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The Metaphor of Woman as Truth in Nietzsche: The Dogmatist's Reverse Logic or Rckschlu Author(s): Babette E.

Babich Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Nietzsche Studies, No. 12, Nietzsche and Women (Autumn 1996), pp. 27-39 Published by: Penn State University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 02/03/2012 11:36
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The Metaphor The

ofWoman Dogmatist's

as Truth Reverse

in Nietzsche: Logic


Babette E. Babich Fordham University

The sage shookhis head and smiled. 'It is men,' said he, 'that corrupt women; and all the failings ofwomenshouldbe atoned byand improved man who creates men. For itis in for himself theimageofwoman, and womanformsherselfaccording to thisimage.' ? Nietzsche.The Gav Science Friedrich

It seems unnecessary, to emphasise acknowledges is perhaps reminder

after Paul

de Man

and Jacques Derrida, of metaphor

to repeat the claim Kremer-Marietti For

that Nietzsche's

text is a tissue of metaphors, ?

or else

redundant, after Angele the propriety of

and Sarah Kofman,

the rhetorical working and Nietzsche avers

in Nietzsche.

this hyperbolic

nearly every commentator thatNietzsche accolade ? is necessary and no

themost metaphorical because

of philosophers.1

But an endless


the logic of associative thinking persistently works against our dispensable or we already 'know' ? Nietzsche named the process a R?ckschlu?, what to reinstall knowledge is lost on most a posteriori.2 The self-elidingly metaphorical conclusion point of metaphor commentators, self-absorption, just including Derrida in all his stylistic topicality but very masculine as it is lost on the very many indeed it is lost on those who and the very earnest expositors of a kind of feminist canon,3 ? inNietzsche. as find an adroitly misogynist




on the question assume

of woman

most and truth,

readers, unwittingly appropriating of woman as that of truth. putting first what only comes

the Yet last,

routine dogma,

that Nietzsche


the question

precisely by taking Nietzsche and accidentally Nietzsche's one among involvedly proves drawing

literally, one reverses his question:

liked towarn against. This only means that the very R?ckschlu? Nietzsche ? the easy danger of finding oneself and one should not underestimate literal readers the point. F. Krell, Even when theymove as sinuously and as seductively and self devotion to the letter of the texts such a strait and even philological

them? miss as David

the very philosophical

I could propose reactionary misogynist.

Indeed, sought tomake about conceptual philosophy. point Nietzsche to the letter is endemic to so here that such dense dedication not do I shall though or as nationalist, as anti-semite but all-too commonplace readings of Nietzsche


Nietzsche question question

sought to raise the question of the value of truthand that, for a material of the demand the possibility or need answered of attaining by our deepest convictions. Nietzsche truth,where this metaphysical to raising moral


raises the

does not simply as the genuine good and evil the value that there is no truth,

ideal counts beyond

philosopher's Nietzsche

stone, as a mere pastime on his way Instead, by questioning in God


or against the living God. of our belief philosophers

the truth of truth, by supposing and governesses. to renounce God This

is able to ask why we who believe madman

seek truth rather than untruth. Thus Nietzsche


in grammar, as of our belief

It is important to recall and atheism

in truthfind it reasonable keening in themarketplace.

is not the result of a positivist in to save

of a Nietzschean

is the easy achievement

humanism well known God

in our age of science and reason.

For Nietzsche,

ifone puts away a belief

as one puts away the things of a child, while yet retaining faith in truth,one finds a way With Nietzsche's triangulation of reference beyond by invoking our belief

theatheist the God but gets to poison of thechurch.Equippedwith theidealof truth, philosopher
by other means.' between the traditional opposition (logic) and in religion and science, the question precisely in proper grammar


of the value of truth has everything

to do with woman.4

The metaphoricity

of taking truth as a woman

is the subject

of this essay.


Nietzsche's Nietzsche

it is important to remember the rhetoric (or verbal 'English') provocative as the very twist which made them his liked to add to his pronouncements, aphorisms. declarations,

As a way

to sidestep humanism with any of its many of Lynceus' demonic

faces, Nietzsche

and spoke mythically

eyes. To deliberately Recalling as Nietzsche

was fond of animal metaphors repeat a translator's error we may ecstatically

identify these eyes of night as lynx eyes. proposed multifarious sphinx eyes, precisely where

a feline affinity with Nietzsche's says, 'Es giebt vielerlei

eyes can be seen as elective ocular fetishes. For has to tell us about emphasised

such Augen,5 it is only with such metaphors thatwe underpinnings of creed or race as groping about on the feminine.6

can understand what Nietzsche or nationality, and sex. Nietzsche

the philosophic

the blindness

us that the andKofman reminds back of a tiger, theimage of thefeline(and indeed of animality, the
demonic, and the night of grey indistinction) offers a traditional way to suggest

of our perception

For Nietzsche, the human

the use of a metaphor


in tradition and he invoked classical too much or else

denominations too little. To


speak used the metaphors of Oedipus' eyes and (more ambivalently) Odysseus' ears.7 We might add that it is no accident that both classical figures are linked with the destiny of woman. Oedipus, as scholars tell us, betrayed by themetonymic cadences of his name, is the bearer of this condition, Nietzsche of masculine devastation; Odysseus, the comedy of themasculine Penelope. disappointment of the feminine in each and every one of its guises, Circe, Nausicaa,

in its animality,

its bestial plight: seeing or hearing


In the case of Oedipus, and himself escaping,

this is a doom

that he himself brings


through his own thewomen

life. Bringing he leaves

doom to die in

like the phallus, Oedipus

this fate upon

fromthesphinx'sshrieking recoil intothe theswathecutby his life, abysshearingthetalehe tells

of the gift of crawling, walking, mother and wife.8 The impossible Jean Anouilh limping that ismortal tragedy of Oedipus is celebrated life born of woman, to the suicide of his in is that borne not as masculinist Steiner imagine. The than an unwise imitation

and Bertolt Brecht or commentators is not Creon?who

such as George

tragic figure the stuff as king?but contrast

beyond Oedipus

for nothing more itsmelancholy


not of tragedy but farce, underscoring Antigone herself whose impossible

his incompetence sanctifying death.

in contrast with Oedipus

destiny works

fury in rarely remarked

with Oedipus'

own, gentled, divinely


tale of violation

and destruction


by the names

and images but not the whole travels like

persons of thewomen consummate

and the goddesses

who people

the seas of his life and homeward

a and by his wife who lives the whole lifeofmarriagealone, deferring fantastic illuminations,
life in her own image and defining a distaff ideal and life-program for the entirety of returns, like so many in his line, Western culture, by keeping her pledge to an absent husband who at the end of a life lived elsewhere. barely recognizable

In the sections essence

to follow

I discuss Nietzsche's association,

epistemological I mean

critique of what

he regards as the the

of logic inmetonymic uses

by which

to invoke the image and to employ

language Nietzsche when one supposes

to describe


drag or associative

transfer inherent inmetaphor

or takes truth as a woman.

World Language and Logic: Getting at the

Speaking metaphor. Nietzsche of truth, Speaking turns to the role of language and grammar, as suggested the rule or basis of logic as of logic as metaphor, just above, works by way of the metonymic the critique of logical essence of metaphorical

modem scientific followserroneous Nietzsche arguesthat of thought. logical(or thinking), chaining

conviction. Beyond thinking, locates the principle cases.1 of identity at the basis Thus the axiomatic and causal thinking, further are never

patterns of largely a-perspectivalist Nietzsche articulated as the ideal of simplicity. identical

of logic is founded on the fiction in reality) identical cases that is, insofar In a

that 'there are

(XI, 633) Similar

Strictly taken (i.e.,

identical but only similar cases. as they are only similar truth is simple,'" simplicity variation "'All with on this point of plain with for Nietzsche

things insofar as they resemble one another, unequal "'?Is and as such exactly vehemence, Nietzsche that not a twofold unchanging, world

things, are inevitably themocking

non-identical. refuses lie?'"9

identity, but with more alternative: is that it requires

the truism, The trouble or and essence

a simple,

self-identical of multiple


in reality and exactly

this is not given 29

in the real



what we call 'simple, is just plain Thus, for Nietzsche, implicated dependencies. a the of As it idea not true.' (XIH, 478) presupposes plain essence or ultimate nature, the imaginary, framework that has been surpassed in all other respects idea of the simple requires a metaphysical scientific vision of the world. Yet the same metaphysical in the assumption recidivism which There in such claims as 'all truth is simple' is preserved of identical cases.

by the contemporary speaks

are no identical cases because is, in reality. Dependent logical

there are, as Nietzsche unexamined,

says, no identities between

things in truth, that the 'will to is assumed.'

upon quaintly

falsifying truisms or prejudices, of all events

case (falsification) what is the and is thus builtintologicas contrariety with (XI, 634) Contradiction
is coordinate with, or the very exact ground condition for, the will to logical truth.

truth can be carried through only after a fundamental falsification


the esoteric



tragic and beautiful


of becoming, he examines

what Nietzsche throughout his Here all traces scholarly of Thus


as theproblem

of truth as an epistemological in general The

issue which

life's work may be expressed of selective attention Nietzsche's we as emphasis simple solution

terms as the problem of logic and causality. question problem of self-knowledge of causality as indeed

tend to vanish.

has absorbed

to Nietzsche's

the substance relevance.


concern and that in turn routinely means philosophical that here Nietzsche rather than being concerned of the human our understanding with rather a great psychologist critical discussion

read again and again What

the philosophical poet than as so much


of truth, as such, ismuch In thiswe

spirit, more

philosopher. dimension.

he has to tell us concerns ignore Nietzsche's as

of our internal order, our affective

of logic and take his words We

literary criticism phenomenalism

or even

literature rather

than as philosophy. and physiological individualism.

ignore Nietzsche's and

of the self, his phenomenological

critique of psychology,

instead convict him of almost every kind of romantic


the question of Nietzsche's those questions questions

position on truth and the question suborned?perhaps the truthof morality,

of Nietzsche's

epistemology scholars?to


exactly Nietzsche's musical



for Nietzsche


his attacks on ascetic

religion, his pleas

for or

taste, his views on table manners

and diet, indeed: just about anything but epistemology question Nietzsche The himself poses,

the problem of truth. As a result of such interpretive strategies we effectively miss fundamental, certainly themost prototypically philosophical thereby fall victim to what Nietzsche attempts to take Nietzsche's its epistemological word warns against critique of the provenance by considering the philosophic in all his writing.

or lose themost and

remainder of this essay

of (the invention of) the concept of truth at counterpoint between truth and woman.

To express Nietzsche's

but not in its postmodern

typology of science and philosophy, I have suggested the term hyperrealism10 parsing as Jean Baudrillard uses it to reflect the quasireal or themanifestly


or virtually unreal. century experience


in a thoroughly modern

sense, reflecting the photorealism is plus quam or overmuch. its abundant in its least details, also and more

of the 19th Nietzsche's confusion, as 'will

of the real, Nietzsche's


hyperrealism ambiguity, to power


the reality of theworld precisely theworld which Nietzsche

and constant flux:



and nothing besides.'

minded (I think of John Wilcox but I could also be thinking Somewhat scientistically ofRichard
Schacht ? or Robert Solomon) Nietzsche scholars?presumably he named as evidence philosophy by aligning him with the science for intending to save Nietzsche the ruling religion or asceticism of our day 'positivism.*11 opposition Speaking of to positivism.

erroneously one must assume

take this hyperrealism such readings Such

for Nietzsche's his declared attention



these interpreters cannot mean advert toNietzsche's


to corporeity as such and in detail, the body's in of the

in all itsmeasures. 'great reason' the German body,



life-affection, or concern with and sensitive to qualify

(or sensibility) has been and French philosophical


by excellent of woman,

scholars, particularly this recognition


It is essential because


as it is for thinking the question

the idea of Nietzsche

as a 'Life

and coordinate with thescientism that would name misleadingly Philosopher'remainsintrinsically

his attention to the real, as integument, tendency. as complexity, as the coursing of blood and the whirl of intestines, a 'positivist'


that said, as articulated

and earnestly

intended as it is, it remains nearly impossible of scientific technique of his language talk of style. Yet The result

to follow of


thought on the question to the question

of truth, or woman, once again?because can have,

and technology,

the body, reality, or causality bring us back that style is talk about metaphors, runNietzsche's

(or indeed: anything else) because of woman it remains

and that is to say to

of the question of style.12 If talk about it is here, between scholars, we continually is inevitably conflated. taking what is last style,

the only truthwe

that as readers,

even as careful readers

and exactly as Nietzsche issues he raises.

we typically that takethe Nietzsche To be exact: it is as philosophers(not interpreters) metaphors

uses for the literal substance of his account: for the first, and thus neatly standing as illustrated by the object example the woman (allegory, question?we analogy).14 taking the consequence (BGE, as Platonic for the cause, 'truth on her head.' of Derrida's 14)13 In the case of Nietzsche's the literal focus

textuality into the philosophical


spurs, sails, and in a comparison


take the metaphor


The Miasma of Metaphor: The Woman Question an exampleof theforegoing as ofmetaphoroffers of thinking The stylistic vulnerability problem
well as a useful approach example Beyond Good and Evil, to the subject-metaphor of cause and effect. Recall (it is relevant that the to its has been overcited to the inevitability of oversight) truth is a woman?what the very first line of the Preface then?'(BGE, echo 13) Considering


interpretive resonant fortunes from its earliest misogynistic staccato or indeed even more more recent deconstructive metaphor movement emphatic, begin runs from truth to woman as a movement and?this

(an echo hardly absent it remains. To

from its the this as an it is to 1). To to the I

recent feminist apppropriations), catch of woman, poses

is important?there

from the question

of truth to its halting at the question

effective distraction

from the question

of the value of truth as Nietzsche

to go beyond good and evil:

'Granted we want

truth:why not rather untruth?* (BGE, with the first line of the Preface

save a connection with the issue of epistemology, 'that truth is a woman' Genealogy Morals, of in all itsmetonymic 'We are unknown

the reader might attempt to balance

the assumption


to ourselves, we men

of knowledge.'

In this connection,

will argue, one might

see (at least) one reason for the troping of truth and woman.


sentence on truth and woman inGerman,

is composed

in typically Nietzschean ist?, wie! then?, what??for

fashion ?Vorausgesetzt, also go on quietly then? is the have had little

the text begins dash and

doss die Wahrheit

ein Weib

and translations die on the thought they could or a 'Well

the question


how now?, what Breazeale's

a 'So what?' enough with suspicion of women?'

to take Dan

lighthearted suggestion, when

not solidly grounded

that all philosophers,

they have been dogmatists,


The metaphor


like a story: Vorausgesetzt, thus presupposed, this is the beginning

or in any case with a reasonable

bit of warning


fare. Here, with the given truth nor indeed, but supposing


as pretext, we are not literally talking about subjective pains, about women. Now is as beginning with truth.What is supposed

of so many

truth to be a woman,

we note the supposition The

thus supposed

about truth and not about what subject.

is then supposed again sentence

about truth (i.e., being a woman) truthbut with the addition

if thatwere Nietzsche's being,

supposition The

is that truth be regarded is all about suspicion

to be, is given as of a of woman.

is traditionally taken as a woman.

line, a dash we move

as readers and thinkers to the easiest

of all: the question


transference is effected as the transference always is, by way of the doctors, in this case, via her woman = truth, her suitors = all philosophers. Speaking of philosophers, putative suitors. Where are us of that all them. reminds of all of them, Nietzsche they Speaking dogmatically dogmatists: thus of doxa, Nietzsche could hardly keep the question 32 and its constellation of images more tied to

truth, but so posed 'gruesome earnestness, about truth but woman

the question clumsy because


its theoretical

tether when


are urged

to note


importunity' of philosophers, talking from the question

such that in the end we of woman

are talking not

(and the style of seduction).

Let's review Nietzsche's young Nietzsche added advised

first lines above

as a preliminary

step towards a logical normalization.


an angel's coolness

as of the value ofmorality andknowledge, and truth dashedglosses (VII,493) Thus: the altogether.
to the next three sentences case by way of the kind of musical can be read as themetaphilosophicaT commentary (arched in this than Vienna or even jocularity that plays better on Broadway

to cut through the farcical problem

of the value of truth

asNietzschehas it, as thesubtext of a calmor cold angel inconnection alwayscounts Bayreuth)that, with the of and truth. problem knowledge

If truth is a woman, clumsy dogmatists, That is, as clumsy


then? Then


as those who

seek truth, are her suitors, but qua

they seek truth badly?ah, dogmatists,

a guy never gets an even break. them when it comes to woman (or truth)?-just

it fares badly with

never does Thus,

a guy get a chance. then she has not let herself be won?those lousy dames...

if truth is a woman

that In thefurther if thephilosopher hasn'tcome may be appended to this enthymeme argument,

close, it is not the philosopher's fault. We know who's to blame.


formally now, we

can restate Nietzsche's (A) then philosophers

argument once more: are truth's clumsy suitors. (B) have not won truth. (C)

If truth is a woman If philosophers

are truth's clumsy

suitors (B)

then philosophers

isa woman (A) then have notwon truth. Therefore,iftruth philosophers (C)
In a third restatement, we express A=>B the above


here is traditionally or causal syllogism.It called a hypothetical The logicalform may also be noted
that the phenomenon transition is also She She Nietzsche decries as mistaking the consequence for the cause in a metonymic in force:


(truth) has not let herself be won. (truth) must be supposed to be a woman. 33


thinking in this vein goes beyond







can stillbe thought to agree, that with theclaim, andmodem philosophers criticalphilosophy
philosophy especially as compared with the example runs, must of science has not succeeded in winning the truth. The problem, so backwards lie on the side of truth. Itmust be the fault now thatwe have banished beliefs. the preludes


of the object rather than some error on our part, especially of science?magic, following Kant's somewhat know more alchemy, and religion?to

the sphere of childhood

But Nietzsche, by inquiring, can the knower is a

cue here, adverts to the limitations of the instrument of knowledge, radically than Kant, into the possibility use) of critique as such. How The

the tool he

is using

(and must

to know?15

result of the first Critique It also names


articulation of the categories

and conditions

of pure reason.

the world

to be known as it is in itself and apart from the knower excessive (California-style) surfboard

as an x.

In this it is as relativist as themost see relativism as the greatest is relation, threat

thinker. For those who could counter

to getting or preserving knowledge of the truth.


that all knowing


In Towards

the Genealogy


however, Nietzsche ideal of happiness

explains and ease


source of such

error as a result of the same ascetic/slave has always Nietzsche allied science as magical

that from its earliest intimations philosophy and theology. And

thinking with metaphysical at work

finds precisely

the same process

in the aperspectivalist


of the resentful

we have seen tobe effective in thecase of philosophersin (the lambsormeek of the world) that
pursuit of their own elusive woman) perception reproved or else as manifest of what truth object in the sensual (i.e., and this is what flux of becoming itmeans regarded to suppose as an obstacle that truth be a to the solid may be

is. Truth as yet unattainable, as what

even for science by the same

and analytic philosophy resentful reasoning.

or convicted blame.

should be attainable


happens without


on language

and metaphor, themagical


the importance of perspective someday perhaps

and the fantastic it may be possible

substrate which undergirds

dream of simple causes,

tophilosophise notonlyof beyondphilosophy, differendy perhapseven to think non-dogmatically

truthbut also about woman. Nietzsche's perspectivalism, in its hyperreal guise, teaches us that the


of glancingintotheabyss (theuniverse)isexactlytheabyss itself: back at uswith danger blinking

a hundred or a thousand or infinitely many literally parsed, eyes, like a reflected canopy earnest commentators of stars. do, with to suppose, Such a 'new infinity' is hardly to be Nietzsche as so many

themetaphors for example, speaks of truth

himself never forgot were metaphors.

For it is not only possible to remember

that truth is anything but a woman as a woman mathematical or else of uncountable proportions.

but it is essential interpretations

thatwhen Nietzsche

that his analogies,

like all his infinities, are not


truthof supposing

that truth is a woman matches

is that there is no truth. And

the truth about woman or can because


pure fantasy: no real woman

the ideal woman ?

like Eve or like Galatea ?

man. Far inadvanceandbeyondSigmund of made in theimage theideal is Freudor Jacques Lacan,

Nietzsche explains that "man created woman...out of a rib of his God, his 'ideal'..." (XIII, 477)16

It is in this sense and in this contextual values concerning woman and


of sense and resonance, can estimate women's

of fantastic, projected perspective on truth, Thus

truth, that Nietzsche an Attentat

'Unter Weibern' Kofman, location see echoing

as an outrage,

'an attempt to assassinate asks whether Itwould 'placing

all our pudeurs.'

as much Freud as Nietzsche, to protect oneself

truth/woman in an inaccessible to of

is not a way

against her.

be as if itwere better not to be able of truth as an absence

that there is nothing

to see, and better not to dive

into the abysses




a philosophy

of the hyperreal, There Beyond

a perspectival

realism beyond no outside,

the concept.


are no is no

facts; only truth?there

interpretations. is no woman.

is no being, the traditional

no willing,

no value ?there

logic that has never been up to the thought that

on its own side, couldbe found beyonda simplistic logicof simpleassumption, inadequacy choking
at the sense of saying that there is no truth,we need a logic of subtlety and finesse. not optional imaginary. deliberately, where, To catch as Nietzsche reminds us, even the logic that believes Such finesse is or in truth is unreal

the truth of untruth, we need a logic attuned elided

to the fragrance

of thought, and be an aesthetic

firmly rooted inmetaphors

as such, taken as true. This would




only a logic of imaginary of a dogmatist, supposing

truth or symbolic truth is a woman.

untruth could be supple


for the



Works Cited
Babich, B. E. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science: Reflecting New Science York: on the Ground Random of Art and

ofNew York Press, 1994. Life. Albany: StateUniversity

Beauvoir, 1989. S. de. The Second Sex. Trans. H.M.Parshley.


in Rousseau, Nietzsche, De Man, P. Allegories Rilke, Proust, of Reading: Figural Language New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979. J. Spurs: Nietzsche's Les Styles de Nietzsche. Trans. B. Harlow. Derrida, Styles/Eperons: ."White Bass,

ofChicago Press, 1979. Chicago: University


and theWoman Question." History of European Ideas, 1989, 865-76. Trans. N.K.Smith. I. Critique of Pure Reason. 1929. New York: St. Martin's, 1965. et laMetaphore. Paris: Payot, 1972. Nietzsche Kofman, trans. D. Large. London: Athlone, and Metaphor, 1993 .Nietzsche Kant, ."sBaubo: Nietzsche's and Fetishism'" Perversion Eds. M.A. Gillespie Theological in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics. New Seas: Explorations 175-202. Chicago University Press, 1988. Woman, Sensuality, and Death inNietzsche. & T.B. Trans. Strong. Strong. Indiana 1992. Penguin, 1974. York:

Chicago: Diethe, C. "Nietzsche

in the text of Philosophy" Metaphor of Press. 1982. University Chicago

in Margins

of Philosophy,

trans. A.

Chicago: Krell, D. F. Postponements: University Press, 1986.


et la rhetorique. Paris: Presses Universitairesde A. Nietzsche France. Kremer-Marietti, F. Beyond Good and Evil. BGE. Trans. R.J. Hollingdale. Harmondsworth: Nietzsche, 1967. . . . . GS. Trans. W. Kaufmann. New York: Random House/Vintage, The Gay Science. KS A. Berlin: Gruyter, 1967. Kritische Studienausgabe. GM. Trans. W. Kaufmann & R.J. Hollingdale. On theGenealogy New ofMorals. 1968. House/Vintage, Twilight of the Idols. TL Trans. R. Nietzsche. London: R., ed. Nietzsche:


Schacht, Solomon,

Steiner, G. Antigones: How Thought. Oxford: Clarendon, Wilcox,

R.J. Hollingdale. Harmondsworth: 1968. Penguin, and Kegan Paul, 1983. Routledge A Collection New York: Doubleday, 1973. of Critical Essays. the Antigone Legend Has Endured inWestern Literature, Art, and 1986. inNietzsche. Ann Arbor: University ofMichigan Press, 1974.

J.T. Truth and Value

End Notes


and more than Derrida and de Man, themetaphorical dimension of rhetoric/the inNietzsche rhetorical efficacy of metaphor et la directly. Sarah Kofman, Nietzsche For a fine translation with useful introduction by Duncan Large, see metaphore. and Metaphor. See too, Angele Kremer-Marietti, Nietzsche et la rhetorique. Nietzsche Spurs is themost frequendy cited and influential text, first presented Jacques Derrida's 1972 at a conference at Cerisy-la-Salle. See also Derrida, "White Mythology: Metaphor Unlike Kofman address Allegories in the text of Philosophy" first published of Reading. &tc. in Poetique 5,1971. See also Paul de Man,

most English-language and Kremer-Marietti





a term so central to reading Nietzsche Thus,

to the of translating I thank difficulties my attention drawing patiently Holger Schmid for
as epistemologist and psychologist.

for example, Kathleen Higgins, a Zarathustra specialist and able commentator on and and music, is typically dogmatic on the question of Nietzsche the topic of Nietzsche woman, particularly within a feminist context. Speaking on the topic of feminist to a North American Nietzsche in Illinois in Society meeting interpretations of Nietzsche October of 1994, Higgins offered an unremittingly "complicit" presentation, to take the named Freudian woman the extraordinary identification with the oppressor shown by plausibility) in exact contrast with other oppressed groups such as blacks and Jews. Higgins' own cry "mulier taceat de mulier" as it report was of the kind that inspired Nietzsche's of an assault on other readers of Nietzsche,

at end of the term Second Sex to identify whatmightbe de Beauvoir introduces (beyond

philologically unremarkable

in particular Carol Diethe's Woman For Higgins, and in informed, "Nietzsche and the Question." turns concord with most feminist readings, especially Diethe's, Nietzsche out to be ? better feminist than his feminist readers. consisted describes the illusory character of the opposition between science and of Morals. in the third essay of On theGenealogy For the classic statement of the truth, faith in grammar, and governesses see Beyond Good and


Nietzsche's religion

triang?lation between Evil. 34. 5. Friedrich Nietzsche,



footnotes and directly in the text by the volume the page number. 6. 'The most

XI, p. 498. Hereafter cited as KS A in the number in roman numerals followed by

are related towoman, tiger and the panther, all felines and animals of Dionysus, Perversion and feline and natural animal of all." Kofman, "Baubo; Theological p. 190. Beyond Good and Evil, section 230. Hereafter directly cited as BGE with


Fetishism," 7. Nietzsche,


section number in the text. 8. The devastation wreaked on women is scrupulously indirect. It is significant thatOedipus

one another hand against hand. 9. Nietzsche, the text. Twilight

takes his father's life withhis own hands,as his sons likewiseslay (evenunknowingly)
of the Idols. 23. Hereafter directly cited as TT, with page number in

10. 11.

For a discussion Nietzsche Century

of hyperrealism,

see my Nietzsche's


of Science,


109 ff.

ordinarily speaks exactly "against" positivism (and thereby against "method" ideal) and its recourse to "just the facts," in favor of "just Cf. KSA XU, 315.

the 19th

interpretation." 12. This

even ifwe read Nietzsche's aphorisms, contradictions, deflections, problem remains as part of a cadential and etc. together with our own anticipations and responses/reactions melodic, no matter whether harmonious or dissonant, whole I elsewhere name his stylistic concinnity.



Just like Plato?as

ordinary readers too, we metaphorical 14. Thus Derrida

reminds us, suggesting that we are in great company. read ordinary metaphors is literally the literally?this way metaphors work. Nietzsche


famously begins his study of Nietzsche's style, "The title for this lecture was is woman who will be my subject." the question of style. However?it Jacques Derrida, Spurs, p. 35 and p. 37. to have been


See KS A Xn, p. 194.

so important for,the Goethean?and of the eternal womanly, that is as indeed the garden-variety to say cultured?German, (could there be any other has a purely fantastic worth. It is a purely imaginary ideal, in which, kind?) Wagnerian, women culpably if also reminds us, only men could innocendy?and Nietzsche The ideal of woman, also

Weibliche: ein blo? imagin?rer Werth,an dem blindly?believe: "Das Weib, das ewig alleinder Mann glaubt" KS A XD3, p. 477. See also Twilightof theIdols. "Maxims Nietzsche saw through theidealof theeternal andArrows." It isworthnotingthatif
feminine, as suggested by the epigraph above, or in these quotations, or else in the toDante and Goethe ironic counterpoint (that Petrarch was not also named obliquely


is because he was himself, as Goethe certainly was not, much more than a 'clumsy women. It is for precisely this clumsiness (a characteristic dogmatist' when it came to more proper to frustrated hetero- than homosexuality, which neither proves nor disposes

whichNietzsche proposes in ofphrasing) BeyondGood and Evil 236, it onlybe amystery

womanlydrawsus upward?:

of the question of Nietzsche's sexuality) thatNietzsche was able to take thewoman's part, a version of the eternal feminine, "'the eternal feminist against Goethe's perspective, reflecting that is precisely what she believes of the eternal manly..." Less clumsy or better said: more successful (it is no accident they are called ladies') men have little cause to recognise the game in the BGE prelude toNietzsche's ? his 'convictions' personal

womanwill resistthis I do notdoubt that nobler every belief, for


I refer tonothing but only comment, they play sowell. And with thispenultimate biographical
he called scare-quoting (what he named "my truths,") on aphorisms a reference to his earlier contextual mystery


? hold thekey to the definition (BGE 8) which convictionsthemselves problemof what one is: whichwe are." (BGE 231) "thegreatstupidity
17. Kofman, "Baubo," p. 193