Newspapers in the city. Nietzsche's critique of press

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Abstract

When one considers the many interpretations of Nietzsche there is an absence of a section that deals with the reconstruction of his reflections about the press. Reading through his works one can note how journalism represents a socio-cultural problem to him. His criticism of newspapers is to continue for the rest of his life. While he observes the daily existence, Nietzsche reflects on the role of the press in an extremely sensitive way. His outdated opinion gives us a lively portrait of a fundamental aspect of modernity, which is indeed still a current issue. In the hermeneutics’ maze of Nietzsche’s thought, a chapter dedicated to the reconstruction of his reflection about modern press is still missing. Scanning his published works, the posthumous fragments and his epistolary, it can be noted how the passionate diatribe against newspapers accompanies him through all his life stages. Journalism never leaves his polemical sights, since it represents a real social-cultural issue to him. In addition to being an assiduous newspaper reader, he proves to be an accurate observer of their influence in culture and society of his time: his eye swings between theoretical considerations about the culture-journalism relationship and more concrete phenomenological observations about the influence of media on the daily lives of his contemporaries. A lifetime battle which has regrettably settled in a limited amount of material, filled with personal grudge: everything Nietzsche has left us about the newspapers' world, is scattered in short passages, whose tone is almost always excessive. This fragmentation and this pathos become, though, the only path to follow in order to reconstruct Nietzsche's polemic towards printed press. Fleeting brushworks they are, from which it seems to appear an image of Nietzsche as very aware of the frequent matching between the experience of modernity and the experience of newspapers. From a posthumous fragment of the years 1875-1876, it even comes to light that «press» was one of the «subjects» for those «new “Untimely”» which, according to the never completed original project, Nietzsche should have added to the existing four. Maybe at that moment he lacked time, or he preferred to devote himself to something else. Fact is, even if it will never be known what he intended to write into this never composed pamphlet, one thing's for sure: Nietzsche carefully observes the modern men’s daily life, reflecting upon the role of press and newspapers with remarkable sensibility. His untimeliness shows a vibrant “phenomenological cross section” of a fundamental aspect of modernity, so far still extremely relevant and problematic.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-6
Numero di pagine6
RivistaREVIEW OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017

Keywords

  • Nietzsche
  • city
  • newspapers
  • press

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