Montessori, Superman, and Catwoman

I read a good deal of Nietzsche when preparing for my MA. The idea of the Ubermensch was fundamental to his thinking. I was a little surprised to find that the cat woman appears as the female counterpart of the Ubermensch. When I recalled what I knew of Montessori, much of her very effective teaching method clearly stemmed from her appreciation of Nietzsche. This sent me back to her works with a new insight.

I did not come across any other writer who had seen this connection. This inspired my paper, published in Education Theory in 1988.

When, years later, I was writing my novel, Jenny Rat, I saw my leading character, Jenny, as an example of a Nietzschean seedling in the human jungle growing and struggling against terrible circumstances, eventually overcoming them and at last breaking free of the ‘spider web’ of love, with great pain for herself and Michael. The quotation that appears in the novel was taken verbatim from Human, all too Human (427-8)

The translation as the comic characters Superman and Catwoman, utterly misleading as they are, gave me a catchy title. Perhaps I was wrong to use this because no one seems to have taken this paper seriously. On re-reading now, I feel it is worth more consideration.

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