chapter  1
Text and Context
Pages 39

Philology represents a skeptical attitude toward the physical text as being the re-presentation of an author's thoughts. Texts have histories all their own, and especially with the texts of antiquity one must reckon the often tortuous process of editing, emending, excerpting, and sometimes even forging or plagiarizing that renders them into that which sits upon ourselves millennia later. The faculty of philology was meanwhile torn apart by the then infamous Philologenskrieg (philologists' war). To understand it and Friedrich Nietzsche's place within it, some familiarization with the history of philology will be useful, which will illuminate Nietzsche's own developmental context when he composes History for Life (HL). History meant, in a nutshell, figuring out how we became who we are out of our cultural contexts. The critical attitude philology cultivated toward texts was directed against practical issues involved in their transmission: whether they really were edited or re-arranged, whether they really were forged.