Nietzsche's syndrome admits several levels of reading that overlap without contradicting each other. Aurelio Torres, the protagonist, like Don Quixote disturbed by reading chivalric novels, is the victim of poorly assimilated reading of Nietzsche's philosophical work - The Antichrist, Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spoke Zarathustra ... - that combined with the crisis caused by the death of Mama leads him to break with the happily conventional life that he leads in Madrid: he repudiates his wife and son, separates from his partners, separates himself from the masonic brothers of his Lodge - Argüelles-, distances himself from his friends ... That total break with his old identity gives way to a strange journey in search of a happiness that is supposed to live in the Great North, in Stockholm, where an old love of youth resides ..., Britt.
The trip will be an adventures punctuated by strange characters and sexual encounters, with a maniac lubricity that will place him in compromising situations, all of which make up a kind of counter-initiation in which Aurelio Torres, who sees himself as a disciple of the Old Man of the mountain, he changes his identity and becomes the worst version of himself, a Hyperborean who despises all compassion and aspires to an icy and aristocratic solitude. Destiny has the last word and tests Aurelio Torres, and his Hyperborean pride.
The adventure of Aurelio Torres can be read simply as a story of black humor, in which the protagonist is a kind of Torrente, authentic and rich, with philosophical airs, or as a philosophical reflection masked in an incident of black humor. Nietzsche's syndrome raises radically philosophical questions such as Heidegger's "being for death," Nietzsche's "will to power" or the "subversion of values", and also plays with the Masonic idea of travel as a symbol of transformation.
The speech of Aurelio Torres is blasphemous, provocative, nihilistic, but in reality it happens in Nietzsche's syndrome as in Houellebecq's novel -The elementary particles- all this speech becomes parodic and comes to extol opposing values by opposition: loyalty, courage and goodness, law, piety, the link between sexuality and love ... Nietzsche's syndrome, speaking of anguish, violence, crude sex, death and hatred ... reveals his explicit commitment to an anthropology that we could call in a symbolic-christian sense, hence the enigmatic value of the phrase Frid vare eder. All the characters in Mama has died wander in search of love, although they are also victims of the pathologies of love: domination, dependence, obsession ... Despite its risks, only love can give us happiness; Sexual freedom can be fun, rewarding, but it doesn't fill us up; An ever-compromised freedom is like a buried treasure, it is not invested in anything, it leaves us in the air, it breaks our condition of “beings in a network” and turns us into mere elemental particles, armored in their solitude, floating, uprooted, lost ... Love - the ideal that Aurelio goes madly after - is redemptive because it has the capacity to structure our life, to give it an architecture, a skeleton ... a meaning. Love in all its forms - friendship, customary affections, sympathies, eros, agape, filiation, motherhood / fatherhood, familiarity, ... - links us to others, allows us to "be in a network", makes us share: share feelings, activities, words and resources.