Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Gesellschaftliche Reproduktion und kulturelle Innovation. Aus semiotischer Sicht / Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation. From a Semiotic Point of View

Cultural Criticism & Catastrophe in Friedrich Nietzsche's Wille zur Macht

W.G. Kudszus (University of California at Berkeley)



In Nietzsche's in-depth analysis of power dynamics, physiological microrealms emerge with primary force. In these realms, his Kulturkritik takes on rhizomatic, mobile, and unruly features. In this - his final - project, Nietzsche engages linguistic metaphoricity and semiotic multivalence rather than semantically stable entities. Specifically, my contribution explores rupture and affectively charged discontinuity, key components of Nietzsche's cultural criticism. Early in 1888, less than a year before his collapse, Nietzsche notes: "the extreme sharpness of certain senses: so that they understand - and create - an entirely different language of signs [...] - the same kind that seems to be connected with some neurological diseases - the extreme mobility out of which grows an extreme urge to communicate [...] a need as it were to get rid of yourself through signs and gestures [...] a kind of automatism of the entire muscular system subjected to the impulse of strong incitements from the inner sphere - inability to interfere with this reaction; the resistive apparatus as it were disengaged (Nachlaß 1887-1889, München: dtv 1999: 356; italics Nietzsche; tr. mine). In a cataclysmically pronounced exploration of Nietzsche's notion of disengagement - with reference to René Thom's catastrophe theory - my contribution addresses a certain prégnance before and beyond manifest change.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-09