Paradoxical Passions in Shelley and Nietzsche

Linnell Secomb

in Philosophy and Love

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623679
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671854 | DOI:
Paradoxical Passions in Shelley and Nietzsche

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This chapter brings together Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with Friedrich Nietzsche's fragmentary speculations on love and friendship. Shelley and Nietzsche each write the illusory enchantments of the romance of love and the paradoxical chiasmic intersections between mundane love and uncanny, miraculous and monstrous love. Frankenstein is saturated with the problematics and dynamics of love. If Shelley investigates the ambiguities of love, Nietzsche formulates the contradictions and paradoxes of amorous life, and like Shelly shows the entwining of difference and commonality in love. Alexander Düttmann's analysis of Nietzschean love is introduced on an interpretation of Nietzsche's theory of language. Shelley's Frankenstein exhibits the inherence of the monstrous in common ordinary love. The paradoxes of language and of love emulate each other: each is founded on commonality, yet each is haunted by a repressed alterity.

Keywords: love; friendship; Mary Shelley; Frankenstein; Friedrich Nietzsche; Alexander Düttmann

Chapter.  6711 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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