CONTRIBUTI / 2 / François-Xavier de Peretti /
Painful and destructive, the “death of God” takes, for Nietzsche, the function of a catastrophe in the very sense recognized by Aristotle: the pathetic event from which comes the sudden end of the tragedy. In this case, it throws the Western Man into nihilism, starting its decline. Thus, nihilism is interpreted as illness, exhaustion of all creative power. It will provoke an unprecedented salutary crisis that opens up to man the prospect of an overcoming. Nihilism ends with the inversion of the will of nothing into the will of an eternal return. From the historical point of view, this follows from the very law of time: eternal destruction and self-creation are the same. Life is a catastrophe that is constantly replayed, constantly outdated. In this paper, we analyze how Nietzsche discerned the origins of a redemptive crisis from the catastrophe of God’s death and its ultimate consequences. We will interpreter the two decisive moments in the history of nihilism — the catastrophe and the crisis — by means of two paradigms inherited from the ancient culture: tragedy and medicine.