Document: Hendrik Van Riessen, Modern Thinkers: Nietzsche (USA: P&R Publishing Co., 1960).

Excerpt: The work of this great thinker, who chose such a radical and courageous position in the struggle of ideologies, as the twentieth century dawned, cannot be adequately covered in these few pages. Hence the reader should expect to encounter only Nietzsche’s basic ideas. And even at that, the reader will meet only the shadow of Nietzsche for it is impossible for me to reproduce in my words that intensity with which Nietzsche poured out his passions. For that, you must read Nietzsche himself. Then you can begin to understand how his bruised and rebellious heart suffered and fought. For he holds none of this back from the reader. And he can give such a sublime and compelling account of this that it is difficult to find a philosopher who can match his style.

What is it that agitates Nietzsche so deeply? He is a child of his time, and his time was the calm before the storm. He stands, in that calm, as the prophet of the coming century, our century. But most important is this in Nietzsche, that he sees the choice which modern man would face in that coming century; and that he himself makes his choice, courageously, radically and logically — even though his choice meant that he himself, in a sense, must perish. Nietzsche chooses for Dionysius and against Christ, the Crucified One. He chooses this earth as over against the Kingdom of Heaven. He chooses for life, for that intoxicating, unchained, overflowing, creating, boundless, savage, brute life, which makes its own laws. That life is symbolized for him by the Greek god Dionysius. And in some places Nietzsche realizes that this is also the Antichrist.

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Modern Thinkers: Nietzsche – H. Van Riessen.pdf