On the Love of All and None


  • Jaime McCaffrey University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • Tore Levander Fordham University




Nietzsche, Zarathustra, German, Lust


Nietzsche’s Zarathustra–a book for all and none–champions a love of the world and an embrace of life. Zarathustra’s embrace of life and eternal becoming is, in German, Lust: taking pleasure in all that becomes–one’s own life and the entire world of existence–eternally. “...[Lust] wants the eternity of all things” (Z “Drunken Song” §11). It is an overflowing sort of love, too grand to be directed toward one person. 

In his love of all humans, all things, Zarathustra remains unable to acknowledge this Other. In order to love the Other as an equal, Zarathustra would have to forego his love of  everyone. The other presents the Abgrund that can only be crossed with a tightrope. A love of everything and everyone is equally a love of no one: no one but oneself, but one’s own world. It is life on a mountain peak. 

In its wanting eternity, Lust has no room to accommodate an Other. Is it possible, then, for Zarathustra to love another as an equal? Is there an Other that can exist for Zarathustra at all–or in order to love everything and everyone, must he remain alone? Drawing from a number of specific sections in Zarathustra, we will explore the possibility of loving the Other as an equal, considering the risks and dangers that a mutual love between Zararthustra and an Other might entail. Equal love–sharing in becoming–means relinquishing the solidity of one’s ground in order to experience the Other’s world.


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How to Cite

McCaffrey, J., & Levander, T. (2023). On the Love of All and None. The Agonist, 17(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.33182/agon.v17i1.3018