Published: 01/06/2013
ISBN: 9781780885728
eISBN: 9781783069682
Format: Paperback/eBook

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I was born and educated in Preston. I like to think I have lived an interesting and varied life, having changed directions several times with career and countries resided in. In more recent times I ha... read more

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Death of a Noble
by S. J. Ashworth

A sick old man determines the day of his death and the means by which he will end his ‘noble’ existence. On his last day, he tells the story of his ‘noble’ past, and of his philosophy as a noble.

The story is told in a nightmarish tone with the dramatic, clear and driving voice of a passionate protagonist who believes he has led an authentic life – one that is true to the person that he is: the life of a noble. He alone has given meaning to his existence and he disparages both religion and science. He lives and he dies; there is nothing more than this, and the time while he lives is his own – to make of it what he will – and he has ‘willed himself to power’. Yet has he been a protagonist within the story that he relates, or is he simply delusional?

The novel explores the Nietzsche ‘noble’ through the thoughts and experiences – real and imaginable – of the old man. It is an exploration of the theatre of the absurd, which is also the playground of the human species in a certain time and context. The time is the century after the passing away of the much acclaimed writer, Nietzsche, and the context is Europe: that continent of civility, modernism and post-modernism, developing technology, human diversity, industrialisation and individual liberty. But a continent also of nihilistic ambition and state repression, and of states with the greater capacity to mass destruct: a continent in almost perpetual conflict, and a civilisation increasingly uncertain of what meaning to give to life.

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