Review of The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche (Second Edition)

Journal_of_European_Studies_JournalJournal of European Studies 40(4)

The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche (second edition).

Translated by James Luchte. London and New York: Continuum, 2010. Pp. 388.

Whether philosophy is an art or a science is, Nietzsche noted in the 1870s, a question that causes considerable difficulty, for the philosopher ‘understands by writing poetry, and writes poetry as he understands’ (KSA 7, 19 [62], 439). For his part, Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist and ended up as a philosopher (or as ‘the last disciple and initiate of the god Dionysos’, as he put it in Beyond Good and Evil, §295). But he always regarded himself as a poet, although it is precisely Nietzsche’s claim to this title that his critics, even well-disposed ones, have frequently been reluctant to recognize. What better way, then, to assess Nietzsche’s status as a poet than a complete edition of his poems and aphorisms? Just such an edition was provided in 1986 by the German publisher Reclam, of which an English translation was offered by James Luchte in 2004 in The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche, now in its second (and bilingual) edition.

To read the rest of the review, please visit Review of the Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche (Second Edition)

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