Can’t Stop Tilting

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Nathan Wilson feels sorry for the philosopher who urged the good riddance of the weak, only to end up deranged himself, cared for by his sister:

I have never been irritated by Nietzsche, never annoyed. At his most blasphemous, at his most riotously hateful and pompous, I have only ever been able to laugh. But even then, there is something bittersweet about the laughter. I know his story. I know how his bluff was called, how he was broken. Again from The Anti-Christ: “The weak and the botched shall perish: first principle of our charity. And one should help them to it.” Spake the paralytic. The man fed with a spoon by those who loved him. “What is more harmful than any vice—Practical sympathy for the botched and the weak—Christianity. . . .” And yet, because I see the world through my eyes and not his, I have sympathy for Nietzsche himself. Bodies and minds are not all that can be botched in a man. Souls can be hollow, twisted, thrashing.

—N. D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

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