Nietzsche′s Corps/e

Aesthetics, Politics, Prophecy, or, the Spectacular Technoculture of Everyday Life

Nietzsche′s Corps/e

Post-Contemporary Interventions

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Book Pages: 576 Illustrations: 2 illustrations Published: May 1996

Author: Geoff Waite

Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Theory and Philosophy

Appearing between two historical touchstones—the alleged end of communism and the 100th anniversary of Nietzsche’s death—this book offers a provocative hypothesis about the philosopher’s afterlife and the fate of leftist thought and culture. At issue is the relation of the dead Nietzsche (corpse) and his written work (corpus) to subsequent living Nietzscheanism across the political spectrum, but primarily among a leftist corps that has been programmed and manipulated by concealed dimensions of the philosopher’s thought. If anyone is responsible for what Geoff Waite maintains is the illusory death of communism, it is Nietzsche, the man and concept.
Waite advances his argument by bringing Marxist—especially Gramscian and Althusserian—theories to bear on the concept of Nietzsche/anism. But he also goes beyond ideological convictions to explore the vast Nietzschean influence that proliferates throughout the marketplace of contemporary philosophy, political and literary theory, and cultural and technocultural criticism. In light of a philological reconstruction of Nietzsche’s published and unpublished texts, Nietzsche’s Corps/e shuttles between philosophy and everyday popular culture and shows them to be equally significant in their having been influenced by Nietzsche—in however distorted a form and in a way that compromises all of our best interests.
Controversial in its “decelebration” of Nietzsche, this remarkable study asks whether the postcontemporary age already upon us will continue to be dominated and oriented by the haunting spectre of Nietzsche’s corps/e. Philosophers, intellectual historians, literary theorists, and those interested in western Marxism, popular culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the intersection of French and German thought will find this book both appealing and challenging.


“[A] rich and provocative book.” — Tracy B. Strong , New Nietzsche Studies

“Waite provides a critical history of Nietzsche reception as well as an original argument about Nietzsche’s style and purpose. . . . Waite’s book serves to underline . . . the significance of Nietzsche for postmodernism, and often in a refreshing, if surprising, manner.” — Paul Bishop , Modern Language Review

"[T]he most interesting book on Nietzsche of the last decade. . . . [T]he text is a stupendous work of scholarship, surpassing by far the many books on Nietzche's influence." — Douglas Kellner , International Studies in Philosophy

“As Nietzscheans are virtually all trying to celebrate Nietzsche for whatever their particular cause may be, Waite exposes both Nietzsche and these causes to be questionable and wrongheaded. Attacking both the source and the consequences of the ideas that move through the writings of this difficult philosopher, he has worked through the masses of material—published and unpublished—with a thoroughness and precision that would put virtually everyone in the field to shame. This is an important achievement.” — Cyrus Hamlin, Yale University

“New, original, and stimulating?—Nietzsche’s Corps/e was born with these words emblazoned on its wrapper. Waite’s scholarship is dazzlingly superior. His study exemplifies intellectual and political passion, scholarly range, and an altogether justified audacity.” — Stanley Corngold, Princeton University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Geoff Waite is Associate Professor of German Studies at Cornell University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Prologue xi

1. Nietzsche, The Only Position as Adversary 1

The Only Position 1

Incorporation as Adversary 7

Nietzsche/anism as Concept (Spinoza) 21

Between the Lines 30

Structural Causality (Althusser versus Heidegger) 34

Corps/e 51

Polemic and Hypothesis 58

Outline of the Argument, Anexact Philology 68

Utopia: Nietzsche versus Freud versus Marx 98

Caveat on the Un/canny 118

2. Channeling beyond Interpretation 123

On Slogans: Aesthetics, Politics, Prophecy 123

Left-Nietzschoids, Right-Nietzscheans 139

From Batalile (Channel 3) to Nietzsche (Channel 4) 166

3. Nietzsche's Esoteric Semiotics 195

Nietzsche 195

After Derrida 242

After Klossowski 265

Nietzsche Again 275

Esoterrorism: The Process of Weeding Out 288

4. Transformismo from Gramsci to Dick, or, The Spectacular Technoculture of Everyday Life 339

Preliminaries 339

Transformismo 365

Technoculture/Everyday Life 373

Epilogue 391

Too Much Nietzsche 391

The Toilet Was Full of Nietzsche 391

Nietzsche in Dormancy 392

Caput mortuum, or, The Industrialists of the Corps/e 392

Mao III 392

On the Dead Burying Their Dead 393

Nietzsche's Last Words 394

The Last Word 395

Notes 397

Index 555
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1719-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1709-8
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