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Postgraduate Thesis: The siege of time: a thematic exposition of Thus spoke Zarathustra
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TitleThe siege of time: a thematic exposition of Thus spoke Zarathustra
 
AuthorsWu, Yi
吴怡
 
Issue Date2011
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
Abstract This thesis is an attempt at a thematic exposition of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. It grows out of a contemporary experience of the historical event of nihilism, which Nietzsche denotes with the catch phrase “death of God”. Understanding this event as the inaugural force and the structural principle of Zarathustra, it interprets the work as a problematization of history and an effort to work out this problem of history – that is, history as a problem – through a project that is meta-political rather than political in the empirical sense. Tracing a quadrilateral unity through the four themes of Sacrifice, Death, Love and Language in its four chapters, this thesis sees the meta-political project as composed of two teachings: the Apollinian teaching that teaches the erotic willing of the Overman, with its tripartite structure in the allegory of the bow (intentional), the arrow (teleological) and the star (representational); and the Dionysian teaching that teaches the affirmation of finitude through Eternal Recurrence, which centers less upon the cosmological time of Heraclitean becoming, than upon a conception of historical time, in which the past and the future are to be synchronized by the historical willer-lover in the eternity of the present. Thus conceived, Eternal Recurrence is the work of mourning that buries the dead God. The interweaving and interpenetration of these two teachings make “tragedy” the appropriate modality in which the reader shall understand the calling of the work. This thesis identifies the hero of this tragedy as the historical soul crystallized in a moment of perfect nihilism. It argues that for Nietzsche, only this moment of crystallization offers the blasting open of the continuum of history, that it is this eschatological blasting-open that provides history with a new momentum: first the condensation of meaningful human activities into the activity of willing, then the self-destruction or self-transformation of this willing into a loving, where the meta-political battlefield that is the human will becomes ripe for itself. This thesis claims that the erotic willing of the Overman and the lesson of finitude taught by Eternal Recurrence are the sword and shield that Nietzsche molds for the historical humanity to fight out of the siege of Time. With the former the historical willer is able to cut into the night of the future, with the latter he is shielded from his unburied past. Yet both have to be clenched in the fists of the historical present.
 
AdvisorsCi, J
 
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
 
Dept/ProgramPhilosophy
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorCi, J
 
dc.contributor.authorWu, Yi
 
dc.contributor.author吴怡
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
dc.date.issued2011
 
dc.description.abstract This thesis is an attempt at a thematic exposition of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. It grows out of a contemporary experience of the historical event of nihilism, which Nietzsche denotes with the catch phrase “death of God”. Understanding this event as the inaugural force and the structural principle of Zarathustra, it interprets the work as a problematization of history and an effort to work out this problem of history – that is, history as a problem – through a project that is meta-political rather than political in the empirical sense. Tracing a quadrilateral unity through the four themes of Sacrifice, Death, Love and Language in its four chapters, this thesis sees the meta-political project as composed of two teachings: the Apollinian teaching that teaches the erotic willing of the Overman, with its tripartite structure in the allegory of the bow (intentional), the arrow (teleological) and the star (representational); and the Dionysian teaching that teaches the affirmation of finitude through Eternal Recurrence, which centers less upon the cosmological time of Heraclitean becoming, than upon a conception of historical time, in which the past and the future are to be synchronized by the historical willer-lover in the eternity of the present. Thus conceived, Eternal Recurrence is the work of mourning that buries the dead God. The interweaving and interpenetration of these two teachings make “tragedy” the appropriate modality in which the reader shall understand the calling of the work. This thesis identifies the hero of this tragedy as the historical soul crystallized in a moment of perfect nihilism. It argues that for Nietzsche, only this moment of crystallization offers the blasting open of the continuum of history, that it is this eschatological blasting-open that provides history with a new momentum: first the condensation of meaningful human activities into the activity of willing, then the self-destruction or self-transformation of this willing into a loving, where the meta-political battlefield that is the human will becomes ripe for itself. This thesis claims that the erotic willing of the Overman and the lesson of finitude taught by Eternal Recurrence are the sword and shield that Nietzsche molds for the historical humanity to fight out of the siege of Time. With the former the historical willer is able to cut into the night of the future, with the latter he is shielded from his unburied past. Yet both have to be clenched in the fists of the historical present.
 
dc.description.awardThe Best MPhil Thesis in the Faculties of Architecture, Arts, Business & Economics, Education, Law and Social Sciences (University of Hong Kong), Li Ka Shing Prize, 2010-11.
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePhilosophy
 
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's
 
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4786971
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47869719
 
dc.titleThe siege of time: a thematic exposition of Thus spoke Zarathustra
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
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 This thesis is an attempt at a thematic exposition of Nietzsche&#8217;s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. It grows out of a contemporary experience of the historical event of nihilism, which Nietzsche denotes with the catch phrase &#8220;death of God&#8221;. Understanding this event as the inaugural force and the structural principle of Zarathustra, it interprets the work as a problematization of history and an effort to work out this problem of history &#8211; that is, history as a problem &#8211; through a project that is meta-political rather than political in the empirical sense. Tracing a quadrilateral unity through the four themes of Sacrifice, Death, Love and Language in its four chapters, this thesis sees the meta-political project as composed of two teachings: the Apollinian teaching that teaches the erotic willing of the Overman, with its tripartite structure in the allegory of the bow (intentional), the arrow (teleological) and the star (representational); and the Dionysian teaching that teaches the affirmation of finitude through Eternal Recurrence, which centers less upon the cosmological time of Heraclitean becoming, than upon a conception of historical time, in which the past and the future are to be synchronized by the historical willer-lover in the eternity of the present. Thus conceived, Eternal Recurrence is the work of mourning that buries the dead God. The interweaving and interpenetration of these two teachings make &#8220;tragedy&#8221; the appropriate modality in which the reader shall understand the calling of the work. This thesis identifies the hero of this tragedy as the historical soul crystallized in a moment of perfect nihilism. It argues that for Nietzsche, only this moment of crystallization offers the blasting open of the continuum of history, that it is this eschatological blasting-open that provides history with a new momentum: first the condensation of meaningful human activities into the activity of willing, then the self-destruction or self-transformation of this willing into a loving, where the meta-political battlefield that is the human will becomes ripe for itself. This thesis claims that the erotic willing of the Overman and the lesson of finitude taught by Eternal Recurrence are the sword and shield that Nietzsche molds for the historical humanity to fight out of the siege of Time. With the former the historical willer is able to cut into the night of the future, with the latter he is shielded from his unburied past. Yet both have to be clenched in the fists of the historical present.</description.abstract>
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