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Friedrich Nietzsche’s Modernist Mimesis and Gradiva’s Splendid Act of Imitation

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Modernist Mimesis and Gradiva’s Splendid Act of Imitation

Chapter:
(p.264) Fifteen Friedrich Nietzsche’s Modernist Mimesis and Gradiva’s Splendid Act of Imitation
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):
Julia Hell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0016

The author reads Nietzsche’s critique of historicism in the context of the Kaiserreich’s neo-Roman politics and culture. She argues that Nietzsche proposes a modernist version of imperial mimesis. She also examines Nietzsche’s ideas about ancient Rome and modern barbarians. With this analysis in mind, she then reads Wilhelm Jensen’s Pompeiian novella, Gradiva, as a text about the perfect act of neo-Roman mimesis.

Keywords:   Friedrich Nietzsche, Uses and Abuses of History, Wilhelm Jensen, Gradiva, modern barbarians, modernist mimesis, monumental history, Pompeii, ruined stage

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