’Yonder lies the grave-island, the silent island; yonder, too, are the graves of my youth’: A Commentary on Zarathustra's Grave-Song

Bishop, P. (2002) ’Yonder lies the grave-island, the silent island; yonder, too, are the graves of my youth’: A Commentary on Zarathustra's Grave-Song. Orbis Litterarum, 57(5), pp. 317-342. (doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0730.2002.t01-1-570501.x)

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Abstract

This article places Nietzsche's central work, Also sprach Zarathustra, in the context of his insistence on the importance of interpretation. In the form of a short commentary, the author attempts to explore the significance of the chapter entitled ‘Das Grablied’ (The Grave-Song), in order to show how our understanding of Nietzsche's work can benefit from closer textual analysis. Situating the chapter within the rest of Zarathustra, the commentary examines the language, cultural references, and imagery of ‘Das Grablied’, arguing that the technique of repetition and slight variation of phrases creates a continuity across the text and a density of feeling. Zarathustra's logic, we learn, does not proceed in logical stages, but rather emerges from his pronouncements across the text. Thus an argument which, at first sight, appears jumbled and incoherent, is revealed, by close reading, to possess an intellectual logic amid an increaslingly ecstatic intensity of expression. Read in detail and in context, ‘Das Grablied’ is shown to represent a major step in the argument of Zarathustra, for it sings of how we, too, can learn to love the earth and obey the injunction: bleibt der Erde treu!

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bishop, Professor Paul
Authors: Bishop, P.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Journal Name:Orbis Litterarum
ISSN:0105-7510
ISSN (Online):1600-0730
Published Online:15 January 2003

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