out to be after all not so different from "us." The objection fails of course for everyone unwilling to equate intelligibility with translatability into one's own initial language and conceptual idiom. And what its attempt to coopt Nietzsche cannot reckon with is his subordination of the elucidatory academic treatise to the poem and the epigram, a subordination designed to enable us finally to dispense with elucidatory treatises altogether in favor of a mode of discourse and a way of life in which mockery, celebration, and disruptions of sense make use of assertions only in order later to displace them.
Hence the argument that Nietzsche could not have propounded a set of statements which put him at such radical variance with traditional ways of understanding the place of logic and grammar in our discourse, because any set of statements must presuppose to some large degree just that kind of understanding, misses the point. Nietzsche's final standpoint, that toward rather than from which he speaks, cannot be expressed as a set of statements. Statements are made only to be discarded—and sometimes taken up again—in that movement from utterance to utterance in which what is communicated is the movement. Nietzsche did not advance a new theory against older theories; he proposed an abandonment of theory.
Notice that I am not claiming to be able to refute this type of objection by appeal to Nietzsche's writings. What is at issue between those who understand Nietzsche in the one way and those who understand him in the other is in key part how those writings are to be interpreted and how the development from one text to another is to be construed. Nietzsche's writings do not provide us with a set of neutral data, appeal to which will resolve the disagreement. And this is precisely what we should expect if this disagreement is, as I judge it to be, one in which incommensurable standpoints are at odds.
Notice also that I am not at this point claiming that the Nietzschean project, as I have understood it, has been or can be carried through successfully. All that I am claiming is that it must be understood and judged initially in its own terms and that in these terms it is not evidently and at once self-defeating. Whether it can in fact be carried through successfully is a question posed by the history of Foucault's thought.
Nietzsche's progress was from professor to genealogist, Foucault's from being neither to being both simultaneously. And hence for him the problem of academic presentation as a mask assumed by the genealogist exerted pressures perhaps even more intense than those felt by Nietzsche. He confronted that problem directly in his contribution to the Festschrift for Jean Hyppolite, published within a year of his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France. In that essay he addresses in Nietzschean terms not so much the question of what history is and achieves—that is the question to be answered by the whole Nietzschean research program—but the question
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