Nietzsche's Sudden Impact

Beginning quote:
"Posthumous men - like me, for instance - are
not so well understood as timely men, but they are
listened to better. More precisely: we are never
understood - and hence our authority..."

-Friedrich Nietzsche


Exactly one hundred and thirteen years ago Friedrich Nietzsche died (1900), leaving us with profound questions, theories and anecdotes concerning the pursuit of knowledge, life, morality, and how to live one's life.


Recently I caught up with the great philosopher at  The Mutiny Information Cafe on south Broadway in Denver. He was kind enough to grant me an impromptu interview to discuss casually his impressions on various topics.


Dimitri Bogdanovich: Thank you very much Mr. Nietzsche for granting me this interview on such short notice. Can I buy you a cup of coffee or tea?

Friedrich Nietzsche: No thank you. My usual cup of water will do. Interesting name for a cafe. Do you come here a lot?

D.B. Yes. In fact I work here part-time and practically live here during my off hours. The Mutiny Cafe is where I've read and bought all your books. It really is the best coffee house and book store in town.

F.N. Sounds like your shamelessly promoting your place of employment.

D.B. Well yes. Kind of like your attitude toward your books.

F.N. Really? For example?

D.B. Well let us take the title of your autobiography.

F.N. Go on.

D.B. Book title: Ecce Homo with chapter titles such as Why I Am So Wise, Why I Am So Clever, Why I Write Such Good Books. And my favorite title: Why I Am A Destiny. Are these not conceited and self-serving titles?

F.N. Young man you have me at a disadvantage. Excellent choice. Nevertheless I disagree with your analysis. Modesty or what you call political correctness has never been one of my best traits. A sharpened pen dipped in blood is the best way to express yourself.

D.B. Really? Explain please.

F.N. Of course. Its quite plain and clear. Anything else is a half truth or just an outright lie.

D.B. Why is that?

F.N. One cannot worry about one's table manners or hurt feelings when writing about life or exploring certain philosophical questions. Politeness destroys a man's hardened convictions.

D.B. Such as?

F.N. "Pity" for example.

D.B. Yes. You've always had a distaste for that emotion. Why?

F.N. Its dangerous. It destroys human struggle.

D.B. How so?

F.N. Well first of all it is the christian pity I speak of. Christian pity allows the individual or an entire society perhaps to wallow in whatever pain they suffer from. Pity breaks down one's will to do battle with pain and suffering in order to overcome whatever tragedy stands before you. There's an increased weakness and selfishness that pity attracts. Pity drains all strength and will to do battle of any kind.

D.B. Can you give me an example?

F.N. Well without trying to be disrespectful, your beautiful country America is now in the grips of this pity, as are most nations and has been for a very long time.

D.B. Can you elaborate please.

F.N. Sure, I'll make it simple. Everybody wants a piggy back ride. I' m sure you can figure that out.

D.B. Fair enough. Many scholars claim that your writing has no system and because of it maybe your philosophy should not be taken as seriously.

F.N. Perhaps there is a system. They just can't see it.

D.B. As I've said I've read all your books and I also see a disjointed pattern in your style.

F.N. Perhaps it is a puzzle you can't figure out as well.

D.B. Some of the finest minds in the world have tried to figure your way of thinking.

F.N. Well that is where they fail. They either try too hard or don't think at all.

D.B. Then what is the answer to the puzzle?

F.N. To understand me is to continue to read my books. Think and your mind will follow.

D.B. Then there is no puzzle?

F.N. It is up to you to decide how my writing affects you. More than anything else I write to understand myself.

D.B. One of the major attractions I see in your thought process is that your attitude towards topics such as morality, art, life, science, metaphysics, pessimism and so on seems to detract from the conventional way others view these complex issues.

F.N. Perhaps it is my way of thinking that is correct and conventional and I have spent my life correcting the obscure view that humankind presents to us. Just because you see the way things are does not mean that is the way they should be.

D.B. In the simplest way, what would you consider correct, conventional and important.

F.N. That's easy. The individual thought process. The complete individual. Man as himself and only himself.

D.B. Yes, your books seem to bear that resemblance.

F.N. I have always tried to bring a ''SUDDEN IMPACT'' to my words.

D.B. That's funny isn't it, the fact that you died in 1900.

F.N. That's simply is not true. People are still reading my books, aren't they?

D.B. Thank you Mr. Nietzsche. Its been wonderful speaking to you.

F.N. My pleasure. I think I will have that cup of coffee after all.


End quote:
"It is hard enough to remember
my own opinions, without also
remembering my reasons for them"

-Friedrich Nietzsche


P.S. For more information, come visit us at 
Mutiny Information Cafe
2 So. Broadway
Denver, Co.  PH: 303-778-7579