Continuing my discussion of the similarities between Nietzsche and Kierkegaard… In this section I am primarily concerned with stylistic similarity.

Both are fond of assessing ideas in terms of their smell, taste or as healthy or unhealthy or as sane and insane or hight and low. Obviously, these are aesthetic judgements rather than any appeal to an external standard (usually known as right, wrong, good, bad, etc). I was struck with their similarity of language in the following passages describing various institutions:

This whole lumberroom of a State Church, which from time immemorial has not been ventilated, spiritually speaking – the air confined in this lumberroom has not developed poison. And for this reason the religious life is sick or has dies out. The Instant No.4, SK

Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters. […]
My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air! FN, Zarathusta

Both are aware of the lack of recognition they receive from the public. I was recently reading parts of The Seventh Solitude by Ralph Harper where he argues that Nietzsche was embittered by is lack of recognition – but strangely this is an integral part of both FN and SK’s view point. Mass acceptance of their views would be catastrophic! Neither advocated that everyone must agree with them but that is not an admission of error.

[…]before so illegitimate a tribunal also as the public, pass judgment upon a work so singular, it naturally will come to – well, just what it has come to[…] The Instant No 10

When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people, and was silent. “There they stand,” said he to his heart; “there they laugh: they understand me not; I am not the mouth for these ears.

And again, both are reluctant messengers of the truth. This is particularly evident in the writing of SK and is mentioned on several occasions.

Let me illustrate what I want to say by a parable. In one sense, I employ it very reluctantly, for I do not like to talk about such things […] The Instant No 7, SK

My taste, which may be the opposite of a tolerant taste, is in this case very far from saying Yes indiscriminately: it does not like to say Yes; better to say No, but best of all to say nothing. Twilight, FN

Both use sarcasm and wit in their writings. I am not aware of other philosophers using humour but then, I suppose, I am not well read… a project for the future perhaps. The SK quote here is priceless. 🙂 The use of sarcasm by FN would fill a large volume!

The attack on me […] is conducted by the Copenhagen Pose and the Flying Pose; and the point, the deadly sting, of their attack is that I am called … “Søren”. […] Then I must sink down, succumb before this power of the truth, which in vain I should strive to resist; for the truth is, my name is Søren. The Instant No 9

The successful termination of some enterprise does not by any means give a hypochondriac or a Pascal agreeable general feelings.

Man does not strive for pleasure; only the Englishman does.

At long last, let us contrast the very different manner in which we [philosophers] conceive the problem of error and appearance. (I say “we” for politeness’ sake.)

Both use weather metaphors, especially lightning and thunder, but FN seems to be a more(?) frequent user, notably in Thus Spake Zarathustra:

Geniuses are like a thunderstorm: they go against the wind, terrifying people, cleanse the air.
The Established Church has invented sundry lighting-conductors.
And it succeeded. Yes indeed, it suceeded; it suceeded in making the next thunderstorm all the more serious. The Instant No 6, Short and sharp, SK

If I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wandereth on high mountain–ridges, ‘twixt two seas,—

Wandereth ‘twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud—hostile to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor live:

Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash of light, charged with lightnings which say Yea! which laugh Yea! ready for divining flashes of lightning:— Zarathustra, FN

And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the strong winds.
And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my future.
Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this counsel counselleth he to his enemies, and to whatever spitteth and speweth: “Take care not to spit against the wind!”- Zarathustra, FN

… and both have the concept of high and low. This might be attacked by relavists saying “high” has been implicitly assigned the label “good”. FN stated in several places that “low” is necessary for “high” to exist at all – and is neither good nor bad. In these works, readers should beware of assuming things based on “modern” ideas – relativism is implicit in these writings!

Thou plain man! The Christianity of the New Testament is infinitely high[…] Everyone, absolutely everyone, if he absolutely wills it, if he will absolutely hate himself, will absolutely put up with everything, suffer everything (and this every man an if he will) – then is this infinite height attainable to him. The Instant No 10

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom. SK, The Concept of Anxiety

Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a polluted stream without becoming impure.
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman—a rope over an abyss.

A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking–back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore. Zarathustra, FN

So that’s it. The differences between these philosophers is also profound but it is for another occasion.

Anti Citizen One