Nietzsche, Musil, Atay
Chapter III: Intermediate Reflections; Philosophy and Literature
We have suggested that there is a complicated relationship between the concepts of fate and free will, and that to set man and fate over against each other is to posit a false dichotomy, or one that closes off too many important questions.242 Such positing may be seen as the product of linguistic and semantic ‘fictions’. As early as 1862 in ‘Freedom of Will and Fate’243 Nietzsche writes:
We find that people believing in fate are distinguished by force and strength of will; whereas men and women who, according to an inverted comprehension of Christian tenets, let things happen (since ‘God will make everything turn out alright’) allow themselves, in a degrading manner, to be presided over by circumstances.244
For Nietzsche fate is nothing but a chain of events. Whenever we act we create our own events, in other words, we determine our own fate. And this is what amor fati is about.
In The Gay Science amor fati is the art of being a Yes-Sayer245 to life, to ourselves, in other words, it is the ability to ‘‘give style’ to one’s character’, to be poets of our lives246 which is a rare art. It cannot be realised by everyone simply because it requires an absolute honesty about oneself, an acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own nature and the fitting of ‘them into an artistic plan until every one of them appears as art and reason and even the weaknesses delight...
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