The Underground Spirit | The Martyrmade Podcast with Darryl Cooper (Part 3)

Check out The Martyrmade Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Reading Nietzsche you might believe you are reading the prose of a warrior poet, but he was not like that in real life, and neither was Dostoevsky
  • “The meat of his philosophy was all about the centrality of the will, about the emerging man of the future having the courage and the strength to shake off the pull of the crowd and create his values”Darryl Cooper
  • The key to understanding Dostoevsky’s development is the difference between his pre-exilic and post-exilic work
    • The stories Dostoevsky wrote before his exile symbolize the suffering of the weak, submissive, subordinate protagonist
    • Post-exile, Dostoevsky is a lot more truthful about the emotional process behind their motifs, and possibly his own anguish
  • Dostoevsky was not the man of action; he was not the Übermensch portrayed in the work of Nietzsche
  • Dostoevsky, like Nietzsche, fell into the classic narcissist trap
    • All the effort of gaining the attention of the object
    • When they get something, they immediately stop caring

Intro

  • Darryl Cooper (T: @martyrmade and IG: @martyrmade) is the creator and the host of The Martyrmade Podcast, and the co-host of The Unraveling podcast with Jocko Willink.
  • This is part 3 of the Underground Spirit episode. Darryl Cooper talks about the difference between Dostoevsky’s pre-exilic and post-exilic writing, the narcissistic tendencies of both Dostoevsky and Nietzsche, their inability to change their ways, and fight for what they want
  • Host- Darryl Cooper (@martyrmade)

Inability to Create Your Own Values

  • Like Dostoevsky, Nietzsche labored under great family pressure and the memory of his father
    • “When your father dies before you are old enough to have a recollection, and all you grow up with are the stories from people who miss him and honor his memory, then you don’t have a father, you have a god or something that plays a role very similar to one”Darryl Cooper
  • Nietzsche’s father was a Lutheran minister, and he was presumed to take his father’s place
    • It is not an easy task to grow up in the shadow of a god and meet everyone’s expectations
  • Even in his late 30’s, Nietzsche was emotionally manipulated by his family, suffered narcissistic and emotional abuse
    • He was a grown man, but could not take control of the toxic relationships with his mother and sister
  • Reading Nietzsche you might believe you are reading the prose of a warrior poet, but he was not like that in real life, and neither was Dostoevsky
    • Both of them felt trapped and believed their choices have been defined by others
    • They never learned to want anything on their own, without input from other people
  • “The meat of his philosophy was all about the centrality of the will, about the emerging man of the future having the courage and the strength to shook off the pull of the crowd and create his values”Darryl Cooper
    • All three women Nietzsche fell in love with were involved with someone he knew
    • Nietzsche couldn’t even desire a woman on his own, without it being approved by someone else

Christmas With the Wagners

  • In all cases, he ended up alone and never put up a fight about it
  • In 1870, Nietzsche was invited to spend Christmas with Richard and Cosima Wagner
    • Nietzsche loved Cosima, but she married Wagner while Nietzsche was at war
    • Nietzsche gave a print of the Knight, Death and the Devil engraving to Richard Wagner
    • The engraving was a symbol of German ferocity and warrior spirit
    • German knight riding a horse into a corrupted land filled with monsters
  • Wagner loved the gift, he saw himself as the German knight riding and saving the German culture from French and Jewish influences
    • Nietzsche was already heating with disgust toward this kind of German chauvinism
    • Despite being in love with Cosima and not approving his nationalism, he praised Wagner

Generosity, Devotion, and Spirit of Sacrifice

  • The key to understanding Dostoevsky’s development is the difference between his pre-exilic and post-exilic work
  • The stories Dostoevsky wrote before his exile symbolize the suffering of the weak, submissive, subordinate protagonist
    • Their suffering is framed as the suffering of a martyr – they willingly suppress their emotions
    • The early novels represent the spirit of self-sacrifice and generosity, e.g. the woman of interest chooses another man, and the protagonist helps arrange their wedding because of his undying love
    • This is to conceal the emotions of resentment and humiliation for being rejected in the most fundamental way possible
    • The moral posturing of the protagonist is akin to an addict pretending to have control over his addiction
  • The protagonists in these stories never take action and never stands up to their rival (they are hiding their “underground” emotions)
    • The heroes in Dostoevsky’s pre-exile books are timid and weak, they do not engage in confrontation, they are victims
  • Post-exile, Dostoevsky is a lot more truthful about the emotional process behind their motifs, and possibly his own anguish
    • To understand the characters he had to become one of them, he stops blaming the world for their destiny

A Knight in Woman’s Dress

  • In 1854, Dostoevsky was released from prison
    • He was stationed at the fortress of Semipalatinsk (now in Kazakhstan) as a soldier in the 7th Infantry Siberian Battalion
  • While there, he met Maria Isayeva and her drunken husband Alexander Isayev
    • Alexander soon passed away, and Dostoevsky was in love with Maria
    • He was reluctant to declare his love to Maria, who was quickly charmed by another man- Verganov
  • Dostoevsky was not the man of action; he was not the Übermensch portrayed in the work of Nietzsche
  • In reaction, he befriends Verganov but criticizes him to Maria behind his back
    • Dostoevsky grovels in the display of false chivalry, living as the protagonists from his early stories
    • Pulling some strings, he even requests a salary increase for Verganov who was a school teacher
    • This was all to prove to Maria and himself that their relationship is not defined by passion, but by compassion
    • “Any man who behaves like that is a snake”Darryl Cooper
  • Dostoevsky begins to understand this in his later novels

The Narcissist Trap

  • Dostoevsky, like Nietzsche, fell into the classic narcissist trap
    • All the effort of gaining the attention of the object
    • When they get something, they stop caring
  • This happens over and over in the life of a narcissist
  • It is exactly what happened between Dostoevsky and Maria
    • As soon as she became available, Dostoevsky’s interest began to vain
    • First, he was insanely in love and selflessly put aside his desires and wishes in favor of love
    • However, as soon as she desires him, everything changes
  • He is the underground man from his novel
  • Dostoevsky and Maria eventually got married but the marriage was a disaster
    • He was nothing but indifferent towards Maria
    • This lasted for 6 long years until he was granted release from the army
  • He then moved to St. Petersburg and wrote “The Insulted and the Injured

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Notes By Dario

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