Nietzsche, Wilde and Women

Louise Mabille

The ultimate limit to Man’s attempts to render the world transparent is of course that paragon of opacity, Woman. After Derrida, it has become impossible to ignore the figure of Woman operating in Nietzsche’s texts as a kind of presentation of truth, or perhaps more correctly, as the refusal of Truth to allow herself to be represented by a mere philosopher. With her distance, her veils and adornments, her skepticism and her dance and simulation, Women became the embodiment of the logo/phallocentric philosopher’s frustrated ambitions to locate and capture truth. For decades after his death, Nietzsche’s use and abuse of Woman has been almost as contentious as his association with Nazism. Before the seminal Spurs, the question of Nietzsche’s misogyny was dismissed as Achilles heel of a very great thinker, not worthy of the serious thinker’s attention. This was certainly the approach followed by Heidegger. The other, tedious psychological approach is to explain…

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