Authentic ressentiment? The polemics of Jean Améry

Sjoerd Van Tuinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Following Nietzsche, we can discern two types of therapeutical voice on ressentiment, which find themselves in a polemical relation to one another: The philosopher and the priest. In this paper, I turn to a third polemical voice, embodied by Jean Améry, namely that of the victim who bears witness to his own ressentiment. A dialectical reconstruction of this standpoint within the polemical triangle contributes to the Améry reception in three ways: (1) It is no longer necessary to justify his tactlessness through the exceptional context of the objectively recognized lived experience of victimhood. (2) It shows that Améry's assumption of his "authentic ressentiment"is not just "anti-Nietzschean"(Jameson, Žižek) but first of all anti-pastoral. (3) Beyond the question of (in)authenticity, this also implies that the political significance of Améry's testimony lies in its literary and conceptual systematicity no less than as a description of lived experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-827
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophy Today
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Philosophy Today.


Dive into the research topics of 'Authentic ressentiment? The polemics of Jean Améry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this