Monday, February 01, 2016

読み :: ハローキティのニーチェ 強く生きるために大切なこと

Was already cackling like crazy when I picked up this book for a cursory flip. Bought it anyway. I know too many Hello Kitty fans to give it to. 'Hello Kitty X F.W.Nietzsche' (ハローキティのニーチェ 強く生きるために大切なこと (朝日文庫)).

The front cover of the cat holding the book seems to indicate that this take inspiration from Nietzsche's 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' (composed in four parts and published between 1883 and 1891). At the bookshop, there's a whole range on the shelf- of Little Twin Stars (キキ&ララの『幸福論』 幸せになるための93ステップ, like 93 steps to be happy like Kiki and Lala), My Melody (マイメロディの『論語』 心豊かに生きるための言葉), Keropi (けろけろけろっぴの『徒然草』 毎日を素敵に変える考え方, essays in idleness), etc. I picked the most cheem-sounding book that happens to be exhorted by the cat with no mouth.

To sort out Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's almost austere, depressing and very critical of religion (okay, Christianity mainly; 'On the Genealogy of Morals' and the concept of 'slave morality') and morality philosophy to a more positive take, this is proudly illustrated by Hello Kitty and friends. -_- I was like.... really? Really?!  REALLY??? Nietzsche's quotes are generally dark and non-life-affirming. I've always remembered his quotes here and there, especially those that switches on the imaginary worlds, like this one, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." (from 'Beyond Good and Evil', 1886.)

On a page titled「友情というものは、恋よクもっと複雜」, it talks about friends as competitors, the value of truthfulness towards those who are friends and not enemies, and how friendly competition spurs excellence.

It was a surprisingly easy read, and not really crappy. Yes, in spite of the colorful animals dancing across the pages. It's not easy to ignore the cat. It's quite in-my-face. I did wonder if there's a subtle comment about man being the bridge between animals and the superhuman (of the Übermensch). Which then, totally makes this little book ironic and true to the irony of the original. So you know, Hello Kitty can do literature too. :P

“No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.” Well, Nietzsche's pretty obsessed with man and his weaknesses of loneliness and lack of self-mastery. He stresses on independence and strength of will. I don't know how far this is applicable to contemporary society. He then suggests that one person's virtue is another's vice. That took some time to wrap my head around. As with each philosopher and their views, we'll all find something to object to. That's half the fun. These two quotes are from 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' (1883-1891).

“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?” 

Towards the end, a page touches on loneliness, and how that doesn't have to eat you up. It suggests that loneliness is a positive result of a strong mind and one should not mistake solitude for loneliness. Once anger and anxiety are controlled, then it isn't a rational excuse to be lonely.

孤独と向き合うのも大切なこと。でも余計な事を考えて、自分や誰かに牙を向けないように気をつけよう。 孤独と戦える強い心も大事。でも無理をすると、不安で攻撃的になりがち。自分の弱さを押し殺すのではなく、時には不安を打ち明けてみよう。憎しみや怒りは、人をより孤独にしてしまう。

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