Mathew Gacy

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, along with Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, stands as one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century and his influence spreads throughout a large portion of modern literary theory. Nietzsche was born in Röcken, Saxony in 1844, and grew up in Naumberg, where he attended a strict Lutheran boarding school. In 1864, he entered the University of Bonn to study theology and philology and a year later, he followed his favorite professor to Leipzig. Three years later, at the age of 24, Nietzsche accepted a professorship in classical philology at the University of Basel. Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy, was published in 1872 and represents an attempt to locate the development of the classical tragedy in the conflict of rational and aesthetic experience as represented by Apollo and Dionysus. Though he would later reject many of the its propositions, this text nevertheless captures many of the vectors of his subsequent thought and remains relevant in relation to Frankenstein.

Nietzsche's influence spreads across a large portion of contemporary literary theory. One may see much of his proposal for a "revaluation of all values" and his denial of any objective foundation in the work of Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, among others. His influence is also visible in Foucault's analysis of limit-experiences and the production of knowledge while his psychological theories prefigure many aspects of psychoanalysis; Freud wrote that his "premonitions and insights often agree in the most amazing manner with the laborious results of psychoanalysis."

Application of theory

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