The British Psychological Society‘s History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL’s Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, has announced the first talk in their Autumn seminar series. On Monday September 28th Gaia Domenici will speak on “‘Crush the head of the serpent and it will bite you in the heel’: Jung’s understanding of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra in light of his own Liber Novus.” Full details can be found here. The abstract reads,
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In 1934–1939, Jung analysed Nietzche’s Zarathustra in a seminar given at the Psychological Club in Zurich. His interpretation has been controversial and strongly criticised by Nietzsche scholars, but to date, it has not been studied in the light of his own recently published ‘Red Book’. This enables one to track the evolution of Jung’s engagement with Nietzsche and how he came to read Zarathustra as analogous to his own work. Obscure points of Jung’s later reading of Zarathustra can be explained in relation to his private experience as portrayed in Liber Novus. This is strikingly the case with his understanding of Zarathustra’s animals.
In the April issue of the Journal of Contemporary History, 43(2), Max Whyte turns to examine the use of Nietzschean ideas in Nazi political philosophy. This is to add nuance to the current trend of their “de-nazification.”
…in a process that began soon after the war and has grown in strength ever since, Nietzsche has been rehabilitated into the pantheon of great philosophers as an essentially benign thinker largely concerned with the shaping of the self and the soul, while the ‘nazified’ Nietzsche has been summarily dismissed as a crass and manipulative misinterpretation. As one commentator notes, ‘perhaps no opinion in Nietzsche scholarship is now more widely accepted than that the nazis were wrong and/or ignorant in their appropriation of Nietzsche’. ‘Nietzsche’, another summarizes, ‘has in fact been de-nazified.’
His essay uses the work of Alfred Baeumler — whose portrait of Nietzsche helped to catalyze the adoption of his ideas by the founders of National Socialism — to reframe the issues under consideration today.
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However problematic, National Socialist appropriations of Nietzsche cannot be simply bypassed as instances of ‘misinterpretation’. The ‘nazified’ Nietzsche has to be fully unpacked before it can be left behind…. An analysis of its origins, content and impact affords an illuminating perspective on the darker side of Nietzsche’s historical legacy.