Building on recent transformative theories of influence, John Foster explores the many ways Nietzsche's intellectual and artistic example helped shape an interconnected series of major literary projects from 1900 to the 1940s. He portrays Nietzsche as a stimulating but disturbing force who left a well-defined legacy of concerns that modernists appropriated for their fiction. The author focuses particularly on Gide, D. H. Lawrence, Malraux, and Mann, analyzing their strategies of acceptance, revision, and subversion.
Originally published in 1989.
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"Foster's principal concern is to document Nietzsche's creative impact on literary modernism. . . . [The book] centers on the critical reinterpretation of three novels, Lawrence's Women in Love, Malraux's Man's Fate, and Mann's Doctor Faustus. . . . Heirs to Dionysus comfortably surpasses most previous attempts to chart the problematic course of Nietzsche's influence and bids fair to set the standard for future work in the field."--David S. Thatcher, Modern Language Quarterly