Abyss or Khora
The Sea, Eternal Recurrence and Zarathustra’s Hospitality
Since Plato, western philosophy has had an uneasy relationship with the sea. The sea has always acted as the unspoken that threatens to breaks up the laborious definitions attained by philosophical achievements. Of all the thinkers who grapple with the maritime latency of philosophy and the openness inherent to thinking, Nietzsche is perhaps the most outspoken about the force of the sea for the birth of a new philosophy. Throughout his works, Nietzsche has consistently commended: “Aboard the ships, ye philosophers!” Nowhere has Nietzsche pursued the philosophical potency of the maritime so forcefully as in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In this essay, I aim to show how the sea is pivotal to the thinking of eternal recurrence and how Zarathustra comes to embody the maritime and becomes a khoratic site of hospitality and transfiguration—for the birth of new historical values and for the condition of possibility of the value of values.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1993. Also Sprach Zarathustra, KSA 4. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2008. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Tr. Graham Parkes. New York: Oxford University Press.
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