It's not Just the Philology of the Future Anymore
HyperNietzsche: Model for a Research Hypertext
In-conclusion: Toward the Philology of the Future?
name Friedrich Nietzsche should not come as a surprise in a journal
dedicated to the study of new media. Although Nietzsche, born thirty
years before the industrial production of the typewriter, composed
almost everything by hand, he was both a forerunner and herald of
the digital age -- a precursor, let us say.  Indeed, his thought -- and even
his practice -- prepared the way for much of the theory that underpins
and accompanies new media work.
the main section of this essay is dedicated to a straightforward
and workmanlike presentation of the HyperNietzsche Project, I begin
by cataloging some reasons why Nietzsche deserves to be called a
precursor. It is not a case I will make in detail here, but through
this introduction and the conclusion -- in which I suggest ways
of bringing Nietzsche's thought to bear on new media issues -- I
hope to show that HyperNietzsche should be interesting to readers
of this journal not only because it is "Hyper," but even
more so, because it is "Nietzsche." In other words, my
secondary aim is to make a provisional case for why Nietzsche, by
virtue of both his historical influence and the continuing challenge
of his thought, deserves the attention of those concerned with new
few salient examples will suffice to indicate how Nietzsche's thought
foreshadows what we might call the post-Bush era.  Consider Nietzsche's emphasis on multiple interpretations
over a single "truth" or simple "facts,"  and his famous definition
of truth as "a mobile army of metaphors, metonymies,
and anthropomorphism. Truths," he continues, "are illusions
about which one has forgotten that this is what they are".  More generally, we can cite the concept of perspectivism that informs so much of his work. To quote
one of the more explicit formulations: "there is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective 'knowing'; and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing, the more eyes, different eyes, we can use to observe one thing, the more
complete will our 'concept' of this thing, or 'objectivity' be." 
all sounds quite familiar, almost clichéd, in contemporary
media theory circles. It is reflected in the inherent instability
of hypertext, which has no single, fixed, final version. Hypertext
is non-linear, has permeable borders, and its structure changes
in response to the actions of each reader. As Michael Joyce puts
it in a frequently cited definition: "hypertext is reading
and writing electronically in an order you choose; whether among
choices represented for you by the writer, or by your discovery
of the topographic (sensual) organization of the text. Your choices,
not the author's representations or the initial topography, constitute
the current state of the text. You become the reader-as-writer ...
the new writing requires rather than encourages multiple readings.
It not only enacts these readings, it does not exist without them."  And in the time since Joyce's
article, a great deal more has been written on what editors of a
recent collection of essays refer to as "the fluid and dynamic
ontology" of electronic texts. 
is, at the very least, a powerful metaphor for the emerging theory
and practice in internet-based work in the arts and humanities.
It is manifest, for example, in the Ivanhoe
Game that is being developed by two leading theorist of new
media scholarship, Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker, for the purpose
of using "digital tools and space to reflect critically on
received aesthetic works."  As McGann explains, the
game puts into practice a critical theory that is premised upon
the instability and multi-vocality of the texts being studied. Now,
it is certainly true that great works of literature have always
spoken in many voices to many people, but digital media in an Internet
setting emphasize and amplify certain aspects of literature that
the conventions of paperbound bookmaking and reading tended to obscure
and curtail. The model of oral literature -- think of the Homeric
epic before it became fixed in writing -- may provide a useful analogy
here. In a strictly oral mode the composition of a story is much
more fluid and more subject to variations deriving from the perspective
of the teller. While obviously different in many respects, hypertext
shares something of the protean dynamism of oral traditions. 
more concrete example of something like Nietzschean perspectivism
in the new media environment is provided by the conjunction of hypermedia
technologies and emerging theories of textual editing. According
to the previously dominant editorial model, the so-called copy-text
theory championed in the mid twentieth century by W. W. Greg and
Fredson Bowers, the editor works toward establishing an ideal text,
presented on the page as a clear reading text, while variant readings
and the history of the production and constitution of the text are
either relegated to an apparatus criticus or elided altogether.
contrast, many contemporary editors no longer aim to establish an
ideal, clear and stable text, but rather endeavor to represent and
communicate to the reader the full complexity of the textual situation:
the genetic history of the text, its various readings, the history
of its transmission, and so on. The texts that result do not necessarily
speak with a single voice; they tend to be less stable, less fixed,
polyvalent, witnessed from multiple points of view ...in a word,
more perspectivist.  The emergence of hypermedia
has played a remarkable threefold role in the development of contemporary
editorial theory and practice: 1) the rise to prominence of digital
media for textual transmission has forced a radical re-thinking
of what textuality is; 2) hypermedia have been, and continue to
be, tools with which new theories and practices can be tested; 3)
hypermedia have embodied and in some cases afforded tentative confirmation
of these theories. Behind all of this lies a perspectivist paradigm
of knowledge derived at least in part, often indirectly and without
acknowledgement, perhaps even unawares, from Nietzsche.
more can be said about Nietzsche's kinship with digital culture.
His playfulness, persistent irony, and love of masks (Zarathustra,
or the gay scientist, or the antichrist, or Dionysus) evoke the
prevailing spirit of new media practitioners.  Furthermore, despite some youthful
dalliance, throughout his maturity Nietzsche was an ardent advocate
of transnational culture and an opponent of all forms of parochial
nationalism, and so in a sense he was an early proponent of the
global culture that recent technologies have so greatly facilitated.  Finally, just as one often finds in new media
theory and practice a tendency toward the subversive and deconstructive,
a certain passion for the antiestablishment position,  this too was surely characteristic of Nietzsche.
He was the self-titled "Antichrist," who once described
himself as "a subterranean man... who tunnels and mines and
undermines" and who wrote in his autobiographical final book, Ecce Homo: "I am no man; I am dynamite." 
obvious, perhaps, than Nietzsche's theoretical kinship are the ways
in which his formal practice anticipates cybertextual conventions.
Take, for example, his favored literary form: the aphorism. Of variable
length but always relatively brief, it is a single unit that can
stand independently, and yet is also deeply integrated into the
structure of the whole; this unit is linked to aphorisms that proceed
and follow it, and is often linked by allusion or thematic concern
to aphorisms in other texts. Similarly in the realm of hypermedia
art, discrete units share this dual imperative: they must both function
independently and must also link meaningfully to many other units.
one final example, I cite Nietzsche's late, riveting volume, Nietzsche
Contra Wagner. Although not usually mentioned alongside, say,
the cut-up novels of William Burroughs or Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch as a forerunner of hyperfiction, Nietzsche Contra Wagner consists entirely of passages, mostly aphorisms, excerpted by Nietzsche
from earlier writings and reassembled to form a new book. Nietzsche
Contra Wagner thus illustrates the flexibility and portability
of the aphorism form and also demonstrates how Nietzsche's aphorisms
are, to borrow a phrase from new media theory, "deeply interwingled."
Nietzsche surely has a place at the table of new media theorizing.
And yet he may not turn out to be the most welcome of guests, since
he is in the habit of raising discomforting questions. I shall turn
to some of these questions in the concluding section of this essay.
First, however, ecce HyperNietzsche.
for a Research Hypertext
is the model for a research hypertext that enables a delocalized
community of specialists to work in a cooperative and cumulative
manner and to publish the results of their work on the Internet. 
project has three main objectives:
To provide free and direct access via the Internet to primary
sources for the study of Nietzsche, including digitized facsimiles
of Nietzsche's published works, manuscripts, letters, personal
library, and so forth.
To serve as a repository and publishing venue for secondary literature
on Nietzsche, including transcriptions, critical editions, translations,
philological commentaries, genetic studies, philosophical interpretations,
To develop the technological, administrative, and legal support
necessary to compile and integrate these sources and to ensure
the long-term sustainability of the project.
this particular venture focuses on Nietzsche, it has from the start
been conceived as a pilot project. In principle, this model for
a research hypertext could be used for a vast array of applications
beyond the study of Nietzsche. In fact, the project is purposefully
designing technological, administrative, and legal structures that
can be generalized and can serve as a paradigm for the development
of other research hypertexts. This is one reason why the HyperNietzsche
project is dedicated to the Open Source model, not only for programming
and design, but also in regard to intellectual property issues. 
can most easily imagine the HyperNietzsche model applied to the
study of other authors, and indeed, the HyperNietzsche team has
already launched exploratory projects with research teams working
on Arthur Schopenhauer, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Euripides,
to name just a few. Work has also begun on hypertexts dedicated
to Leonardo da Vinci and Giacomo Puccini. Other projects can also
be imagined, for example, a hypertext dedicated to an historical
event (e.g., the fall of the Berlin wall, or the 1969 moon landing)
or one dedicated to a philosophical issue (e.g., the will, or first-person
HyperNietzsche Project was originally conceived in 1996 by the Italian
Nietzsche scholar Paolo D'Iorio as a way to employ emerging web-based
technologies to solve long-standing philological problems associated
with critical editions. Subsequently, in the late 1990s at the Institut des Textes et Manuscrits
Modernes (ITEM) in Paris the project began to take shape. Still
concerned at the time with problems of critical editing, it had
also transformed into a new and expanded concept: the research hypertext.
In the research hypertext, providing source material and secondary
scholarship that can be easily navigated by the user to optimize
efficiency is only the first step. It also provides for the complex,
dynamic integration of these materials; it serves as a powerful
tool to be used by scholars as they pursue their research; and it
provides a new publishing venue with worldwide distribution able
to support scholarship in hypermedia format.
decision was eventually taken to create the HyperNietzsche Association,
which is governed by an Editorial Board of internationally recognized
Nietzsche specialists who are elected every two years by all the
members of the Association. Anyone who a) has published in the hypertext,
and b) has one letter of recommendation from a current member, qualifies
to be a voting member. A system was also designed to allow for anonymous peer review by the Editorial Board of all contributions submitted
to the hypertext. These administrative structures -- the Association,
the Editorial Board, and peer review -- help to ensure the quality
of the material, the prestige value of the hypertext as a publishing
venue, and the long-term self-sustainability of the project.
the project progressed, it became evident that the research hypertext
can greatly enhance the potential for scholarly collaboration both
geographically and in terms of academic discipline. Thus even as
the project was being developed at the ITEM in Paris, it began to
attract collaborators in Germany, Italy, the United States, and
elsewhere, and it brought together not only philosophers and philologists,
but also web designers, computer programmers, legal scholars, and
the reception in 2001 of a major grant from the German Humboldt
Foundation, the HyperNietzsche project has burgeoned. The infrastructure
has been completely redesigned; a legal agreement has been reached
between the HyperNietzsche Association and the Nietzsche Archives
in Weimar; and thousands of pages of manuscripts have been digitized
and made available on line.
the course of its history, HyperNietzsche has seen the light of
day in four versions. Each has been more functional than the previous
one, but none has yet been fully operational. Thus, HyperNietzsche Version 1 has not yet been released. Rather, in December
2001 Version 0.1 was released, which allowed users to read essays
that had been submitted. Subsequently, Version 0.2 was also able
to accept the submission of essays. And in June 2003 the release
of Version 0.3 allowed users to navigate through some of the primary
material and to submit, and thereby publish, facsimiles.
user entering the HyperNietzsche website will first come to the Welcome Page, with a
choice of six languages. Choosing English, the user will be brought
to the English version of the Homepage [fig. 1].
The home page is divided into four sections.
The MATERIALS section, in the upper left hand corner, includes
primary material for the study of Nietzsche, separated into four
Works include texts written and published by Nietzsche. Here, for example, one
will be able to find digital facsimiles of first editions of Nietzsche's
Correspondence includes letters written to or from the author.
Manuscripts are documents written but not published by Nietzsche
-- the Nachlass -- including notebooks, drafts, proof sheets,
and Readings In this section, users will be able to consult digitized
facsimiles of all the pages in all the books in Nietzsche's personal
library, which include of course all the marginal notes in his
Documents include information pertaining to Nietzsche's life,
such as family photographs and identity papers.
The AUTHORS section contains three subcategories:
Authors Following this link leads to a list of authors who
have contributed to the hypertext, complete with the authors'
c.v., their contact information, and links to their HyperNietzsche
of HyperNietzsche A list of all the members of the HyperNietzsche Association.
Board Members of HyperNietzsche's governing body are listed
here, together with their c.v. and contact information.
3) CONTRIBUTIONS contains links to secondary material submitted
by users of the hypertext or prepared by the HyperNietzsche development
team. Importantly, these can either be previously unpublished
documents or essays that have appeared elsewhere, meaning that
scholars can submit work of their own that is already published,
or they can edit and publish the work of others (provided that
intellectual property/copyright is respected).
Describe encompasses all contributions which supply
descriptions of materials, authors or other contributions. This
would include, for example, a description of the physical condition
of a manuscript.
Reproduce This section includes digital reproductions
of external items. A transcription of a manuscript page, for example,
is considered a reproduction and is included in this section.
Order Users of HyperNietzsche will be able to
sort and order material present in the hypertext and to submit
this ordering of material for evaluation as a Contribution. Work
that establishes the chronological order in which a series of
manuscript notes had been written would be an example of an "Order"
Interpret contains traditional scholarly contributions such as philological
commentaries or philosophical essays.
Translate Translations may be of primary or secondary
The NEWS section makes it easy for users of the hypertext
to keep up to date by providing links to the most recently published
Contributions, along with a list of any new Authors and a link
to the Nietzsche
News Center for news about the world of Nietzsche studies,
including conference listings, book reviews, and other relevant
us now move more deeply into the structure of the hypertext. I shall
introduce three concepts that will help to explicate how HyperNietzsche
contextualization is one of the central principles of the research
hypertext. Put simply, it means that whatever one views in the main
window of the hypertext will be immediately and automatically contextualized,
so that in the frame surrounding the main window, all the material
in the hypertext relevant to the page currently being viewed will
be readily accessible.
us look at a maquette taken from a demonstration version of HyperNietzsche
to illustrate this. 
fig. 2, the main window of the hypertext interface shows a digital
facsimile of page 26 of a notebook, which the Nietzsche archivists
have titled N IV 2. The three principle areas of the hypertext that
we saw on the Home Page [fig. 1] -- Materials, Contributions, and
Authors -- are now represented across the top of the screen as icons
and they have been contextualized. On the Home Page, as we saw previously,
the categories referred to the entire contents of HyperNietzsche.
The Materials link gave access to all the material in the
hypertext, and likewise with the Contributions, and Authors links.
Now, however, each of these icons refers exclusively to the section
of the Hypertext that has just been accessed, page 26 of Notebook
N IV 2.
now on the Materials icon (the safe) will call up in the frame on
the left hand side of the screen only those materials relevant to
the page currently being viewed. (This is represented in fig. 2.)
If the Contributions icon (the pen) were to be selected, the left
hand frame would contain a list of those contributions in the hypertext
relevant to this page -- for example, there would be links to any
articles that discuss the contents of this page. The Authors icon,
meanwhile, will call up links to authors who have published material
relevant to this page.
specifically now, when p. 26 of notebook N IV 2 is contextualized
[fig. 2], the Materials section will include links to both black-and-white
and color facsimiles in both pdf and jpg formats. The user will
also have access to any transcriptions of p. 26 that have been published
on the website. Since Nietzsche's handwriting is extremely difficult
to read, many users will want to rely on the transcriptions prepared
by experts. Here the advantages of digital technology come powerfully
to the fore: users can be looking at a manuscript page and, with
a click of the mouse, they can activate transcriptions of individual
words, lines, or whole paragraphs. The images below illustrate various
methods of displaying transcriptions. Fig. 3 shows an interactive
word-for-word transcription, in which the user clicks on each word
to view its transcription. In fig. 4, a simple linear transcription
of the page appears to the right of the facsimile. A so-called "diplomatic"
transcription, which encodes information about the appearance of
the written page, could also be accessed, as well as the so-called
"ultradiplomatic" transcription [fig. 5], which appears
as a transparent overlay. In this last, the user can activate either
the facsimile page, or the transcription, or both simultaneously.
[fig. 3 interactive word-for-word transcription]
[fig. 4 interactive paragraph transcription -- partial
[fig. 5 transparent interactive transcription -- partial
these images, the background blue indicates that the Materials contextualization
has been activated, whereby the user has immediate access via links
to facsimile pages and to the various transcriptions. If the Contributions
contextualization were to be activated, a yellow background would
appear and links would be provided to all the secondary scholarship
--critical essays, philological commentaries, etc. -- relevant to
the same page. Activating the Authors contextualization, which is
signaled by a pink background, would provide links to any scholars
who cite this page in their contributions.
contextualization, moreover, does not only apply to the primary
materials (e.g., manuscript pages). Rather, every item in the hypertext
is immediately contextualized as soon as it is viewed. For a more
detailed explanation of what it means to contextualize a Contribution
(e.g., an interpretive essay) or an Author, I refer you to the project
description on the website, currently located here (follow the link for "dynamic contextualization").
summary, dynamic contextualization simply means that the frame surrounding
the page viewed changes, is contextualized, relative to the page.
The Pearl/Pearl-Diver Model and the Signature System
terms refer to the information infrastructure of the hypertext.
To illustrate them, let me first identify three key features of
the HyperNietzsche infrastructure:
it gives a unique name, called a signature to each element
in the hypertext
it allows designers to order the elements so that they can be
easily navigated by users through the use of menus
it allows users to order the elements themselves, thereby creating
three features are part of the pearl/pearl-diver model. The
word "pearl," when used by HyperNietzsche programmers,
is a specialized replacement for the common programming term "object."
The image to have in mind here is one of pearls in the ocean and
a deep-sea diver looking for them. Each element in the hypertext
-- e.g., a manuscript page, or a whole notebook, or an interpretive
essay -- is a unique pearl with an individual name. Moreover, one
pearl may contain within it any number of other pearls. For example,
one of Nietzsche's notebooks would count as a single pearl, but
each page within that notebook would also count as a uniquely identifiable
pearl. And even the definition of the relations between each pearl
and every other pearl counts as a pearl in itself.
part of the pearl/pearl-diver system acts as the diver that searches
for and retrieves the pearls. Pearls can be joined to one another
in chains -- strings of pearls -- that can be constantly reordered
and reconfigured. Because each pearl -- in other words, every element
of the hypertext -- has a unique name, it is easy to generate individual
chains according to a predetermined sequence or according to a new
sequence established by the user. When a user clicks through a notebook
page by page, the system is generating a chain that has been pre-determined
by the hypertext designers. In contrast, when a user reorders elements
in the hypertext a new sequence is generated. For example, a scholar
wanting to trace the genesis of the concept of the superman (Uebermensch)
could find every mention of the word in Nietzsche's manuscripts
and place them in chronological order. This would generate a new
sequence, called a "genetic path," which could then be
made available to other researchers.
to the pearl model, each unit in the hypertext has a unique
identity. These units are named according to the signature system.
The signature system constitutes the response to a simple question: what is the smallest practical unit of significance in the author's
oeuvre? The answer will vary according to the practices of the
author, the scholarly tradition, and the consensus of specialists.
For the study of James Joyce, for example, a strong case can be
made that the relevant unit is the individual word. In the case
of Nietzsche's published material, the most obvious unit -- and
the one chosen by this project -- is the aphorism (or, in some cases,
the paragraph). For the notebooks, the relevant unit is the individual
summary, the pearl model means that each element in the hypertext
has a unique identity, and the signature system is the logic of
signification that governs the naming of pearls.
a manuscript, the user begins at the highest level of what is called granularity [fig.6].  The term granularity simply refers to the
hierarchical organization of the various levels of the hypertext.
manuscripts, there are three levels of granularity.
The manuscript as a whole [fig. 6], at which level one can
see the entire manuscript and can go to specific pages simply by
clicking on the page. Doing so brings one to the second level...
The page [fig. 7] can be viewed in both color and black-and-white
facsimiles and the zoom function allows three levels of magnification.
The names of the scholars who prepared the page are cited at the
top (clicking on the Authors button will call up their names and
a link to their profiles with c.v. and a list of contributions),
and options for downloading and printing the page are available
on the upper right hand side of the window [fig. 8].
[fig. 8, partial view]
Clicking on a particular note brings the reader to the third
level of granularity. The note is immediately identified through
a contrasting background, and if the note extends over more than
one page, the additional pages are brought into view. As with the
page, the note can be displayed in various magnifications and can
be downloaded and printed [fig. 9].
together, the signature system and granularity ensure that all elements
in the hypertext -- every facsimile, transcription, essay, etc.
-- can be precisely identified with a clear and simple web address.
From an academic point of view, this is a crucial feature because
it guarantees a reliable system of citation.
with the Hypertext
takes no special talent to imagine fruitful ways to use a resource
like HyperNietzsche. We have already grown accustomed to having
instant access via the Internet to texts and images of all sorts.
For many scholars and artists, their work would be unthinkable without
it. In this regard, the technical, legal, and administrative innovations
introduced by the HyperNietzsche model promise a more comprehensive,
more efficient, and more reliable source for something that has
already permeated the culture. Although in an important sense the
research hypertext is open-ended, HyperNietzsche can also be said
to be comprehensive in the sense of complete if and when it furnishes
access to the essential primary materials for the study of Nietzsche:
his published writing and the Nachlass, including all of
the manuscript material. While the ultimate fulfillment of this
goal lies in the future, major steps have already been taken, and
anyone who works on Nietzsche can easily imagine the concrete benefits
of having such access. No less significant, however, is the efficiency
promised by a well-designed research hypertext. Dynamic contextualization
offers an intuitive and user-friendly solution to the question of
how to organize such large quantities of materials. A further requirement
for genuinely useful Internet resources is the one that fails to
be met each time a user clicks on a dead link. Dead link syndrome
is as irritating as it is inevitable, and it is only part
of the much larger issue of how electronic resources will be maintained
and preserved. Though not the only nor necessarily the ultimate
response to this challenge, the legal and administrative structures
of HyperNietzsche aim to ensure the reliability of these resources
research hypertext has much to offer its users beyond the furnishing
of primary sources. We saw above how the contextualization feature
fully integrates scholarly work both with the original material
and with other scholarship. The hypertext also greatly facilitates
the use of digital facsimiles of the original material in newly
created secondary work, and it exploits new media technology to
re-organize and link up material in ways that can shed fresh light
on the author's thought and his compositional practice. The hypertext
can be of threefold service here: as the source for the primary
materials the scholar is studying; as a tool to assist with searching
and organizing the material; and finally, as the perfectly suited
venue for presenting and disseminating the results.
offer just one simple example, philologist Inga Gerike has prepared
a study of the genetic history of aphorism 338 of The Wanderer
and his Shadow, Vol. II of Nietzsche's Human All Too Human.
It locates earlier versions of parts of the aphorism as they appear
in Nietzsche's notebooks, revisions he made in the fair copy prepared
for the printer, and instructions to change the text, sent by Nietzsche
on a postcard to his publisher. The result traces the evolution
of the passage and offers an approach to understanding both Nietzsche's
practices as a writer and the meaning of this aphorism. The hypertext
version of the study once completed will include links to
the manuscript material, all of which will be available in HyperNietzsche
with transcriptions (as we saw above), as well as a link to the
published aphorism in the first edition of The Wanderer and his
Shadow. The hypertext can display such genetic studies in various
formats, and it can also generate a rhizome which shows how various
genetic paths cross, diverge, fork, conclude, and connect to other
paths. Fig. 10 shows a rhizomatic display of the first sections
of three genetic paths (red, green, blue) prepared by Gerike. By
scrolling to the right, the reader can follow the paths, which all
eventually lead to the link for Aphorism 338.
the multimedia environment, audio-visual material can also be incorporated.
In the case of Nietzsche, music played a crucial role in his life
and thought. He wrote passionately about the music of others --
Wagner and Bizet, for example -- and even authored his own compositions.
HyperNietzsche can easily incorporate musical recordings and make
them readily available at appropriate points in Nietzsche's texts.
Links can also be made to worthy film material, such as documentaries
or stagings of operas. Needless to say, a research hypertext on
Giacomo Puccini or Orson Welles for example would exploit this capacity
a great deal more.
Toward the Philology of the Future? 
the HyperNietzsche model will become a widely used paradigm for
humanities research, and for other kinds of work in the arts and
sciences more broadly, is of course impossible to say. The electronic
world is restless, shape-shifting, constantly transforming and re-inventing
itself. HyperNietzsche, as part of that world, is itself constantly
changing as it develops internally and responds to its environment.
In adopting Open Source as both the technological basis and the
guiding ethos for the project, the founders of HyperNietzsche have
embraced the radical dynamism -- and fundamental uncertainty --
of the digital world.  Open Source dictates that either the HyperNietzsche
model will lead the way, constantly being improved by the work of
many hands; or it will yield place to a superior model.
acknowledging such instability, reflection on HyperNietzsche can
still allow us to make some concrete observations about the future
of humanities scholarship. As one of the most innovative projects
in digital research in the humanities, it affords a perspective
on what changes have already taken place or are now underway.
the most obvious changes cluster around the availability of primary
sources. Heretofore, if one wanted to study Nietzsche's manuscripts
or personal library, one had to go to Weimar, had to secure permission,
had to follow the rules of access, and so on -- conditions which
applied, or still apply, equally to the study of very many other
authors. Scholars and artists who have concerned themselves with
such authors have, for the most part, not based their work on the
direct study of the primary materials. Manuscript study has been,
and still remains, a highly specialized field. This is no insignificant
matter, as the case of Nietzsche proves.
many years the vast majority of the readers of Nietzsche relied
on faulty, at times radically faulty, editions of his work. The
most significant and notorious situation regards Nietzsche's notebooks
and drafts from the 1880s. These papers, assembled in an order Nietzsche
never intended and published (something he also did not intend to
have happen) posthumously as a book, are now known to the world
as Der Wille zur Macht -- The Will to Power. This
book has been so influential that it is virtually impossible to
understand 20th century western philosophy -- and quite
a bit of western culture more broadly speaking -- without studying
it. And yet much of this influence has been based on the false sense
that the book is Nietzsche's magnum opus, the most authoritative
statement of his mature philosophy.
responsible and reliable critical editions can go a long way toward
ameliorating such situations, as in fact has been in done in the
case of Nietzsche with the widely respected, and currently most
authoritative, Kritische Gesamtausgabe.  Yet it is undeniable that any edition, indeed any
transcription, is already an interpretation. It may well be that
in very many cases, these interpretations are entirely uncontroversial.
But the number of controversial cases for a large number of authors,
and certainly for Nietzsche, is far from negligible. Hitherto, the
vast majority of scholars and artists reading Nietzsche, or just
about any major author, simply had to rely either on
faulty or not-so-faulty published editions. The sheer material conditions,
i.e., access to the primary material in the archives, determined
almost suddenly, the mediation between reader and primary material
has been, or is in the course of being, radically reduced.  HyperNietzsche
has already digitized thousands of pages and is currently making
them available, worldwide, at no cost. Other authors' manuscripts
have also already been digitized and many more are soon to come. 
impact will this have? For editors and manuscriptologists, the impact
will be tremendous. The establishment of texts is bound to become
ever more intensely debated: from the transcribing of handwriting
to the ordering of pages to the methods for dealing with and presenting
multiple and variant readings. With what results? It may be that
versions will proliferate and editions will multiply, with none
attaining authoritative status. Alternatively, one might imagine
that with ever more eyes looking at the manuscript pages and ever
more brains attempting to decipher them, so ever more accurate transcriptions,
translations, and editions will emerge and new administrative systems
and authoritative bodies will develop capable of evaluating and
organizing the presentation of this new material.  The results and
consequences remain to be seen, but as far as textual editing is
concerned, the Rubicon has already been crossed.
readers and students of Nietzsche who are not inclined to study
manuscripts -- again, this is currently the vast majority -- one
can only wonder whether pressure will mount to learn to read manuscripts.
Given the difficulties inherent in reading many authors' manuscripts,
certainly Nietzsche's, it may seem unlikely that this could ever
become a prerequisite for other modes of critical work, such as
philosophical criticism. And yet, thinking by analogy, it
was not so long ago that scholars at major universities did not
need to know how to use word processors or how to do electronic
searches. Surely, some still do not, but they are now in the minority.
Expectations in these matters do change over time. Perhaps the widespread
availability of source material will attract more students to their
study; and perhaps also, the prima facie advantages of less
mediated access to the originals (analogous to the advantages
of being able to read texts in the original language) will behoove
serious students to study them in digital form. 
media initiatives like HyperNietzsche raise a host of additional
issues that are currently being hotly debated in and out of the
academy. They have prompted serious rethinking in regard to intellectual
property law, the economics of publishing, the career trajectories
of academics (especially in regard to publication-sensitive tenure
decisions), and the policies of libraries and archives. Rather than
pursuing these matters, which are already prominent on the new media
theory agenda, I would like to conclude by raising a different set
of issues, ones that arise from an attempt to think through some
Nietzschean perspectives on new media and culture. For clarity's
sake, I will break down into three questions what is in reality
a knot of interrelated concerns.
In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche offers a memorable depiction
of the Alexandrian character of modern culture: "Our art reveals this universal distress: in vain does one
depend imitatively on all the great productive periods and natures;
in vain does one accumulate the entire 'world-literature' around
modern man for his comfort; in vain does one place oneself in the
midst of the art styles and artists of all ages ...one still remains
eternally hungry, the 'critic' without joy and energy, the Alexandrian
man, who is at bottom a librarian and corrector of proofs, and wretchedly
goes blind from the dust of books and from printers' errors." 
hundred and thirty years later, one may need to replace "the
dust of books" with "the glow of monitors," but the
image still works; it still expresses a deep and widely felt dissatisfaction
about post-Enlightenment culture for which Nietzsche was merely
the most eloquent spokesman. The complaint is prominent in The Birth of Tragedy, and it recurs in various forms throughout
Nietzsche's oeuvre. As the tone of the previous quote suggests,
at first pass it registers like a complaint about pedantry, charging
that modernity has elevated pedantry to a cultural ideal. Yet this
complaint is part of a more profound skepticism about knowledge
that is central to Nietzsche's thought (though not unambivalently
so, as we shall see). The most succinct formulation, which Nietzsche
calls "the doctrine of Hamlet," states simply that "knowledge
kills action."  In his notebooks of this period, Nietzsche
writes of how the "unrestrained knowledge drive" threatens
to undermine culture, a danger he explores at length in the sequentially
published Untimely Meditations.  Of
the second Meditation, "On The Uses and Disadvantages
of History for Life," Nietzsche would later write: "[it]
brings to light what is dangerous and gnaws at and poisons life
in our kind of traffic with science and scholarship."  The concern recurs later as well, for example
in the Preface to The Gay Science where Nietzsche writes
disparagingly of "the will to truth, to 'truth at any price'."
In sum, the position Nietzsche urges us to consider in such passages
holds that a scientific culture, a culture that has as its highest
value the optimization of knowledge, must ultimately be self-destructive.
There is, Nietzsche is suggesting, a fundamental antipathy between
the desire for and drive for knowledge and the illusions which are
necessary to sustain a vibrant cultural life. This line of thought
in Nietzsche can be summarized in the following remark from an early
notebook entry: "it has proven itself impossible to erect a
culture on knowledge." 
so often in Nietzsche, however, the line just sketched out certainly
has a countercurrent. Nietzsche himself was a trained and accomplished
philologist who entered the field at a time when its "scientific"
status was at an apex. He understood and respected the scholarly
mode of inquiry, and even toward the end of his career, he could
still write, "It is not for nothing that I have been a philologist,
perhaps I am a philologist still, that is to say, a teacher of slow
reading." In this passage he goes on to praise the philologist's
mode of reading, "slowly, deeply, looking cautiously before
and after."  Surely Nietzsche is not here writing in praise
of pedantry, but it does nevertheless temper the critique of Alexandrian
man we saw above. The acknowledgment here and elsewhere of the virtues
of philology are symptomatic of a countercurrent that runs deep
in Nietzsche's thought. Its most compelling expression comes in The Gay Science passages about "intellectual conscience."
There Nietzsche writes approvingly of "the desire for certainty"
as "that which separates the higher human beings from the lower."  In this and similar passages, Nietzsche seems to
characterize the will to knowledge as something like an existential
imperative. To "become what one is" -- as the subtitle
to Ecce Homo puts it -- means to embrace this imperative.
is not the time to explore further this apparent tension in Nietzsche's
thought, but what we have seen suffices for our current purposes.
From a certain perspective, projects such as HyperNietzsche epitomize
the "scientific culture" that Nietzsche so colorfully
satirizes. The Nietzschean concern here is not whether such projects
succeed or fail, nor what impact they have, but rather it is a concern
about the desire they manifest. Does the energetic exploitation
of digital technology in the arts and human sciences bespeak the
triumph of the "unrestrained knowledge drive," and all
that that implies for Nietzsche about the decline of culture? Or
rather does it constitute, especially in the case of the research
hypertext, a sign of intellectual conscience? Is it the "misuse
of knowledge" in the "endless gathering of material"
(see note 30)? Or is it rather
in the spirit of Nietzsche's paean to physics in The Gay Science,
which holds that in order to "become those we are ...we must
become the best learners and discovers of everything that is lawful
and necessary in the world: we must become physicists in order to
be able to be creators"? 
Internet technology and applications like the research hypertext
can potentially have a profoundly democratizing effect on culture
and scholarship. For many --the founders of HyperNietzsche included
-- this is a good thing, something to be worked toward and encouraged.
According to the HyperNietzsche model, this means in the first place
the free, worldwide distribution of cultural heritage via the Internet.
Beyond that, it means a democratic model for the governance of the
associations that design and control research hypertexts. Submissions
to the hypertext are evaluated for publication by an Editorial Board,
which functions democratically: all members of the Board are eligible
to vote on submissions. Furthermore, the Board itself is democratically
elected by members of the Association (see above).
Both the legal and administrative structures of the HyperNietzsche
model as well as its Open Source philosophy are deeply informed
by democratic principles.
it is well known that Nietzsche himself had deep misgivings about
democracy and, more pointedly, about democratic culture. It must
be noted, here again, that the position is not unambiguous. To cite
just one example, in Human All Too Human Nietzsche writes
approvingly of the democratization of Europe, which according to
him is effecting a move away from narrow, atavistic nationalism
and toward the broader and more refined culture of the "good
European" (II, p.292; cf. p.275). So it would be going too
far to say that Nietzsche is an enemy of democracy, but he was surely
a skeptic and a critic. In a telling aphorism, Nietzsche signals
his criticism of democracy even in the context of praising its virtues:
"Democratic institutions are quarantine arrangements to combat
that ancient pestilence, lust for tyranny: as such they are very
useful and very boring." 
critique of democracy -- both cultural and political -- is a vast
topic, but here we need only indicate a few characteristic features.
The word "boring" in the previous quote already suggests
one crucial but elusive aspect. While it is clearly meant to read
humorously, the word is also freighted. It echoes the aesthetic
language used in The Birth of Tragedy, and it points toward
Nietzsche's frequent invocation of the concept of "taste"
when criticizing modernity.  While this mode
of critique can at times sound carping or superficial, the stakes
are actually quite high, since -- for reasons we cannot go into
here -- Nietzsche sees what is "boring" and "in bad
taste" about modernity to be symptomatic of nihilism. Moreover,
his aesthetic estimation of mass democratic culture is linked
to a much broader critique of post-enlightenment modernity and its
concomitant Christian morality. Finally, Nietzsche is also concerned
about the crushing impact of mass culture on individuality. The
argument comes across powerfully in Nietzsche Contra Wagner,
where he writes that in a democratic culture "even the
most personal conscience is vanquished by the leveling magic of
the great number; the neighbor reigns; one becomes a mere neighbor." 
critique of modern democratic mass culture contrasts starkly with
the ideals that guide projects like HyperNietzsche and with the
open source ethos that is so prevalent among new media technicians,
artists, and scholars. Again, there is certainly a powerful current
in Nietzche's thought that is much more of a piece with the open
source mindset. It is embodied in the figure of the "free spirit"
and is captured well in the epigram used on the homepage of HyperNietzsche:
"To work toward making all good things part of the common good
and so that all things may be free to those who are free."  Yet to
embrace this element in Nietzsche and ignore his critique of democratic
culture would be shortsighted. Indeed, the fact that he comprehends
and celebrates the virtues of modernity makes his perspective on
its vices all the more credible. He is thus an invaluable interlocutor
for anyone reflecting on the democratizing potential of Internet
At the beginning of the essay, I argued that Nietzsche was a proto-hypertextualist.
He understood and relished non-linear organization and structure.
He was subversive, a guerrilla philosopher, "a subterranean
man ...who tunnels and mines and undermines." Employing Internet
argot, one might say that Nietzsche "lived the rhizome."
Given all that, it may be somewhat jarring to also recall that,
as he indicates in the 1886 Preface to Human All Too Human,
one of his most abiding concerns throughout his career is the problem
of the order of rank [das Problem der Rangordnung]."  Many of the concerns Nietzsche raises about the
nihilism of modernity turn on his notion of the systematic dissipation
of the "order of rank." The result, in Nietzsche's language,
is the culture of "last men," content with mediocrity,
lacking aspiration and goal, a culture above all unmoved by desire.
relevance, if any, does Nietzsche's concern about "rank order"
have for thinking about new media culture? Even raising the question
in this context risks trivialization; it deserves a much lengthier
and detailed treatment than can be given here. Let me therefore
emphasize that my remarks aim not to be comprehensive, but rather
to open the question and to promote further reflection.
the most superficial level, at least, part of the attraction of
hypermedia for many artists and scholars is its constantly shifting,
non-hierarchical structure. As fiction writer Shelley Jackson observes
about hypertext: "it has no point to make, only clusters of
intensities, and one cluster is as central as another, which is
to say, not at all. What sometimes substitutes for a center is just
a switchpoint, a place from which everything diverges."  It is likewise evident from the preceding discussion
that HyperNietzsche exploits some of the same characteristics of
hypertext. These technical innovations, furthermore, carry
over into the way practitioners think about and execute their work.
Jackson, for example, comments on how hypertext fiction, if it is
to be successful, cannot rely on the "thrust" of "plot"
that is the mainstay of the traditional novel. The hypertext author
needs to embrace a new structure in which "one cluster is as
central as another." Jackson and other hypermedia artists are
also experimenting with collective modes of creating new work, combining
the efforts of a scattered community that collaborates through electronic
means. Similarly, the HyperNietzsche model favors non-hierarchical
and rhizomatic structures in the execution of scholarly work and
facilitates collective, decentralized projects.
practical terms, a fully developed research hypertext has the potential
to level the hierarchical structures of authority that have developed
in scholarly institutions. It is easy to overestimate this potential,
but it does bear consideration since it will inevitably be realized
to some extent at least, and since it promises both advantages and
disadvantages. As a concrete example, let us consider the authoritative
critical edition. Critical editions come into being through the
mediation of, and gain their authority in part from, the academic
publishing network. Academic publishers, in turn, rely on the structures
of authority operative in the university system to set and maintain
standards (and, of course, they simultaneously help to create and
sustain those structures through credentialing). Related systems
of checks and balances -- the book review, the academic conference,
etc. -- also play a role in confirming or modulating the authority
of the critical edition. The research hypertext, by both making
the original documents available and serving as a venue for the
publication of an indefinite number and variety of textual editions
and commentaries, can radically alter the status of the authoritative
critical edition. The HyperNietzsche project is clearly grappling
with this issue, and it proposes a system that retains something
of the traditional model in that an Editorial Board must review
and approve submissions. Any editions published in HyperNietzsche
will therefore bear the imprimatur of the Editorial Board. Yet the
governing principle is democratic -- the Board is democratically
elected by the members of the Association. What kind of authority
will such editions have? Whence would such authority derive? From
Nietzsche's perspective, democratic institutions are not reliable
sources of value hierarchy and rank order. 
"Radiant Textuality," Jerome McGann offers an eloquent
and persuasive argument for the broad scale benefits offered by
hypermedia to humanities scholarship. His argument on behalf of
computerization includes the following:
cumulative nature of critical and scholarly work can be preserved
and self-integrated in ways that far transcend the capabilities
of paper-based instruments. Computerization not only vastly increases
the amount of accessible information, it enables much greater flexibility
in the ways information can be shaped, scaled, and negotiated. This
doesn't mean that hierarchies of knowledge will be eliminated, as
has been sometimes hoped and sometimes feared. Rather, it means
that hierarchies can be determined and need not be determinate.
Knowledge can be critically ordered for specific and conscious ends.
Under such conditions, what is recondite and what is important,
or what is central and what is peripheral, emerge as functions of
the critical activity itself and need not stand as given horizons
of thought." 
argument is compelling and the research hypertext, as we saw above,
offers a concrete example of how these potential advantages can
be actualized and put into use. Yet the passage from McGann also
allows us to pose the Nietzschean question more pointedly. McGann
acknowledges that there is already a discussion regarding the potentially
leveling impact of computerization on "hierarchies of knowledge,"
but he dismisses the concern.
is not clear, however, what justifies this dismissal, and it may
be that the deeper question has not really been addressed. McGann
proposes that "the critical activity itself" will ensure
that "hierarchies of knowledge" are not eliminated. Yet
these hierarchies depend on, in Nietzsche's language, an order of
rank. The hierarchy of knowledge depends on a hierarchy of value,
and Nietzsche frequently makes the point that the "critical
activity" itself can examine and explain and undermine values,
but it cannot create them. The more one understands, the less one
is able to praise and condemn, in other words, the less one is able
to evaluate, to posit values. The essay "On the Uses and Disadvantages
of History for Life," is very clear on this point. Critical activity is indeed "necessary"
for "life," but it also undermines all values and therefore,
in and of itself, it cannot ensure any hierarchy or order of rank.
do not mean to argue that as scholarship migrates into hypermedia
form "hierarchies of knowledge" will necessarily be eliminated.
It is not even clear what that would mean. I do think, however,
that as cultural endeavor -- including art-making and scholarly
inquiry -- becomes increasingly bound up with new media technology,
the question of the order of rank becomes more pressing. Also, as
I indicated at the beginning, I think that both because of his historical
influence and because of the breadth and power of his analysis of
the underlying issues, Nietzsche proves to be an invaluable
interlocutor for those interested in thinking about the emerging
new media culture.
this is an electronic journal, the reader of the present essay may
well be gazing right now at a computer screen, using an application
with an inspiring name like "Explorer" or "Netscape."
It is the same application one could use, say, to view a newly released
web-based hyperfiction or to conduct research at the HyperNietzsche
site. Two images from Nietzsche's writing might be applicable here,
and I would like to evoke them as a way of concluding. Taken together,
they might be called "On the Disadvantages and Advantages of
New Media for Life." The first image is of Nietzsche's "last
man," whose whole being could perhaps be summed up in one characteristic,
which Zarathustra notes repeatedly -- the last man seems always
to be blinking: '"What is love? What is creation? What
is longing? What is a star?" thus asks the last man, and he
blinks.'"  Let me set beside this pessimistic image, with
all its resonance in an age of screengazing, a counterpart. It comes
from the section in The Gay Science titled "The meaning
of our cheerfulness":
At long last
the horizon appears free to us again, even if it should not be
bright; at long last our ships may venture out again, venture
out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge
is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again;
perhaps there has never yet been such an "open sea"
 This paper was originally presented at the Annual
Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in
San Marcos, California (April 2003) on a panel organized by Roderick
Coover. I am grateful to the participants for their comments.
I would also like to thank Paolo D'Iorio for his suggestions and
assistance during the preparation of this paper.
 Nietzsche did in fact receive a typewriter in
1881, but the machine had mechanical problems and he soon stopped
using it. Cf. C. P. Janz, Friedrich Nietzsche: Biographie,
II. (Mčnchen/Wien: Carl Hanser, 1978) , 81. At the time of
this writing, a picture
of Nietzsche's typewriter was available on the Web.
 Vannevar Bush is often cited as the conceptual
father of electronic hypertext. See his prescient article "As
We May Think," V. Bush, "As We May Think," The Atlantic Monthly 176 (1945):101-108 .
 For example: "Against positivism, which halts
at phenomena -- 'There are only facts' -- I would say: No, facts
is precisely what there is not, only interpretations"; or
similarly, "There are no facts, everything is in flux, incomprehensible,
elusive", quoted from F. W. Nietzsche, The Will to Power,
trans. (New York: Vintage Books, 1968) , p.481, 604 (cf. 540,
616). The most reliable electronic version of Nietzsche's oeuvre
in German is Malcom Brown's edition of the Colli-Montinari text,
which is currently available (alas, for a fee) at Intelex. The web has
no shortage of free English translations, but it is a veritable
wild west and for the time being, paper editions are preferable.
The ones cited in this paper are easily available and relatively
reliable. The number following the citation refers to the number
of the aphorism or note in the edition cited, unless specifically
noted as a page number.
 "On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense,"
F. W. Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche, trans. W. A. Kaufmann.
(New York: Viking Press, 1954) , pp 46-47. The most strident passages
about truth, including this one and those in the previous note,
are usually to be found in unpublished material. As a rule Nietzsche's
published discussions of these issues are more nuanced. I briefly
discuss problems related to using unpublished material from Nietzsche,
known collectively as his Nachlass, in the in the concluding
part of this essay.
 F. W. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, trans. W. A. Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale.
(New York: Vintage Books, 1989) , Essay III, p.12.
 M. Joyce, "Notes toward an Unwritten Non-Linear
Electronic Text, "The Ends of Print Culture" (a Work
in Progress)," Postmodern Culture 2 (1991): available
to MUSE subscribers here.
 E. B. Loizeaux and N. Fraistat, Reimagining
Textuality: Textual Studies in the Late Age of Print. (Madison:
University of Wisconsin Press, 2002) , 7. This collection offers
a good overview of the issues and a useful bibliography.
 See also the discussion of the Ivanhoe Game in
J. J. McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World
Wide Web. (New York: Palgrave, 2001) .
 This protean quality can of course be a blessing
or a curse -- or both simultaneously. It is our great fortune
that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written down and preserved
in a relatively fixed form, and books have proved to be ingenious
machines for facilitating and preserving the creation of works
of the imagination. I shall take up some of the thornier cultural
issued raised by hypertext at the end of this essay.
 For an introduction to these issues, see Reimagining
 Regarding masks, one thinks of screen names
and aliases, for example. Hypertext author Shelley Jackson has
exploited the masquerading potential of new media and writes perceptively
about its broader implications. See for example, her essay "Stitch
Bitch: the patchwork girl". Note also the considerable
overlap between the worlds of gaming and new media scholarship.
New media artists and theorist often publish in the same venues
and attend the same conferences as game designers do; the same
person may even play both roles: see, for example, the
Ivanhoe Game designed by Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker.
World Without Cybertext," Stuart Moulthrop suggests that
games, electronic and otherwise, may provide the "major paradigm"
for understanding cybertext.
 Nietzsche often uses the term "good European"
as the embodiment of the cosmopolitan virtues he champions over-against
geographical or racial nationalism. See Human, All Too Human I:p.179, 475; Human, All Too Human II: p.87, 215; Ecce
Homo, "Why I am so wise": p.3; Beyond Good and
Evil: Preface, p.241, 254; The Gay Science: 357.
 F. W. Nietzsche, M. Clark, et al., Daybreak
: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. (Cambridge, U.K.;
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), Preface, p.1; F.
W. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce
Homo, trans. W. A. Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. (New
York: Vintage Books, 1989); Ecce Homo, "Why I am a
 For more information about the project, see
P. D'Iorio, ed.,Hypernietzsche. Modèle dun Hypertexte
Savant sur Internet pour la Recherche en Sciences Humaines. Questions
Philosophiques, Problemes Juridiques, Outils Informatiques.
(Paris: PUF, 2000) ; P. D'Iorio, "Prinicpes de l'HyperNietzsche," Diogene 49 (2002):77-94 ; and of course, visit the HyperNietzsche
website. The website is available in six languages, including
English, and contains descriptions of the goals of the project. Nota bene: at the time of this writing, some of the project
descriptions on the site are somewhat outdated, and while the
present essay describes the goals of the project, many of which
have been realized or are soon to be so, much that is described
here will not yet be available on the website: http://www.hypernietzsche.org/.
 In a strict technological sense, Open Source
means that the source code for the programming is made freely
available to the public for use and modification by anyone. The
Open Source Initiative (OSI) explains the basic rationale in the
following terms: "When programmers can read, redistribute,
and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software
evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs."
For more on the meaning of the concept in the programming world,
see the OSI
website. In the arts and sciences, open source has come to
mean the free dissemination of primary material and secondary
scholarship via the Internet. See the HyperNietzsche
FAQs and the links provided by the Nietzsche
News Center. To protect the rights of authors while ensuring
free worldwide distribution, the HyperNietzsche legal team has
developed so-called "copyleft" licenses. More information
on these issues is available on the HyperNietzsche website by following the link "What is HyperNietzsche?"
 For the record, I was invited to begin working
on HyperNietzsche in 2001 and have been a collaborator on the
project since that time.
 The demonstration version was prepared in French,
so the illustrations will have French menus. The actual HyperNietzsche
website will be fully navigable in six languages.
 Preparing manuscripts for use within a research
hypertext is a tricky business. Two particular challenges presented
by the Nietzsche material deserve mention: a) Most of Nietzsche's
manuscript pages contain series of more or less self-contained
notes, many of which do not follow a strict chronological sequence
(Nietzsche reused notebooks and even pages, sometimes at long
intervals). The note, therefore, is the obvious unit of
choice for the hypertext signature system. Yet Nietzsche scholarship
has traditionally stopped at the page number as the most specific
reference (e.g., NIV3 p.26). A system had to be developed that
could identify (and represent graphically) individual notes while
also remaining consistent with traditional practice; b)
Transcriptions of manuscripts and text reconstructions are most
accessible to users if they are in HTML and so can be accessed
by web browsers, and they are more flexible and more accessible
to external systems (such as metatexts) if they are in TEI-true
XML. However, these languages do not allow for sufficient precision
in reproducing and representing the manuscripts, and XML is cumbersome
to use for philologists trying to encode ultradiplomatic transcriptions.
A new language had to be developed (the HyperNietzsche Markup
Language -- HNML) from which both HTML and TEI-XML documents could
be automatically generated.
 Figures 6, 7, 8, and 9 are taken from the currently
available Version 0.3.
 Students of Nietzsche may recognize the phrase
"philology of the future" as a translation of the sardonic
title ("Zukunftsphilologie!") of a scathing attack
on Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy, written
by Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. However, both prior to
that review (letter to Deussen, 2 June 1868) and subsequently
(for example, in his notes for the unfinished essay "We Philologists",
F. Nietzsche, Kritische Studienausgabe, ed. G. Colli and
M. Montinari. (Muenchen-Berlin/New York: DTV-de Gruyter, 1988),
VIII, 55) Nietzsche himself uses similar terms, referring to the
"philology" and the "philologist" of the future,
respectively. The philology of the future was a pregnant notion
for Nietzsche at the start of his career, and its echo can still
be heard in the subtitle of a work he wrote much later, Beyond
Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future.
The title of the present essay is meant to reflect the full ambivalence
of the phrase as it relates to Nietzsche's life and work. A valuable,
engaging discussion of this topic, and my source for the letter
to Deussen cited above, is J. Porter, Nietzsche and the Philology
of the Future. (Palo Alto: Stanford, 2000), 15 and passim.
 On open source, see note 16 .
 F. Nietzsche, Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe.
(Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967ff.) .
 Needless to say, looking at a digital facsimile
is not the same thing as looking at an original document. Nonetheless,
the technology has advanced to the point that a digital copy can
be at least as legible as an original, and if the interface is
well-designed -- designed in other words for maximal flexibility
and manipulability by the user -- and if it includes sufficiently
detailed information, the documents can be presented with minimal
interpretive interference and in a way that allows the reader
to develop a rich and fairly accurate sense of the originals.
The relevant point here is that the freely available digital archive
substantially improves the readers' basis for evaluating the interpretations
of others (transcriptions, critical editions, the editing of notes,
exegetical commentaries, etc.) and for developing
an independent reading.
 This latter is the position taken by Paolo D'Iorio.
See, for example, P. D'Iorio, "Prinicpes de l'HyperNietzsche," Diogene 49 (2002):77-94 .
 It is worth noting that, even if the reading
of manuscripts were to become a kind of scholarly prerequisite,
this would pertain only to authors for whom manuscripts exist
(leaving aside the study of textual transmission, for which manuscripts
play a different role). Prior to the 18th century,
resources are very limited, and since the advent of word processing,
manuscripts have become an endangered species.
 F. Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, trans.
W. Kaufmann. (New York: Vintage, 1977) , p. 18.
 Ibid., p.7. Corresponding to Nietzsche's pessimism
about knowledge is his critique of the optimism, or cheerfulness,
of the "Alexandrian", or "theoretical" type.
From p.17 of the same work: "It [theoretical cheerfulness]
believes that it can correct the world by knowledge, guide life
by science, and actually confine the individual within a limited
sphere of solvable problems, from which he can cheerfully say
to life: "I desire you; you are worth knowing."
 See for example KSA VII:19, available
in English: F. W. Nietzsche, Unpublished Writings from the
Period of Unfashionable Observations, trans. R. T. Gray. (Stanford,
Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999) 19. Another fragment
from this same period focuses attention on scholarly practice:
"The misuse of knowledge: in the endless repetition of experiments
and gathering of material, when the conclusion can be quickly
established on the basis of a few instances. This even occurs
in philology: in many cases, the completeness of the materials
is superfluous", 19.
 On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce
Homo, op. cit., Ecce Homo "Untimely
Ones," 1. See also the second Meditation, "Schopenhauer
as Educator," especially p.6.
 KSA VII:19, for English, see note 30 .
 Daybreak, op. cit., Preface, p.5.
 F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, trans.
W. Kaufmann. (New York: Vintage, 1974) , Book I, p.2.
 Ibid, Book IV, p.335.
 F. W. Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human : A
Book for Free Spirits, trans. R. J. Hollingdale. (Cambridge
[Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986)
, Vol. II p.289.
 As for example in the final section of the Preface
to The Gay Science; he strikes a similar note in his attack on
"cultural philistinism" in the second Untimely Meditation.
 Nietzsche Contra Wagner, "Wagner
as a Danger," in F. W. Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche,
trans. W. A. Kaufmann. (New York: Viking Press, 1954) , p. 666.
Cf. in the same book the section "Where I offer objections."
 Human All Too Human II, p.87.
 See, for example, a notebook entry from 1884
in which Nietzsche wrote, "In the age of suffrage universal,
i.e., when everyone may sit in judgment on everyone and everything,
I feel impelled to re-establish order of rank," The Will to Power, op. cit., p.854.
 Another Nietzschean concept, the "agon"
or "contest," might be relevant here. In an early fragment,
Nietzsche writes of how competition is the motivating force in
Hellenic art and pedagogy, and that it signals the superiority
of the ancients over the moderns in these respects: "Every
talent must unfold itself in fighting: that is the command of
Hellenic popular pedagogy, whereas modern educators dread nothing
more than the unleashing of so-called ambition" (The Portable
Nietzsche, op. cit, p.37 (KSA, 789). One response,
then, to the "order of rank" question might be that
the research hypertext facilitates competition; it makes it much
easier for opposing views to fight it out in the open and for
the superior interpretation to emerge.
 Quotation is from the electronic version of "Radiant
Textuality"; see also McGann's monograph of the same
title, above, note 9 .
 To cite just one relevant passage from among
many, discussing the effect of historical knowledge, Nietzsche
writes: "... the historical audit always brings to light
so much that is false, crude, inhuman, absurd, violent, that the
attitude of pious illusion, in which alone all that wants to live
can live, is necessarily dispelled: only with love, however, only
surrounded by the shadow of the illusion of love, can man create,
that is, only with an unconditional faith in something perfect
and righteous," F. Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage
of History for Life, trans. P. Preuss. (Indianapolis: Hackett,
1980) , p.7, p.39; KSA VII, p. 295.
 F. W. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra :
A Book for All and None, trans. W. A. Kaufmann. (New York:
Penguin, 1978) , Prologue, p.5.
 The Gay Science, op. cit, p.343.