Get Over Yourself

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Get Over Yourself –
Nietzsche For Our Times
By Patrick West
Imprint Academic – £9.95

Nietzsche would agree with Dawkins that there is no need to disprove God, just as there is no need to disprove The Flying Spaghetti Monster. To Nietzsche, the non-existence of a Christian God was so obvious it needed no further discussion. He would never settle with the term atheist, because it suggests a settled, complacent knowledge. Atheism for him was a stage. He decried any ‘’ism,’’ because that pertains to ideology and certitude. Nietzsche argued, and how he did argue, that all dogmas were to be overcome, not subscribed to.

               (‘Human, all too human’)

Sin and punishment were created to deter deviants who threatened the well-being and prospects of the tribe.

               (‘Convictions are prisons’)

One of the many things, both profound and pertinent, I really like about this book, is how exceedingly relevant it is to today. The resultant trajectory of which, wholly substantiates how very much one stands to gain by both embracing and understanding the writing(s) of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Instead of writing(s), I was initially going to use the words philosophical ideology; but of course, Nietzsche would have hated such categorical description. So, I have instead opted for the word writing(s), that, given his very considerable number of books (Thoughts Out Of Season, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and On the Genealogy of Morals to name but three), is perhaps, altogether more apt anyway.

Apt, being another operative word; for as already stated, Get Over Yourself – Nietzsche For Our Times is so acutely relative to today, that it’s 115 pages (excluding Prologue, Bibliography and Index) go some way in essentially highlighting two important factors:
what an enlightening and engaging book this is.,
the degree to which Nietzsche’s philosophy appears to have transcended time.

There again, isn’t such the very nature of philosophy itself?

Indeed, regardless of whether or not one actually agrees with the philosophy; Patrick West has herein written a book that makes for essential reading when it comes to he who once declared that his mission was to ‘’philosophise with a hammer.’’ For other than being an engaging read, Get Over Yourself is also oddly concise – given the (occasionally complex) subject matter – as well as lively, inspired and informative – as I believe the two below quotations illustrate:

‘’Nietzsche’s prose is at once ferocious and euphoric, sulphureous then dazzling. It is exuberant and anarchic, leering violently from the malicious to the vivacious from one sentence to the next. He breaks into French, Italian and Latin without warning and without explanation’’ (Introduction)., ‘’Christianity is the religion for the mob, for the weak and resentful who are unable to achieve greatness. ‘’The preponderance of feelings of displeasure over feelings of pleasure is the cause of a fictitious morality and religion.’’ Its success lies in appealing to common denominators’’ (‘Convictions are prisons’).

So far as a most explanatory introduction to a philosopher is concerned, this book is one of the finest I’ve read in a very long time. One of the prime reasons being – I may have finished reading it over a week ago, but so many of the ideas are still vying for my attention today.

David Max

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