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Friedrich Nietzsche (4) vs. John Updike; Austen advances

I chose yesterday‘s winner based on the oddest comment we’ve received so far in the competition, from AC:

I’d love to see what Jane Austen (Austen’s early Regency dress style: thought of late Regency dresses (, which were basically the exact opposite sensibility. It’s an astonishingly quick reversal, from narrow and prim to a sort of walking wedding cake in twenty years. I imagine she’d have had some interesting thoughts, but she died too early to see it.

You go girl.

As for today, I’m surprised the man from Shillington has survived this far—his opponents were Buddha and Bertrand Russell, neither of whom is a tomato can. He got by on his good turns of phrase. Meanwhile, the angry German philosopher is coming up on the outside. If we could get them both to speak, we could have a spirited debate about God. Again, though, only one can advance.

P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules.


  1. Shah says:

    Nietzsche’s writing is populated by the Antichrist, God and Zarathustra… Updike’s most enduring character is an unhappy suburban everyman named Rabbit.

  2. zbicyclist says:

    I thought AC’s comment was odd as well – but also got intrigued, and AC conveniently included links. And then I figured I would also be interested in what Austen thought.

    Similarly, a Nietzsche talk on “How I influenced western thought, for better and worse” would be great.

  3. A C says:

    Well it seemed perfectly sensible when I wrote it, I can assure you!

  4. Ethan Bolker says:

    “Drinking a toast to the visible world, his impending disappearance from it be damned.”

    Updike, from “My Father’s Tears”. I want to hear from someone who can write like that about things like that.

  5. brianG says:

    it sometimes seems to me that updike’s powers were limitless. consider this:

    “Updike, who was beginning to realize the extent of his powers, had never written about baseball before, and never did again except for a couple of footnotes about Williams. He knocked it out of the park on his very first swing, then retired on the spot.”

    if you’ve read ‘hub fans bid kid adieu’ i think you’ll agree…

  6. Slugger says:

    The German guy: “Truths are illusions that we have forgotten are illusions.”

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