The Textual Estate: Nietzsche and Authorial Responsibility

Seán Burke

in The Ethics of Writing

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780748618309
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652075 | DOI:
The Textual Estate: Nietzsche and Authorial Responsibility

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This chapter argues that the worst dreams of Plato's Socrates are recurring in the context of the ethically underdetermined scene of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's reception history. The new Nietzscheans are right to insist that Nietzsche's texts are signed to more than one concept, but one cannot take his plurality, his styles, his masks, and nomadism to imply an unselving ‘innocence of becoming’. The founder of logocentrism and the so-called ‘counter-philosopher’ implicate themselves in the problems of any mixed discourse. Moreover, the signature is considered as a meditatio generis futuri and as a contract drawn up with readers present, readers future, and readers who will read the work of a dead or otherwise unresponsive author. The chapter then describes the generic problematics of the signatory contact an author draws up with his near-contemporaneous audience and the textual estate that was formerly known as posterity.

Keywords: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; Plato; Socrates; counter-philosopher; logocentrism; signature; nomadism

Chapter.  13250 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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