Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011
Depois de Tony Judt, outro grande intelectual público morreu após uma doença prolongada que ele mesmo nos foi contando. No último artigo que escreveu para a Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens confessa que a experiência do cancro o fez duvidar do ufano aforismo «Aquilo que não me mata, torna-me mais forte». E deixa-nos a interrogação: o que é que essa frase pode ter significado para o próprio Nietzsche, um homem que acabou sifilítico e demente? «(…) I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” / In the brute physical world, and the one encompassed by medicine, there are all too many things that could kill you, don’t kill you, and then leave you considerably weaker. Nietzsche was destined to find this out in the hardest possible way, which makes it additionally perplexing that he chose to include the maxim in his 1889 anthology Twilight of the Idols. (...) / In the remainder of his life, however, Nietzsche seems to have caught an early dose of syphilis, very probably during his first-ever sexual encounter, which gave him crushing migraine headaches and attacks of blindness and metastasized into dementia and paralysis. This, while it did not kill him right away, certainly contributed to his death and cannot possibly, in the meanwhile, be said to have made him stronger. (…) / Eventually, and in miserable circumstances in the Italian city of Turin, Nietzsche was overwhelmed at the sight of a horse being cruelly beaten in the street. Rushing to throw his arms around the animal’s neck, he suffered some terrible seizure and seems for the rest of his pain-racked and haunted life to have been under the care of his mother and sister. (…) The most he could have meant, I now think, is that he made the most of his few intervals from pain and madness to set down his collections of penetrating aphorism and paradox. This may have given him the euphoric impression that he was triumphing, and making use of the Will to Power. Twilight of the Idols was actually published almost simultaneously with the horror in Turin, so the coincidence was pushed as far as it could reasonably go».
[«Trial of the Will», Vanity Fair, Janeiro de 2012]