Home > Uncategorized > Two down in Ten days

Two down in Ten days

I have this thing- this ambition- to read the classics. Those oft-quoted books that have turned a literary corner, set a new benchmark, or stand out as the origination or last remnants of some form of enlightenment. As a 22 year old, in all honesty, I’m not doing too well.

Under my belt I’ve, up to now, turned the last page of: 1984, Animal Farm, Pride and Prejudice, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Beyond Good and Evil, Utopia, On Liberty, and a couple more that hide from memory. A pretty short list, I know.

But low and behold, since a few days before Christmas, I’ve managed to finish two classics on my list. Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, and Nietzsche’s ‘Why I am so wise’.

There’s little reason in reviewing Dickens’ classic. Every one knows the story. The ghost of Christmas past, present and future. I enjoyed it. That’s all there is to it, really. Compared to what I need to read every day for my course, it nice to find a decent book I could just read without really thinking. Hence, A Tale of Two Cities now has a fresh place on the list.

Why I am So Wise, on the other hand, wasn’t so simple. It’s a book/collection of essays I’ve wanted to read for a few years now, ever since my teacher mentioned it to me when I showed an interest in Nietzsche. I think a few years ago I would have agreed with what Nietzsche was saying, or at least deluded myself that I understood it, in some cloud of selfishness, greed and stinginess.

I don’t. And I’m fine with that. I believe the Ubermensch have something missing. Are in some sense morally inept. I get that I’m just not one of them, and so Nietzsche’s work just isn’t for me. Maybe I’m just too socialist.  That being said, he is an awesome writer, and nobody can deny that; least of all himself. The arrogance, effrontery, unadulterated audacity can be pretty hilarious at times. He’s just one of those borderline cases, where you can’t quite tell whether he was a pure genius, or an absolute mentalist. I for one don’t know, but all I can say is that I hope that some time in the future I can be as confident of any one of my beliefs as Nietzsche is in every one of his.

In the mean time, An Englishman in New York is calling.



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