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Cinematic NihilismEncounters, Confrontations, Overcomings$
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John Marmysz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424561

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Scotland as a Site of Nihilistic Sacrifice

Scotland as a Site of Nihilistic Sacrifice

Chapter:
(p.25) Chapter 1 Scotland as a Site of Nihilistic Sacrifice
Source:
Cinematic Nihilism
Author(s):

John Marmysz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.003.0003

In this chapter, the films The Wicker Man, Breaking the Waves, and NEDs are shown to illustrate Nietzsche’s stages of sacrifice leading toward total nihilism. These stages consist of the literal sacrifice of human beings to a god, the sacrifice of one’s own instincts to a god, and the sacrifice of God Himself. It is argued that in The Wicker Man and Breaking the Waves, the first two stages appear in conjunction with a view of sacrifice that is economical in nature. These films, set in rural Scotland, draw on the myths of Tartantry and the Kailyard, in order to evoke a time when the gods (or God) are still alive. In NEDs, the third stage of sacrifice is illustrated in conjunction with an aneconomical view of sacrifice that draws on the myth of Clydesideism in order to depict a modern world in which God has died.

Keywords:   Breaking the Waves, Clydesideism, Kailyard, NEDs, Nietzsche, Friedrich, Nihilism, Sacrifice, Scotland, Tartantry, The Wicker Mans

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