måndag 12 augusti 2013

Maximilien Le Roy & Michel Onfray: Nietzsche

As a rule, I'm not a huge fan of biographies in comics format – they're usually easy to read, which is a plus, but they tend towards the anecdotal, due to space constraints. Thus, they leave out so many aspects of somebody's life and so much context, as well as the commentary and interpretation that you'll usually find in a biography in book format, that you'll usually learn more from reading a good Wikipedia article on the subject instead. It'll be somewhat drier reading, and you won't have the aesthetic component that a good artist can provide, but you'll be better off information-wise.

That said, Nietzsche. Se créer liberté (Swedish title: Nietzsche. Att skapa sig frihet) by Maximilien Le Roy based on a film script by philosopher Michel Onfray isn't bad. It gives you the some brief glimpses of what formed his life and opinions, and some dialogues presenting his views, and as far as I can tell does a decent job of that. While I don't think Le Roy's art is particularly elegant, he tells the story well, and the dialogue is well-written – despite being relatively brief (you'll find far more text in for example a Blake and Mortimer album, even though this one about an important philosopher) it works very well to present (some of) Nietzsche's views, and what could have been rather boring pages of talking heads works pretty decently.

So, important (or at least well-known) episodes of Nietzsche's life are covered, you get a few glimpses of his philosophy and thinking, and Le Roy and Infray come down solidly on the side of those who think his sister falsified the works he edited to make the impression of an anti-semitism that wasn't Nietzsche's own at all. You can't really demand more of a biography in comics format, and this the creators deliver.

Worth reading. (No, I'm not providing much detail about the actual plot of the book. You want that, you can get it and more here.)

Published in Swedish by Agerings Bokförlag.

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