“… the most vital of all thinkers”

machinic matter

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Last weekend I stumbled upon Stefan Zweig’s Nietzsche, translated by Will Stone for Hesperus Press (2013). Coming in at under one hundred pages, the book provides a journey of quite profound intensity through Nietzsche’s life, and the tumultuous life of his thought. In a performative relaying of Nietzsche’s own style of thought, Zweig presents his account “not as biography, but as a dramatic act, a work of art and a tragedy of the spirit” (2013, page 58).

One of the most striking aspects of the book was its poetic insistence upon the physicality of Nietzsche’s thought, perhaps as way of reclaiming his writings from those who would wish to denounce them as the subjective ramblings of a madman. Through Zweig’s stunning prose, we are instead painted a picture of a thought-process that is visceral, gastric, fibrous, electric and atmospheric. Nietzsche’s vital thought quivers in its perpetual exposure to what William…

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