When examining Nietzsche's Nachlass from 1885–89, international Nietzsche scholarship still predominantly relies on the Colli/Montinari edition of these writings (the “Nachgelassene Fragmente”), even though a new historico-critical edition of the Nachlass that fulfills the standards of current textual criticism is being published since 2001: KGW IX. In this article we want to outline the philological considerations that led to this new critical edition with its “diplomatic transcription” of Nietzsche's late “manuscripts.” In a second step, we demonstrate the consequences of KGW IX for the interpretation of Nietzsche's Nachlass and his late published writings. It is our aim to show that the complexity of Nietzsche's writing in his sketches and drafts from 1885–89 makes any philosophical approach untenable that ignores this complexity—at least under a philological perspective.

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