Genius as a thief - part one (of four)

Paweł Kuczyński introduces “Light Denied”,

a screen riff on Nietzsche’s madness.

During the debate “Cultural status of a creator. Genius or madness” organized by the Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences Pawel talked about the assumptions behind the film:

“Light Denied” attempts to work through a narrator’s fear of entering too deep into the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In a documentary part appear Werner Krieglstein (College of DuPage), Alan Rosenberg (Queens College), Hope Fitz (Eastern Connecticut State University), Victor Krebs (The Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) and Karl-Otto Apel (University of Frankfurt am Main). In a fictitious part the film follows a philosophy professor (Krzysztof Janczar) obsessed with Nietzache. At the beginning a director/narrator set the stage:

“Dare to think! Reject all dogmas! Follow the light! These demands have frightened me ever since I was a teenager. I suspected that Nietzsche lost his mind because of the depth of his inquires. I was almost driven insane by his call to embrace the light of Dionysus. Hence I retreated waiting for years to approach Nietzsche again. (...) I returned to Nietzsche, when a fictitious philosophy professor Felix Lewińsky appeared in my films. He too badly wanted to find the truth.

The fact that Friedrich Nietzsche is an important writer is obvious even to his ardent opponents. Early on in “Light Denied, prof. Karl-Otto Apel explains:

“I am not a Nietzsche fan. Nietzsche, of course, as everybody knows, is a good writer first of all, exciting writer. I was never a fan of Nietzsche. For ethical reasons.”

Calling Nietzsche a genius is subjective. It springs from individual preferences and group/social/cultural setups. What exactly then in an individual, contemporary and subjective perspective could mean referring to Nietzsche as a genius?

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