“Blood for the Ghosts: Reading Ruin’s Being With the Dead With Nietzsche,”

History and Theory. Vol. 59, No. 2 (June 2020): 255-269.


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Classical Literature and Philology | Continental Philosophy | History of Philosophy | Philosophy


A focus on roots, localizations, usurpations, and obliterations together with commemoration and different fields of scholarly research, along with a thematic focus on Homer’s Nykia, permit Hans Ruin to revisit the foundations of history in Being with the Dead. Ruin draws on cultural sociology, including the work of Alfred Schütz, as well as Heideggerian historicity and the dead of the distant past, including archaeology and ethnography, paleography and physical anthropology. Ruin also engages Michel de Certeau’s Writing of History and its focus on the other in a necropolitical account tracked through interdisciplinary fields. In my reading I supplement Ruin’s critical focus on Homer scholarship beyond the twentieth century with a return to Nietzsche’s nineteenth-century emphasis on the “blood” needed to bring the voices of the past to speak in his own reading of Homer. To do this, I note the dead-silenced (“zombie”) scholarship haunting Nietzsche’s voice in his field of classical philology in addition to Nietzsche’s source scholarship and his hermeneutic methodology of historiographical research for the sake of ethnography, archaeology, and Nietzsche’s lectures on pre-Platonic philosophy.



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