2010 | 9 | 2(27) | 359-381
Article title

FRENCH (MIS)READING OF NIETZSCHE. SOME REMARKS INSPIRED BY PAWEL PIENIAZEK'S 'SOVEREIGNTY AND MODERNITY' (Francuskie (nie)(do)czytanie Nietzschego. Kilka uwag z inspiracii 'Suwerennoscia a nowoczesnoscia' Pawla Pieniazka)

Title variants
Languages of publication
The present text owes its genesis to an extremely inspiring Pawel Pieniazek's book entitled 'Suwerennosc a nowoczesnosc. Z dziejów poststrukturalistcznej recepcji mysli Nietzschego' (Sovereignty and Modernity. The History of Post-structuralist Reception of Nietzsche). However, the article is neither a classical review nor a polemic with this remarkable work. It is rather an introduction to the main thesis conveyed in the book, according to which Nietzsche's 'failure' to philosophically ground a new 'elite culture' was a condition for French post-structuralist formation to emerge. By deliberately focusing on 'anti-metaphysical' aspects of Nietzsche's thought, post-structuralists 'misread' Nietzsche in that they effaced the properly 'metaphysical' themes alternating his oeuvre. The aim of this article is to target 'moments' or points in which the poststructuralist reading of Nietzsche can be proven to depart from his thought. Several points of this departure are enumerated: total critique/skepticism, individualism, pluralism/relativism, and transgression/extreme experiences. The author follows Pieniazek's critical remarks on poststructuralism in arguing that the French philosophers did not attempt to positively 'overcome' the aporias related with these concepts. They actually endorsed them as if oblivious of their nihilistic and decadent aspects to which Nietzsche was so sensitive. Ultimately, the author echoes Pieniazek's contention that Nietzsche can be seen as a critic 'avant la lettre' of the French post-structuralist formation. Contrary to Pieniazek, however, he is more careful to announce 'superiority' of Nietzsche's insights over post-structuralism. Instead, he asks: did French philosophers betray Nietzsche by abandoning his idea of a new, better culture? Or did they 'overcome' him, perhaps in a strive to rescue Nietzsche from metaphysics? Yet another question comes to mind: which of the two parties does Pieniazek actually sympathize with? Is it Nietzsche, who does not avoid charges of moral-metaphysical reasoning, or is it post-structuralism whose transgressive drive and quest for 'the Other' and 'the Inhuman' has always fascinated Pieniazek? What is Pawel Pieniazek's attitude to metaphysics in the first place?
  • Michal Kruszelnicki, Dolnoslaska Szkola Wyzsza we Wroclawiu, ul. Wagonowa 9, 53-609 Wroclaw, Poland
Document Type
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.