The Literary 10 – Number 8

The Gay Science

8. The Gay Science

There was a time when I thought Friedrich Nietzsche was the bee’s knees. I was young and in college, a time when every young man stretches the limits of his imagination and explores vast new horizons.

That was a long time ago.

Yes, this is the tome where Nietzsche wrote the infamous line, “God is dead.” But that’s not the reason I remember this book.

Towards the end of the book (aphorism 341, to be exact), he devises a thought experiment. Suppose a demon crawled into your bedroom one night and told you that you would have to relive your life all over again. Every moment of anguish, every moment of joy. Would you tell that demon to bring it on? Could you? If so, Nietzsche argued that you lived a life worth living.

I know I couldn’t say that to the demon. How about you?