RE: frogs, mountains, nietzsche

It is probably a reference to section 2 of Beyond Good and Evil, where
Nietzsche writes: "For one may doubt, first, whether there are any opposites
at all, secondly whether these popular valuations and opposite values on which
the metaphysicians put their seal, are not perhaps merely foreground
estimates, only provisional perspectives, perhaps even from some nook, perhaps
from below, frog perspectives, as it were, to borrow an expression painters
use. For all the value of the true, the truthful, the selfless may deserve,
it would still be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life
might have to be ascribed to deception, selfishness, and lust. It might even
be possible that what constitutes the value of these good and revered things
is precisely that they are insidiously related, tied to, and involved with
these wicked, seemingly opposite things ? maybe even one with them in essence.


>===== Original Message From Clare O'Farrell <panopticon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>The list has been very quiet of late - no doubt due to recent events.
>Intellectuals such as Foucault are sorely missed in such times.
>However this is a totally frivolous enquiry, just to satisfy my curiosity.
>I was rereading Nietzsche, Genealogy and History and on p.89 of the
>translation in Rabinow's Foucault Reader came across this sentence
>'[Traditional history] accomplishes this by getting as near as
>possible, placing itself at the foot of its mountain peaks, at the
>risk of adopting the famous perspective of frogs.' I'm not quite sure
>I like that translation: the last bit in French is 'quitte a avoir
>sur eux la fameuse perspective des genouilles'. Does anybody know
>what Foucault is alluding to here? I tried a google search and came
>up with
>1. The Japanese poet Kusano Shimpei
>2. A few references in Nietzsche about people who walk with the gait
>of frogs and how yuck frogs are in general
>3. The Aristophanes play The Frogs.
>I think the same reference has also been picked up by the ex Monty
>Python crew in the episode of Ripping Yarns titled 'Across the Andes
>by Frog'.
>Clare O'Farrell
>email: panopticon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dr. Nathan Widder
Lecturer in Political Theory
University of Exeter
Exeter EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom
Web page:
Genealogies of Difference:
MA in Critical Global Studies:

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