzsche the solace that he had expected; on the contrary, it was a source of ever-increasing irritation and led him to make further futile efforts at destruction. Driven by his growing resentment, the doubles crisis that defined the mask of Zarathustra began to oscillate wildly and started to destroy the simulacrum that should have hidden it. Seized by mounting fury, Nietzsche redoubled his writings and projects hoping to bring about a definitive confrontation. Having completedThe Case of Wagner, he set aside...

  9. CHAPTER 6 What None Have Perceived
    (pp. 101-118)

    What was there in the “rest” that followed from theLaw against Christianity, regarding the fate of the unfortunate antichrist? There was madness, obviously, “… the vision of a feast [Festes] that I have yet to experience … ,” as Nietzsche declared inEcce Homo,² but not only that. By way of comment on concludingThe Antichristhe wrote, again inEcce Homo: “30 September great victory; seventh day; a god takes his ease beside the river Po.”³ Here, the seventh proposition of theLaw against Christianityhas become the seventh day, in an obvious allusion to the Bible: having...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 119-140)
  11. Index
    (pp. 141-143)