Nietzsche and Heidegger were both lovers of language, and author Jean Graybeal argues that their writing styles demonstrate a relationship with the feminine dimension of language. Using as a framework the theories of Julia Kristeva concerning the "symbolic" and "semiotic" dispositions in language, Graybeal reads Nietzsche and Heidegger as writers and thinkers whose experimentation with language is directly relevant both to their quests for nonmetaphysical ways of thinking and to the feminist project of moving beyond male dominance.
The chapters on Nietzsche discuss portions of The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Ecce Homo with the question of woman in the forefront of the analysis. The chapters on Heidegger deal, first, with Being and Time, describing the ways in which Heidegger evokes the feminine and semioitic dimensions in language. Finally, eight of Heidegger's later essays are read with attention to feminie, maternal, and erotic imagery.