Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts on "My Last Defense"

I started this piece while reading "The Professional" by W.C. Heinz. The writing in Heinz's novel about a boxer, is terse and reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway. I wanted to make my writing simple and cut out a lot of the extramenities. I don't think I remembered that in the later entries and I defaulted onto my regular writing style. If I went through and edited again I might be able to retain my original stylistic desires.

There were two main points to this story, one was to describe locations around where I live and the other was to talk about Friedrich Nietzsche. A friend of mine had recently bemoaned my apparent lack of enthusiasm for Nietzsche after I "made such a big deal of him." Caving into peer pressure I decided to write a little about Nietzsche. I included some of his writings in this piece. My friend has completely ignored my writing.

The animals and the shadow in the story talk about Nietzsche's idea of the eternal recurrence. Their short speeches are pieces lifted from "Thus Spake Zarathustra." The eternal recurrence was one of Nietzsche's central concepts. It can be summed as this - "If anything in the world recurred, including an individual life or even a single moment within it, then everything in the world would recur in exactly identical fashion." This idea would serve as a litmus test for the strength and personality of an individual. Nietzsche thought that strong people would live without regrets, or would create their lives in such a way that they wanted an identical life. To exuberantly say "This is life! Once More!" To acheive a life worth living over involves action, getting over mistakes, as well as a constant reinterpretation of life already lived.

I think the title is rather poor but given that these stories are more writing exercises than anything else I don't care that much.

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