The MacLamity

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Thursday, October 27, 2005


Adam Kirsch's allusion to Nietzsche in his review of the "Chosen" was sufficiently exciting to make it to the Arts and Letters Daily's link. But is Kirsch covering his tracks by making a reference to Nietzsche and the archeology of ideas, without giving a hat-tip to Foucault? Foucault picked the idea out of Nietzsche's sprawling corpus and made it a concern of non-Nietzsche specialists post-1980, just as Kundera did with Nietzsche's notion of eternal recurrence in the Unbearable Lightness of Being (Borges would have done so -- and succeeded in making it feel non-Nietzschean -- if his non-fiction had been translated earlier (To go full-circle, Foucault, unlike Kirsch, loved discussing the origins of his ideas, and gave full credit to Borges as the onlie begetter of Mots et Choses). Presumably, Kirsch wants to remove the left-wing post-modern taint from performing archeology on ideas. I would like to know what his right-wing, "New York Sun" vision of it is? A secular variation on this?