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Historical Consciousness

Thinking through Nietzsche’s Uses and Abuses, Part One

This time out I have a few thoughts on Friedrich Nietzsche’s “The Uses and Abuses of History for Life,” today the most popular of the philosopher’s “Untimely Meditations.” Reading the afterward to my translation I noticed that, at the time—1874—the essay hit the market with a dull thud. Nietzsche never much liked the essay at all, thinking it some of his weakest writing. These days, in a neat historical irony, historians tend to read “Uses and Abuses” first and the other ones later—if it all. When we do read the other ones, it’s primarily for reasons of specialized interest, at Read more