Advertisement

Subjectivity

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 149–169 | Cite as

Nietzsche on cultural convalescence

  • Jeffrey Jackson
Original Article
  • 35 Downloads

Abstract

A key problem for modern social theory is the question of how singularity is possible for radically socialized subjects. This article focuses on Nietzsche's notion of convalescence as offering a coherent approach to this problem. For Nietzsche, the convalescent undergoes a sustained, suffered detachment from the idealistic culture of ressentiment that deprives her of her singularity. A brief comparison of convalescence to the Freudian notion of the work of mourning helps to clarify the suffered nature of the slow bit by bit decathexis from the internalized remnants of ressentiment. This helps to illuminate the significance of the performative drama of Zarathustra's convalescence, and reveals shortcomings of dominant philosophical readings of Nietzsche – specifically those of Derrida and Deleuze – that abstract from the suffered ordeal of the convalescent who finds her singularity only to the extent that she concretely and continually works herself out of the internalized and external forms of coercive culture.

Keywords

convalescence mourning Freud Nietzsche Derrida Deleuze 

References

  1. Adorno, T. and Horkheimer, M. (2002) Dialectic of Enlightenment. Translated by E. Jephcott. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Berlant, L. (2000) The subject of true feeling: Pain, privacy and politics. In: S. Ahmed, J. Kilby, C. Lury, M. McNeil and B. Skeggs (eds.) Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism. London: Routledge, pp. 33–47.Google Scholar
  3. Blackman, L., Cromby, J., Hook, D., Papadopoulos, D. and Walkerdine, V. (2008) Creating subjectivities. Subjectivity 22: 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, W. (1995) States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Butler, J. (1997) The Psychic Life of Power. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Deleuze, G. (1983) Nietzsche and Philosophy. Translated by H. Tomlinson. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Derrida, J. (1981) Spurs. Translated by B. Harlow. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Derrida, J. (1986) Différance. In: M. Taylor (ed.) Deconstruction in Context. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, pp. 396–420.Google Scholar
  9. Freud, S. (1961) Civilization and Its Discontents. Translated by J. Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. ([1913] 1991) Mourning and melancholia. In: P. Rieff (ed.) General Psychological Theory. New York: Simon and Schuster, pp. 164–179.Google Scholar
  11. Heidegger, M. (2000) Introduction to Metaphysics. Translated by G. Fried and R. Polt. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Nietzsche, F. (1969) On the Genealogy of Morality and Ecce Homo. Translated by W. Kaufmann New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  13. Nietzsche, F. (1974) Gay Science. Translated by W. Kaufmann New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  14. Nietzsche, F. (2005) Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Translated by G. Parkes Oxford: Oxford University.Google Scholar
  15. Siemens, H. (2001) Nietzsche's agon with ressentiment: Towards a therapeutic reading of critical transvaluation. Continental Philosophy Review 34: 69–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Sciences, University of Houston – DowntownHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations