Nietzsche and Modern Mountaineering - Wilfrid Noyce

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 27, 2010 - 01:20pm PT
Wilfrid Noyce has long been a thinking man's mountaineer. He authored this engaging and wonderful collection of writings from other similarly minded gentlemen. This chapter on Nietzsche I found to be particularly interesting.























tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Jun 27, 2010 - 03:44pm PT
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 27, 2010 - 04:08pm PT
Thanks SG. Another great contribution from the Grossman-deGravelle Library!! You are regular salt mill!

This volume was published in 1950, by the way. In the introduction he notes why he has chose these men (Dante, Petrarch, Rousseau, Ferdinand de Saussure, Goethe, Wordsworth, Keats, Ruskin, Leslie Stephen, Nietzsche, Pope Pius XI and Robert Falcon Scott) to write about:

[...] each has made his particular contribution to a certain feeling in us, a feeling which would not be quite the same had these men not lived. Without their example, our appreciation and exertions among hills would be the weaker
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Jun 27, 2010 - 04:26pm PT
An overlooked area of philosophy. Thanks for posting it up!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 27, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
Rad! Look! there goes StevieG, off in the stacks to find that volume now! We shall see it posted anon! Some of us may have missed this early peek of Mimi and Steve's new library--- a couple of years back. I was one of the first in there and luckily took a pano series:



M dG and Stevie share this one but Mimi has her own just off the bedroom--- its a bit more Benedictine in design I guess and quite a bit more floral--- those Louisiana French roots of hers:

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
"First published in Great Britain in MCML..." Classic!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2010 - 04:52pm PT
Destined to spend eternity as a truncated voice on a refrigerator magnet...

Even Fred himself would have to be bleaked out by that ignoble twist of modernism! LOL
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 27, 2010 - 06:07pm PT
Nietzsche was asking for it due to his primarily aphoristic style.




Interesting bit of an article. A little off in that it wasn't Nietzsche that marshalled his later notes for use by Hitler, so the thematic implied that Nietzsche was a cause of german mountaineering I think is flawed.

My WW history is not so good, so I will just ask whether German and Italian control over vast areas of territory lead more to German and Italian nationalistic ascents than any other nations during that time, than did the spirit of the age, if we can even say that Nietzsche had an influence that wide spread at that time.

I think his influence is more profoundly felt in post modern literature and critical theory and history than elsewhere, but FWIW, I'm out of touch with academia these days.


I'd like to hear KLK's thoughts on this.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 30, 2010 - 05:54pm PT
A curious philosophical bump in the road!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jun 30, 2010 - 06:01pm PT
Noyce's "The Springs of Adventure" is also quite good, or if you like quite noyce. He was quite an interesting man, and very literary. His books are quite readable, which perhaps reflects his education, and his work as headmaster at a distinguished boy's private school. Noyce may be the only person ever to have written a poem at the south col of Chomolungma.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfrid_Noyce
Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Jun 30, 2010 - 06:32pm PT
Awesome. Would you be willing to post the Goethe chapter? That might be insightful.

Thanks for sharing. Cheers!
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Jun 30, 2010 - 07:38pm PT
Passed this on to a friend and Nietzsche scholar who pointed out that Noyce doesn't mention Aleister Crowley, who was probably the most Nietzschean alpinist of his day.
Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Jul 1, 2010 - 11:05pm PT
Bump for good reading!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 2, 2010 - 12:43am PT
I can't even recall the number of super climbers who have fondled a horse shortly before loosing it all.....
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Jul 2, 2010 - 02:51pm PT
Hey Jaybro, the Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are still waiting for you on the Big Stone by the Side of the Road... Git sum!!!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 2, 2010 - 03:34pm PT
I know, and I just got a big haulbag, too....
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2010 - 11:25am PT
Big enough to hold all the classics?!?

As requested, Noyce's take on the the Big G, Goethe.























Thomas

Trad climber
The Tilted World
Jul 10, 2010 - 06:14pm PT
Thank you sir!

Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Jul 12, 2010 - 01:51pm PT
It bears pointing out that Nietzsche's insanity was due to syphilis.

The poor bastard probably only had sex once in his life!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 12, 2010 - 10:41pm PT
I wonder if Noyce knew about his VD?
Randisi

Boulder climber
PA
Jul 16, 2010 - 02:03pm PT
I wonder if Noyce knew about his VD?

No, Steve.

It was pretty much assumed that Nietzsche went nuts because of his ideas or his heredity. His father died around the age of 37 from some kind of softening of the brain, if I recall correctly.

Nietzsche never knew he had it either, though at least one doctor's records diagnosed him with it. If his family were told of it after his death, his sister surely actively suppressed this information.

I must say that, for a Brit, at that time (just after WWII), Noyce was relatively fair to Nietzsche (who was unjustly seen as a Nazi philosopher. Nietzsche hated Anti-Semites, hated Germans - he often tried to pass himself off as Polish! - and would have thought Hitler was a boor). However, Nietzsche was not as frail as Noyce portrayed him. He hiked quite a lot.

Steve L

Gym climber
SUR
Jul 16, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
Wow, very cool. Funny, I was cleaning out a bunch of crap from my apartment a couple of days ago and came across a box of old books. It had my hard back copy of Zarathustra in it, which I haven't read in 20 years. That was long before I started climbing. Now I'm motivated to re-read it from a very different perspective. Thanks for posting.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
Philosophical bump...
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 24, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
The hopeless romanticism of the mountains!
The hopeless romanticism of the mountains!
Credit: paul roehl

Seeking the source for the romantic interest in mountain climbing as an act of pleasure, really leads to JJ Rousseau.
Also... you really have to hand it to Steve Grossman for creating some of the most interesting threads on this website!
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 24, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Credit: cintune
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Cintune, where did you get that image?
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Made it a long time ago, finally found a place to use it. I think the guy with the rope came from an early subscription card from Alpinist, or maybe a membership card from the AAC, or somewhere. The painting is Wanderer in a Sea of Cloud, by Caspar David Friedrich, it was actually painted 25 years before Nietzsche was born.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Mar 24, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
Awesome! Grossman comes through with the content again.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Nietzsche Haus at Sils Maria


"Philosophy:
Living voluntarily among ice and high mountains
seeking out anything strange and questionable in existence
everything so far placed under a ban by morality
The ice is near, the solitude tremendous
but how serenely all things lie in the light,
how freely one breaths,
how much one feels lies beneath oneself"

Sils Maria
Sils Maria

The Nietzsche News Center: http://www.nietzsche-news.org/index.php?page=/nnc/home

Donini
Yes, it's dense... "dichtung" in German... making dense. I find dichtung admirable and usually I prefer it to the twitterung and facelooking of today. No anger involved though ... it is as it is. And after all I'm primarily a sport climber... Lol...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
Dense.......climbing then was so philosophical....now it's mostly physical.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 26, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
Jim, when are you going to come clean about your Faustian bargain?
If it would compromise you in any way then never mind.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
Hell fire is waiting....would rather be with my friends anyway.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Mar 26, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
Yeah, what ever happened to the philosopher climber? I remember them in the 60s and early 70s and then it seems climbing began to focus so much on athleticism and a more competitive sense of achievment... though, not to be philosophical, that may just be my subjective experience.
QITNL

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Nietszche factors in here:
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/advanced/kalachakra/shambhala/nazi_connection_shambhala_tibet.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938–1939_German_expedition_to_Tibet
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Mar 27, 2013 - 12:12am PT
Will To Power is an interesting set of words. I'm going to morf it into Will To Action for my own needs. Sometimes we need to activate our will in consistent doses to kickstart action. That can evolve into a sense of power but that goes with the territory.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Dec 1, 2013 - 02:52pm PT

"Freedom and Individualism On The Rocks" by Dane Scott in "Climbing Philosophy For Everyone" on Wiley Blackwell (Editor: Fritz Allhoff)
 the examples used: "The Bachar-Yerian" (Bachar and Yerian), "To Bolt Or Not To Be" (Alan Watts, J-B Tribout) and "The Path" (Sonnie Trotter)
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
Credit: Marlow
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Aug 22, 2014 - 11:44am PT
Unpacking some books I haven't seen in 10 years and good old Alan Watts popped up.
Kind of relevant to climbing or maybe something bigger.



All your five senses are differing forms of one basic sense—something like touch. Seeing is highly sensitive touching. The eyes touch, or feel, light waves and so enable us to touch things out of reach of our hands.

Similarly, the ears touch sound waves in the air, and the nose tiny particles of dust and gas. But the complex patterns and chains of neurons which constitute these senses are composed of neuron units which are capable of changing between just two states: on or off.

To the central brain the individual neuron signals either yes or no — that’s all. But, as we know from computers which employ binary arithmetic in which the only figures are 0 and 1, these simple elements can be formed into the most complex and marvelous patterns.

In this respect our nervous system and 0/1 computers are much like everything else, for the physical world is basically vibration. Whether we think of this vibration in terms of waves or of particles, or perhaps wavicles, we never find the crest of a wave without a trough or a particle without an interval, or space, between itself and others.

In other words, there is no such thing as a half wave, or a particle all by itself without any space around it. There is no on without off, no up without down.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/01/27/alan-watts-taboo/
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Aug 22, 2014 - 12:02pm PT

The philosopher king

“The problem now is how to lose me..” (Nietzsche, Turin, 4th January 1889)

Here your peregrination ends. No more borders
to cross; no more mountains to scale. The night train
steams through the sleeping Alps, rattling you home.
You chant the Gondola Song; slump under drugs.

In the house of the mad you ramble in French,
eat like a Titan, smash windows, scrawl in the dust.
Every deep spirit wears a mask –
but now the actor’s dead, the mask of insanity
is stuck in your face, a permanent grimace.

Soon your sister will crown you philosopher king,
dress you in white, comb your walrus moustache,
place you in a high chair, powder your skin.

Each morning from the high veranda
you gaze towards Buchenwald and the swastika sun.
The steel light chisels the distant pines.
Your posthumous life has already begun.


paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Aug 22, 2014 - 05:00pm PT
Wow, awesome bit of film...
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Aug 22, 2014 - 07:16pm PT
Fitting music too.

Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Aug 22, 2014 - 11:13pm PT
Noyce needed an editor...
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Aug 23, 2014 - 12:40pm PT
^^^ Don't we all.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Aug 23, 2014 - 12:56pm PT
Extraordinary piece of film---had no idea Nietzsche had ever been captured on film.
Hideous soundtrack on that version however, with absolutely no evocative connection whatsoever with the great German philosopher.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Aug 23, 2014 - 05:34pm PT
I thought the evocative connection was more in line with the images of the poor syphilitic shell of the great German philosopher. Remarkable that Elspeth allowed anyone to film that, for sure.
paul roehl

Boulder climber
california
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:18pm PT
To me that piece of film and the music that accompanies it is perfect. The singular pinnacle of Romanticism in the throes of an inevitable madness willed by an ultimately violent, chaotic and mysterious universe assuring the reasoned mind its own perfect nobility... if only Gericault had been alive to paint his portrait.
scrubbing bubbles

Social climber
Uranus
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:27pm PT
Nietzsche in that film looked just like a robot at Disneyland !!!!!!!!!!!!


like on the Pirates of the Caribbean and there's those robot pirates in jail trying to lure the jail keys from the robot dog? Remember?
OjaiLooch

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Aug 24, 2014 - 09:10am PT
"Anyone who knows how to breathe the air of my writings will know that it is the air of high places, a strong air. You need to be made for it or you will catch a cold. The ice is near, the loneliness is terrible—but how serenely everything lies in the sunshine! How freely one can breathe! How much one feels lies beneath oneself! Philosophy, as I have understood it so far is a voluntary living in regions of ice and high mountains—the seeking out of everything strange and questionable in existence, everything which hitherto morality has forbidden."
-Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 24, 2014 - 11:09am PT
Ojai, that definitely was one of the great paeans of the Romantic era.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Spectacular find Marlow!

Plenty of clarity for a climber to appreciate in the mind of Fred.

"The secret of knowing the most fertile experiences and the greatest joys in life is to live dangerously."
sycorax

Boulder climber
Yoknapatawpha County
Aug 24, 2014 - 01:59pm PT
Steve G.: wonder why Lake Poet Coleridge, who lived with Dorothy and William Wordsworth, is not within the selection. Similarly, why isn't Kant (the sublime!) included?

Fine read nonetheless. Reminds me of Thoreau (Walden) and Whitman (Leaves of Grass) a bit.
OjaiLooch

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Aug 24, 2014 - 02:09pm PT
Kant? Are you serious? Obviously a brilliant mind of paramount influence, but his writing tastes like cardboard.
Categorical imperative? Indeed.....
OjaiLooch

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Aug 24, 2014 - 02:53pm PT
Sully...maybe you "missed" the part of my post where I mention "paramount influence"? Seems to include your point...

Again, not taking away from Kant's immense influence. Just asserting my opinion that his writing style is dry.

EDIT: I have only read translations since I am a stupid American, and have only a cursory recollection of Kant's relationship to the idea of the sublime in the Romantic movement. Nevertheless, reading Kant doesn't make me want to climb the way reading Nietzsche can make me want to crush.
OjaiLooch

Trad climber
Ojai, CA
Aug 24, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
And yes...the sublime...I prefer Keats.

Speaking of Keats....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_capability

goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Aug 28, 2014 - 06:08pm PT
Another good one from Mr. Watts.

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