The Underground Spirit | The Martyrmade Podcast with Darryl Cooper (Part 4)

Check out The Martyrmade Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • In 1862, Dostoevsky publishes “The House of the Dead” (Dostoevsky’s experience in the prison)
    • The novel is a huge success and Dostoevsky is back at the center of the literary world
  • In 1880, as his health was declining, he wrote “The Brothers Karamazov
    • One of the greatest works in world literature, it was a philosophical novel about the nature of God, free will, and morality
    • He became the pride of Russia, “…an orthodox Christian who found his way back from the wilderness”Darryl Cooper
  • The year Dostoevsky died (1881) was arguably the worst period of Nietzsche’s life 
    • Every day, for the next ten years, Nietzsche was fighting near blindness, excruciating pain, and migraines for “200 days a year”
    • But this was his most productive period, as he published one book every year until 1888
  • In 1882, Nietzsche met Lou Andreas-Salomé via a mutual friend Paul Rée
    • Salomé pointed out that suffering and loneliness are the two great lines of fate in Nietzsche’s life
  • Gay Science” is the most personal of all Nietzsche’s books
    • This is where he introduces the idea of eternal recurrence
    • The concept that the universe (and all of existence) have been recurring and will continue to do so an infinite number of times

Key Books Mentioned

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 4 of the Underground Spirit episode. Darryl Cooper talks about Dostoevsky’s final moments, Nietzsche’s relationship with Lou Andreas-Salomé, and the idea of eternal recurrence
  • Host- Darryl Cooper (@martyrmade)

The Insulted and the Injured

  • In 1861, Dostoevsky publishes “The Insulted and The Injured“, his first post-exile novel
    • There are several overlapping love triangles, characters hurt and betray each other
    • They immerse in a sense of noble self-sacrifice “…claiming they want to do the right thing when they are competing for the moral high ground”Darryl Cooper
  • These are the elements we often see in dysfunctional relationships
    • Every nice thing they do is like moving a chess piece for securing a moral high ground
  • The novel is about the egoism of the suffering, a psychological fulfillment in anguish
    • It is the work of a man who lies to himself and whose fantasies are no longer convincing
  • Dostoevsky hides these leitmotifs in his early writings but explores them more in his later work

Return to the Literary Spotlight

  • In 1862, Dostoevsky publishes “The House of the Dead” (Dostoevsky’s experience in the prison)
    • The novel is a huge success and Dostoevsky is back at the center of the literary world
  • In 1863, he travels to Western Europe and starts an affair with a younger woman
    • He performs the role of the older, wiser man, refusing to divorce his wife 
    • Eventually, the mistress leaves him for a young Spanish medical student
  • Dostoevsky becomes jealous and possessive: “Again, all the underground mechanisms kick into gear”Darryl Copper
    • He gambles and loses all of his money while in France
    • His wife Maria gets sick and dies shortly after he comes back from his trip, and so does his brother Michael
  • Dostoevsky becomes a single parent and the primary provider for his brothers family
    • It was a break-or-make moment, madness or genius
    • The next book he wrote was “The Notes From the Underground”

The Notes from the Underground

  • In the first part, the narrator gives the readers a journey into the “underground” psychology
  • The Underground Man describes the stories from his early twenties, 
    • They are a prime example of how a narcissistic personality works
    • “Dostoevsky sheds all of his armor, and walks naked on the battlefield in this book”Darryl Cooper
  • Dostoevsky doesn’t have his life together at this point, but his eyes are finally open

The Last Days of Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • In 1863 Dostoevsky wrote “Crime and Punishment,” the first great work of his “mature” period and one of the most brilliant pieces of literature ever written
  • Dostoevsky’s characters portrayals are almost like a confession, reflecting on his addiction
    • He was a gambling addict who ruined his family
    • In the second chapter of the book, Raskolnikov meets Marmeladov
    • Marmeladov is an alcoholic, aware that his alcoholism is destroying everyone around him
  • In the following years, Dostoevsky wrote “The Gambler” and “The Eternal Husband
  • He married the 20-year-old Anna Snitkina and started a new family, but once again lost his possessions due to gambling
    • But this time was different, something changed, and he promised his wife Anna that he was done with his addiction
  • In 1880, as his health was declining, he wrote “The Brothers Karamazov
    • One of the greatest works in world literature, a philosophical novel about the nature of God, free will, and morality
  • He became the pride of Russia, “…an orthodox Christian who found his way back from the wilderness”Darryl Cooper
  • His funeral procession was said to be the largest in Russian history up to that time

200 Days of Torment in the Year 1881

  • The year Dostoevsky died (1881) was arguably the worst period of Nietzsche’s life 
    • Nietzsche was forced to retire from the university because of health issues
    • He was ordered by doctors to restrain from reading and writing to preserve his eyesight
    • He became alienated from his friends, academic peers, and society in general
  • Every day, for the next ten years, Nietzsche was fighting near blindness, excruciating pain, and migraines for “200 days a year”
    • But this was his most productive period, he published one book every year until 1888
  • After he left the university, he published “Human, All Too Human” the first book of his great period
    • The style was influenced by French writers and dedicated to Voltaire, likely as an insult to Wagner due to his chauvinism

The Holy Trinity

  • In 1882, Nietzsche met Lou Andreas-Salomé via a mutual friend Paul Rée
    • Salomé pointed out that suffering and loneliness are the two great lines of fate in Nietzsche’s life
  • Both Paul Rée and Nietzsche proposed to Salomé. Nietzsche did so multiple times but to no avail
    • The three of them became inseparable and called themselves the “The Trinity”
    • They traveled all around Switzerland and Italy, looking to start an academic comune
  • While in Switzerland, they stop in a photographer shop to take a picture
    • Salomé sits in the back of a cart, holding a whip, while Nietzsche and Paul Rée stand in front of her, pretending to be horses
  • Nietzsche’s mother and sister did not approve of Salomé, describing her as the “immoral woman”
    • Nietzsche and Salomé spent a lot of time together, but every time under the supervision of his little sister

Nietzsche’s Idea of Eternal Recurrence

  • Nietzsche was infuriated with his mother and sister, and their behavior
  • He was constantly getting rejected by Lou Salome as a romantic interest
  • After one last failed attempt at a marriage proposal, Nietzsche sank into a deep depression
  • Paul Rée and Salomé left Nietzsche in Leipzig and went for Poland without him, with no plans of meeting up again
    • He blamed Paul Rée, Salomé, his sister, and his mother
  • At that time, he publishes “Gay Science“, the most personal of all his books
    • This is where he introduces the idea of eternal recurrence
    • The concept that the universe and existence has been recurring and will continue to do so an infinite number of times
    • He wrote about this during a period of intense frustration, humiliation, and deep depression 
  • “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence”Friedrich Nietzsche
    • Would a life like that be a curse or a blessing?
    • How is one supposed to answer such a question when the two main lines of fate in his life were loneliness and suffering?
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Notes By Dario

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