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I The project of re-evaluation and the turn to genealogy Introduction to Part I

This chapter begins by prefacing the discussion with a distinction between asceticism and the ascetic ideal. The former refers to specific practices of self-discipline and self-constraint directed to mastering the expression of instincts and desires, and is related by Friedrich Nietzsche to his discussion of punishment, internalization and the formation of a memory. The case of Richard Wagner and Schopenhauer is exemplary in this respect as Wagner stood behind the philosopher Schopenhauer, as his vanguard and protection. In contrast to the philosopher, the priest represents a figure whose investment in the ascetic ideal is a necessary condition of his mode of life: The ideal constitutes not only the conviction of the ascetic priest, but also Nietzsche will, his power, his interest. Nietzsche right to exist stands and falls with this ideal. Thus Nietzsche discerns the outlines of a creature whose best capacities have atrophied and whose relationship to its own existence is one of perpetual dissatisfaction.