counter create hit Thus Spake Zarathustra + Free AudioBook - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Thus Spake Zarathustra + Free AudioBook

Availability: Ready to download

[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885 a [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch, which were first introduced in The Gay Science. BONUS : • Thus Spake Zarathustra Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Friedrich Nietzsche. ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


Compare
Ads Banner

[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885 a [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch, which were first introduced in The Gay Science. BONUS : • Thus Spake Zarathustra Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Friedrich Nietzsche. ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for Thus Spake Zarathustra + Free AudioBook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    It's like Jesus, but cooler.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Horror movies never frightened me in the same way certain works of literature and film did. Reading through Zarathustra as a teenager was a singularly powerful experience; the work defies categorization or genre, time or place. I was warned that Nietzsche was dangerous for young readers (like Machiavelli) because he went insane. This I HAD to read. It was my first encounter with existential thought, a stinging critique of the very nature of values and belief. The events in the book are more like Horror movies never frightened me in the same way certain works of literature and film did. Reading through Zarathustra as a teenager was a singularly powerful experience; the work defies categorization or genre, time or place. I was warned that Nietzsche was dangerous for young readers (like Machiavelli) because he went insane. This I HAD to read. It was my first encounter with existential thought, a stinging critique of the very nature of values and belief. The events in the book are more like Biblical parables than a plot unfolding, except that the lesson is not, "Thou Shalt" but "Why should I?" I wish I could read German well enough to understand the nuances of Nietzsche's original narrative. Full of surreal visions, Zarathustra is a challenge to interpret but at the same time, lacks the semantics of conventional philosophy that makes the field inaccessible for many young students. So many things are explored, celebrated or indicted with ambitious and sharp leaps of metaphors: Moral relativism, comparative theology and eternal recurrence, nothing short of the love of life, the will to life. Many fascinating discussions have explored what could have influenced Nietzsche: the social milieu of late 19th century Europe, the contradictions of Enlightenment thought, etc. Thus Spoke Zarathustra will forever retain its mystery and is a monument to Nietzsche's eccentricity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, Friedrich Nietzsche The book consists of four parts. The first part appeared in 1883, the second and third in 1884, the fourth in 1885 as a private print. In 1886 Nietzsche published the first three parts as “So Zarathustra spoke. A book for everyone and no one. In three parts.” In contrast to Nietzsche's early works, the Zarathustra is not a non-fiction book. In hymn prose, a personal narrator reports on the work of a fictional thinker who b Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, Friedrich Nietzsche The book consists of four parts. The first part appeared in 1883, the second and third in 1884, the fourth in 1885 as a private print. In 1886 Nietzsche published the first three parts as “So Zarathustra spoke. A book for everyone and no one. In three parts.” In contrast to Nietzsche's early works, the Zarathustra is not a non-fiction book. In hymn prose, a personal narrator reports on the work of a fictional thinker who bears the name of the Persian founder of religion, Zarathustra. تاریخ نخستین خوانش یکی از روزهای سال 1971 میلادی عنوان: چنین گفت زرتشت - کتابی برای همه کس و هیچکس؛ اثر فردریش نیچه؛ مترجم حمید نیرنوری؛ تهران، ابن سینا، چاپ دوم 1346؛ در 436ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، امیرکبیر، سیمرغ، چاپ سوم 1351؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، اهورا، 1384؛ در 597ص؛ شابک 9647316097؛ چاپهای بعدی اهورا، 1385؛ 1386؛ 1388؛ 1392؛ موضوع فلسفه فیلسوفان آلمانی - سده 19م عنوان: چنین گفت زرتشت - کتابی برای همه کس و هیچکس؛ اثر فردریش نیچه؛ مترجم داریوش آشوری؛ اسماعیل خویی؛ تهران، نیل، 1349؛ در یک جلد؛ چاپ دیگر 1352 در 488ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نگاه، 1370، در 542ص؛ چاپ هشتم 1372؛ چاپ سی و پنجم 1393؛ عنوان: چنین گفت زرتشت؛ مترجم: مسعود انصاری؛ تهران، زرین، 1379؛ در 607ص؛ شابک 9789644074004؛ چاپ دیگر؛ تهران، جامی، 1377؛ در 384ص، چاپ دوم 1379؛ چاپ سوم 1380؛ چاپ پنجم 1382؛ چاپ هفتم 1385؛ چاپ هشتم و نهم 1386؛ در 378ص؛ شابک 9645620600؛ چاپ دهم 1388؛ دوازدهم 1391؛ سیزدهم 1393؛ مترجمهای دیگر: مهرداد شاهین؛ نقل از متن: ای انسان! هشدار! نیم شب ژرف چه میگوید؟ خفته بودم، خفته بودم، از خواب ژرف برخاسته ام جهان ژرف است، ژرفتر از آن که روز گمان کرده است. رنج آن ژرف است، لذت، ژرفتر از محنت؛ رنج میگوید گم شو! اما هر لذتی جاودانگی میخواهد، جاودانگی ژرف ژرف را! ترجیع بند زرتشت. پایان نقل ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    Szplug

    How you liking them apples, Jede-fucking-diah?! Thus spoke Barnaby Jones. I read this book back around 2001 or 2002. I wasn't much concerned with writing reviews back then—and how weird is that?—but, deeming Nietzsche a pretty smart guy, I scribbled down a bunch of notes and quotes. Since I've not a single review by Friedrich N. at this place, I thought, in lieu of anything more insightful or intelligent, to copy those notes out below, verbatim. And after having done so, I'm not quite sure what I How you liking them apples, Jede-fucking-diah?! Thus spoke Barnaby Jones. I read this book back around 2001 or 2002. I wasn't much concerned with writing reviews back then—and how weird is that?—but, deeming Nietzsche a pretty smart guy, I scribbled down a bunch of notes and quotes. Since I've not a single review by Friedrich N. at this place, I thought, in lieu of anything more insightful or intelligent, to copy those notes out below, verbatim. And after having done so, I'm not quite sure what I had hoped to accomplish with such a meager collection of peanut shells. [Shrug]. But what are you going to do? Perhaps someone, somewhere, somehow, will find something in 'em that makes Zarathustra more appealing than it might otherwise have been, and that would be just bully for me. *Notes written on shit-brown paper and awfully damn hard to transcribe, 'cause I'm a southpaw and I write like I was being severely and cruelly electrocuted whilst running about and shaking. The Overman: That which man must become in order to overcome himself and/or nature. The Creator is also an annihilator—he must be cruel to break old values and create new ones. The Last Man is promised happiness—but who will lead and who will obey? Everyone is the same, and those who are different are mad. The Last Man invented happiness. Man created God in order to look away from everything. God suffers too, and is thus imperfect like his creators. Man hated the body, and so created spirit. Man hated the Earth, and so created Heaven. Doubt was sin. Knowledge shunned. The Ego will reclaim man for the Earth. You say to me "Life is hard to bear." But why would you have pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening? Life is hard to bear; but do not act so tenderly! We are all of us fair beasts of burden, male and female asses. What do we have in common with the rosebud, which trembles because a drop of dew lies on it? True, we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. Warriors of the Mind: Those with the courage to fight for their beliefs have helped mankind far more than priests who meekly accept the ideas of others. You invite a witness when you want to speak well of yourselves; and when you have seduced him to think well of you, then you think well of yourselves. Thus speaks the fool: "Association with other people corrupts one's character—especially if one has none." One man goes to his neighbor because he seeks himself; another because he would lose himself. Your bad love of yourselves turns your solitude into a prison. It is those farther away who must pay for your love of your neighbor; and even if five of you are together, there is always a sixth who must die. Using other people as a prop to make them feel virtuous. Groups of virtuous people feeling very good can do great evil to strangers whom they should love too. Those who truly love are creators—and thus annihilators and givers and esteemers. Do not let virtues, good and evil, limit your fulfillment as a creator. Remain of the Earth and do not get lost in the heavens seeking away from yourself and the body. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws. Nietzsche says God is dead but he constantly refers to angels and magic creatures: is he creating a new religion of the Overman? Of becoming? Nietzsche's Zarathustra has doubts about the future—he is worried about learning for learning's sake; education imparting a love of collecting other people's creations. At bottom, these simpletons want a single thing most of all: that nobody should hurt them. Thus they try to please and gratify everybody. This, however, is cowardice, even if it be called virtue...Virtue to them is that which makes modest and tame: with that they have turned the wolf into a dog and man himself into man's domestic animal. "We have placed our chair in the middle," your smirking says to me; "and exactly as far from dying fighters as from amused sows." That, however, is mediocrity, though it be called moderation. Nietzsche also frequently mentions his nausea, which chokes him like a snake. It's always the ejection of that which sustains life brought about by life's own unsettling essence and energies. Small virtues: Do not be more concerned with morals than with being men. Perfect safety and happiness makes for small minds and petty pursuits. The old gods laughed themselves to death when the Grimbeard God proclaimed one god only. Laughter and prankishness are very important to Nietzsche—it keeps him from acting out of revenge. The creator is not bound by the limits imposed by others. Their evil is so small: from small men with small virtues. The great enemy of man is the Spirit of Gravity, which from birth holds men down with Good and Evil and Virtues. Man must soar his own way, making his own values. There is no correct one way or path for all men: that this is so is one of Gravity's lies. The Spirit of Gravity is the old devil, and Zarathustra's enemy, for he brings constraint–statute–necessity–consequence, purpose and will, good and evil. Good men never speak the truth. They give in—those who heed commands do not heed themselves. The warring of despots and of democracy. The despot will distort the past to make it lead to him. The rabble with drown the past in shallow waters: forget the past after a pair of generations. The Good and the Just must be pharisees. The good are always the beginning of the end. They want to crucify all creators; to the breakers of tablets, the Good sacrifice the future for themselves. Zarathustra continues to be assailed by episodes of choking on the snake of nausea. All men, even the creator, must fight their nausea of the world. For man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his heaven on earth. Man is the cruelest animal against himself; and whenever he calls himself 'sinner' and 'cross-bearer' and 'penitent', do not fail to hear the voluptuous delight that is in all such lamentation and accusation. Zarathustra, through love of nature, has accepted his love of eternity and the eternal re-occurrence. Now in Part IV, as he has overcome his nausea of the eternal re-occurrence, he faces his final trial: pity. All great lovers are great despisers. All creators are hard, all great love is over and beyond pity. All great success has gone to the well-persecuted. All those who persecute well learn readily how to follow. The small men ask only: How is man to be preserved best, longest and most agreeably? They are concerned solely with small virtues. The Overman wants not to preserve man, but to overcome man. Nietzsche constantly stresses the need for laughter and to laugh at one self: to dance on light feet. The archenemy is always the Spirit of Gravity. The greater the creator, the greater the evil. But wash off the stain after you have created. Birth is never pleasant. Whosoever would kill most thoroughly, laughs—not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    Friedrich Nietzsche establishes in his best-known book the bridge of man with his primary nature. More than a parody of the metaphysical imagery, the book states that man has undergone to an abstract force, invisible. Zarathustra reveals to man that life is ruled by chance and that the decline of human nature comes in the expectation that there will be something or someone directing it in life. The teachings of Socrates are fought here because life for Nietzsche is a force, not an objective. The Friedrich Nietzsche establishes in his best-known book the bridge of man with his primary nature. More than a parody of the metaphysical imagery, the book states that man has undergone to an abstract force, invisible. Zarathustra reveals to man that life is ruled by chance and that the decline of human nature comes in the expectation that there will be something or someone directing it in life. The teachings of Socrates are fought here because life for Nietzsche is a force, not an objective. The revelation of Zarathustra is precisely this: power, vigor and transit. Movements that bring back to human nature the desire that everything be sacred, everything revolves in an absolute circle, everything must be blessed. This book, poetic, brings us an enthusiastic Nietzsche, taken by his favorite god: art. Lisbon Book-Fair 2017.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Verily have I overshot myself in my vanity into thinking that I was ready to attempt this book. Humbled am I now. I probably got less than one-third of what Nietzsche was fulminating on. Maybe in another two reading or so... maybe with a different translation... ? Can anyone who has read this help me out? Is the second half of the book just plain abstruse or was it just me?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    I have at all times written my writings with my whole heart and soul: I do not know what purely intellectual problems are. There is a great deal of Nietzsche that I agree with, and hoards with which I vehemently do not. I've been accumulating quotes of his for five years now, quotes whose inherent lack of context made me like him more than I do now. I still love many of his phrases as much as I did before, but if we ever met, we would not like each other at all. Despite that muddle, I am grate I have at all times written my writings with my whole heart and soul: I do not know what purely intellectual problems are. There is a great deal of Nietzsche that I agree with, and hoards with which I vehemently do not. I've been accumulating quotes of his for five years now, quotes whose inherent lack of context made me like him more than I do now. I still love many of his phrases as much as I did before, but if we ever met, we would not like each other at all. Despite that muddle, I am grateful that I came across his words while I was younger and in the full throes of depression, cynicism, and a frighteningly homicidal brand of solipsism. I didn't know the definition of that last word back then, but I was in desperate need of something both horribly dismal and blindingly bright, a joy that did not require avoidance of despair but looked it full in the face. The often contextualized and paraphrased Nietzsche with atheism, nihilism, and yet fierce and glorious fervor for the future seemed perfect back then. To some extent, he's still perfect, but only in bits and pieces. The call for solitude and individualism is as refreshing as ever, the atheism is still in line with my sensibilities, and the breathtaking vaults and shuddering descents carried my heart along with them. However. While I did indeed run across his cry for the Superman, even going so far as to take to heart his 'Man is something that shall be over come,' I paid as much mind to his Superman as concerned my younger self's view of the world and the people in it as utterly worthless. Not until this reading did I fully realize Nietzsche's meaning; being as interested in social justice and, well, female as I am, there was little chance of me passing up all that elitism (and classism?) and condemnation of empathy and rapier dashes of virulent misogyny. It's strange, though. Perhaps it is a sign of just how much time I spent mooning after Nietzsche, back when I took him in small doses, but I am especially conscious of the time period in which he wrote this. His decrying of the "mob" echoes my own views regarding oppressive ideologies, and I have to wonder how much of his rampant condemnation of popular mentality fell upon the people rather than the ideas they lived by. As for his abysmal portrayal of women, who knows what a healthy dose of feminism and exposure to such awesome thinkers as Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, and so many others would have accomplished. Probably gotten rid of his 'creator's pregnancy' conceit (if you're going to slander, Nietzsche, back off from the ridiculously disproportionate appropriation please), if nothing else. Also, there is the matter of his one serious attempt at heterosexual love having been rejected right around the time of composition of this piece. It doesn't excuse him at all, but it does explain his vitriol some. All of that above is wishful thinking, of course, but seeing as this is the enigmatic rhapsodizer on the subject of wishful thinking, it's more than merited. For all of Nietzsche's aggravating inegalitarianism, he captured the rapid fire oscillation between top of the world and descent into hell so perfectly, so utterly, and then crafted with it a raison d'être both deathly serious and blissfully rapturous. There's no small amount of nihilism in his dismissal of everything solid, everyone stationary, everything decrepit and outdated and finally after long last proved false, but there's a spitfire life to it that laughs at self-serving pandering and loves chaotic progress that I myself cannot forbear from adoring and making my own. 'This - is now my way: where is yours?' Thus I answered those who asked me 'the way'. For the way - does not exist! I shall keep this in mind, Nietzsche, if nothing else. Not all of what your Zarathustra spoke rings true to me, but you are one of the few who favored freedom over advice. For that, I am in your debt. I am of today and of the has-been (he said then); but there is something in me that is of tomorrow and of the day-after-tomorrow and of the shall-be. P.S. This particular edition was great. I have no clue about the quality of the translation, but the introduction and endnotes, endnotes that included all those untranslateable bits with as much explanation as possible, were indispensable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    The best way that I can describe this book is as a religious experience, which is kind of paradoxical because the main idea of the book is that “God is dead.” When Zarathustra, the ancient Persian prophet, emerges from his 10-year solitude and exclaims that God has died, he doesn’t mean that literally. Rather, he means that the concept of God as a gateway to finding meaning in life is dead and that the meaning of life should be found not in religious worship but within the self as an exemplar of The best way that I can describe this book is as a religious experience, which is kind of paradoxical because the main idea of the book is that “God is dead.” When Zarathustra, the ancient Persian prophet, emerges from his 10-year solitude and exclaims that God has died, he doesn’t mean that literally. Rather, he means that the concept of God as a gateway to finding meaning in life is dead and that the meaning of life should be found not in religious worship but within the self as an exemplar of true humanity–the ‘Superman’. The Superman represents the highest state of man in which he creates his own values and is therefore a powerful master of himself. According to Zarathustra, this version of man has yet to exist, but he speaks of how it can be bred in future generations. The book follows Zarathustra not only as he preaches to his disciples ways in which to reach the Superman state, but also his journey in reaching it himself. The most interesting part of this was Zarathustra’s discourse of the phases of spiritual metamorphosis represented by the camel, the lion, and the child. The first stage, the camel, represents the carrying of burdens of human existence that are necessary for a person to accept in order to strengthen them for the next phase—it is the weight bearing spirit that pushes itself beyond every limit possible. Upon bearing the weight of existence and in essence outcasting themselves in the desert, the camel realizes that it wants freedom from the traditional virtues it has known; this is where the lion phase comes into play. At this point, the camel has two choices. It can either take the path of nihilism, or the path of creating its own values and meaning in life now that is has rejected traditional values of religion. In order to reach the Superman state, the individual must reject nihilism and in doing so, the lion is realized. In the last phase, the child, the spirt is truly free. This occurs when the lion has elected to start a new life as the master of himself—thus the Superman is attained. I thought that whole analogy was so interesting, and it serves as the basis of the entire story. Although very dense, the allegorical nature is what really drew me in. I liked that this was something extremely different from anything else I have ever read and it allowed me to see certain ideas in a new light, regardless of whether or not I agreed with them all. I would definitely give other Nietzsche works a read, but I'm sure until then I will be pondering about this one for a very long time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Miquixote

    Incredibly interesting ideas. For sure you will be thinking about what is said here for a long, long time. This most famous book of Nietzsche delves into the central idea: the "eternal recurrence of the same", also the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch. Nietzsche himself claims it is "the deepest book ever written". (he wasn’t one prone to humility…) A fictionalized prophet descends from his recluse to mankind, Zarathustra, and turns traditional morality on its Incredibly interesting ideas. For sure you will be thinking about what is said here for a long, long time. This most famous book of Nietzsche delves into the central idea: the "eternal recurrence of the same", also the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch. Nietzsche himself claims it is "the deepest book ever written". (he wasn’t one prone to humility…) A fictionalized prophet descends from his recluse to mankind, Zarathustra, and turns traditional morality on its head. Zarathustra was the first moralist (and now fictionally the first anti-moralist). This is intended as an irony, Nietzsche mimics the style of the Bible and indeed has ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition. Many criticisms of Christianity can be found in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in particular Christian values of good and evil and its belief in an afterlife. Nietzsche sees the complacency of Christian values as fetters to the achievement of overman as well as on the human spirit. To Nietzsche truthfulness is the highest virtue; the self-ovecoming of the highest morality, the opposite of the cowardice of the "idealist” who flees from reality. According to Nietzsche, the will to power is the fundamental component of human nature. Everything we do is an expression of the will to power. The will to power is a psychological analysis of all human action and is accentuated by self-overcoming and self-enhancement (please note emphasis on self). Contrasted with living for procreation, pleasure, or happiness, the will to power is the summary of all man's struggle against his surrounding environment as well as his reason for living in it. Faced with the knowledge that he would repeat every action that he has taken (the eternal recurrence), a normal man would be moved to depression. An overman however would be elated as he has no regrets and loves life. To many it sounds like evolutionary theory. And like Darwinism his philosophy was interpreted by many into a form of Social Darwinism and extermination of races. It is still up for debate whether he really was a Social Darwinist. Although the word ‘Uberman’(overman, superman) has been thought to have connotations of racial superiority, especially by the Nazis, there is no evidence in Thus Spake Zarathustra that Nietzsche intended it to mean anything other than a generic "higher being". (however, you may find sentences about ‘inferior and superior races’ in his previous work The Gay Science… whether he meant race literally is unclear, and problematic translations may further complicate the interpretations.) A vulnerability of Nietzsche's style is that his nuances and shades of meaning are very easily lost — and all too easily gained — in translation. There is an ambiguity and paradoxical nature, which has helped its eventual enthusiastic reception by the reading public, but has frustrated academic attempts at analysis (as Nietzsche may have intended). Thus Spake Zarathrustra was however clearly intended to be taken as an alternative to repressive moral codes and an aversion to "nihilism" in all of its varied forms. Two things that can and should also be taken positively. There are certainly moral issues to take up against the man though (as he intended). Most controversially and to the point that matters most for many, would he have condoned the mass extermination of Jews taken upon by Nazis? I don’t think so, but only because he was too intelligent, and there is no evidence there is such a thing as a literally ‘inferior race’. He would however condone lethal actions in ‘the will to power’ (he quite explicitly states so in the Gay Science) and he did not have a positive view of participatory democracy (because he wouldn’t agree so-called lesser-developed men, the ones he would probably define as lacking the ‘gay knowledge’, should be given equal power). Not passe at all, his ideas are alive and well today, but his immoral approach should be considered extremely problematic. If an important challenge to repressive moral codes it should also be firmly acknowledged as too absolutist and all-encompassing of a challenge to all morals. For those who doubt Nietzsche’s influence, and are still unclear what he represents, he is fundamental to a wide variety of ideas. Some are highly questionable as helpful against nihilism (such as anarco-individualism/anarcho-capitalism and post-modernism). And some you may or may not find helpful (such as atheism). If still in doubt, here is a short list of those he has profoundly influenced: Adorno, Bataille, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Bloom, Allan, Buber, Butler, Camus, Deleuze, Derrida, Dreyfus, Foucault, Freud, Heidegger, Iqbal, Jaspers, Jung, Kafka, Kaufmann, Kojeve, Lovecraft, Marcuse, Mencken, Molyneux, Onfray, Robakidze, Rogers, Santayana, Sartre, Strauss, Spengler, Williams, Wittgenstein, Zapffe

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ram Alsrougi

    Great, almost practical application, that it's almost possible to apply it even in today's society. Nietzsche's courage, creativity, and passion in this work make him enchant. However, while reading; I had to repeat many chapters twice because of his kind of strange and blunt language!.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This is one of my top 3 favorite books of all time. It’s a story, it’s a sermon, it’s poetry, it’s philosophy. It seems heavy reading at first, but it grows progressively easier once you get used to his language and ideas. Zarathustra’s style is Biblical, almost like one of the Old Testament prophets lamenting society’s turning away from the truth, and he preaches and raves like a prophet too. His message is a bit different, enjoining his listeners to turn away from a traditional notion of God a This is one of my top 3 favorite books of all time. It’s a story, it’s a sermon, it’s poetry, it’s philosophy. It seems heavy reading at first, but it grows progressively easier once you get used to his language and ideas. Zarathustra’s style is Biblical, almost like one of the Old Testament prophets lamenting society’s turning away from the truth, and he preaches and raves like a prophet too. His message is a bit different, enjoining his listeners to turn away from a traditional notion of God and values written in stone; but his call to a pure heart and pure mind, and his appeal to return to an innate sense of right and wrong with an emphasis on caring for others and striving to live according to the highest ideal for humanity moves essentially in the same vein. When I first picked up this book I knew next to nothing about Nietzsche or this specific work except, although I had heard it referred to by one of my profs in a negative light. I’m pretty sure we were supposed to feel sorry for Nietzsche’s unfortunate beliefs. His works were cited as the voice of opposition. Somebody must’ve heard that Nietzsche was the Spirit of postmodernism, a veritable boogieman for theologians; but it didn’t dawn on me until years after grad school that most people who spoke about him had never actually read his stuff, only excerpts that their peers had already excoriated. Well, the real irony here is that somewhere along the line I was desperate for something that made sense beyond the conformist theology and terrified Christian apologetic that was supposed to keep us so warm and snug; and one night I heard a prof quoting him again and thought, “Maybe this guy we’re supposed to be afraid of might actually have some answers I’m looking for.” Years later I would find confirmation to these feelings in the words of Joseph Campbell, “Where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” I had started reading Thus Spake Zarathustra at night after the night sort at UPS, and it was like huge gulps of fresh air smuggled between the iron bars of fundamentalism. And so began my journey with the abomination that is called Nietzsche. Everybody knows about Nietzsche, very few know him. Ubermensch is fun to say, I guess because it makes you sound intelligent or something; but few are aware, or even care, about what Nietzsche’s Superman really is all about. It’s not easy being Nietzsche: Christians love to hate him, philosophers smirk to think they’ve outgrown him, political zealots throw him out as the hapless father of Nazism, but there’s so much misunderstanding. So many wiki-dabblers, so little reading of his actual work. I won’t deny that, not unlike other authors that I love to read, some misunderstandings may be Nietzsche’s own fault, but like his prophet Zarathustra, he has offended many with the truth he has gleaned, and has learned to hide himself “like one who hath swallowed gold—lest my soul should be ripped up.” Well, many have gutted him, and made a spectacle of selections from his works, but few have found the wealthy current of hard-won truth that flows out of his carcass like honey. It might help to think of Nietzsche less like a novel parlor discussion than a prison-break, and his works are best understood when read in the dimly lit cell of fetid customs, on a starvation-diet of water-thin traditions, and stretched on a rack of heartless religious doctrines on which one’s joints are already popping loose preventing vital living. Nietzsche would spit in the face of his executioner, and give a final word of hope and courage to those of us who are next. He would dig you out to freedom, and once in the free air, help you escape the searchlights of Mother church and state, furious with its escaped worshipers. He’d be a great guy to be around when people are wrong. However, because he’s a nihilist (not in the sense of believing in no values, but in the sense of believing we choose our own values) we may have to be satisfied with abandoning him as we begin a new life. He has no promise of a map to buried treasure once outside prison walls, but he has the confidence that we can figure the rest out on our own. Nietzsche is, in general, a tonic against conformity. Zarathustra teaches that each individual ought to be able to eventually privatize their sense of self worth, “Greatness is achieved away from the marketplace.” But Zarathustra isn’t anti-community, rather he’s anti-celebrity, and he opposes any type of self-loathing that is evinced in the desire to be loved by the masses to make up for one’s lack of self-acceptance. He speaks up for the individual, and he is loud, even brash. Whereas Buddha’s comfort to his disciples disarmed and prevented them from engaging in any evangelistic conflict (“He who proclaims the truth, ye monks, fights with no man”), Zarathustra warns the truth-bearer of the avoirdupois of his calling: “Beware the doom of the incendiary.” Of course, there are times, when one’s community freezes in the cold on the side of a mountain, that the progressive man often needs to pretend to freeze with them, lest they discover that he has found a warm grotto on the other side that shames their contented shivering. “How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes! –if I did not myself commiserate their pity, the pity of those enviers and injurers! – if I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and patiently let myself be swathed in their pity!” One must often conceal his happiness so that others’ may not feel the shame and waste of their voluntary ease and accompanying suffering and boredom, and turn and attack him for waking their conscience and jealosy. Jesus cautioned against the same imprudent revelation of one’s internal treasure that might be trampled by pigs that have no value for riches beyond the troughs. Zarathustra’s desire to proclaim the truth while avoiding premature martyrdom becomes an art he celebrates in himself and others. “My silence hath learned not to betray itself by silence…the clear, the honest, the transparent [people]—these are for me the wisest silent ones: in them, so profound is the depth that even the clearest water doth not—betray it.” Strength in the guise of weakness is one thing that often must be endured, but weakness masquerading as strength is anathema in the scheme of planning for the ‘superman’, or the next step in anthropo-historical progress. In contrast to the Ubermensch, the ‘last man’ has ceased to strive to become a higher life form, or to give birth to a being that can advance beyond its parents’ limitations, but only evinces a soul-weariness. Life’s meaning for this ‘superfluous one’ is lost in waking, dressing, eating and sleeping. Living is sacrificed to mere existence. The last man is the tired end of a race, the end of a people’s history. And Lord knows we all know people that, if the fate of the human race were left in their hands, we would be done for. We’re not talking about genetic imperfection here, but a refusal to live up to one’s full physical, mental, and spiritual potential; and of course in Nietzsche’s thought, there are many religious people that are infected with the ‘last man’ disease, and bloated religious teachers are referred to as “despisers of the body”, those who see in all the present material world an evil that must be endured for the reward of an easy, sleepy afterlife. Contrary to these despisers of the body is the Ubermensch, the beyond-man-and-woman, the despiser of conventional living. But these brand of despisers are actually ‘great adorers’, because they sacrifice what mankind is to achieve what mankind can become. Nietzsche passion was truly religious in essence. He buffeted religion with religion, though I’m sure he would turn in his grave to hear someone suggest it. What has been dubbed the ‘prophetic imagination’ is most prominent in him, and he preaches as vehemently as any late revivalist against the error of prejudice and bigotry. His precepts are much more negative than positive in that they are a foghorn away from the shoals, not as much a beacon guiding ships to harbor. But being a negative voice in no wise implies that he is a pessimist. Pessimism ends in hopelessness, but Nietzsche’s hope in the meaning and purpose of life is clear. Contrary to what many pseudo-Nietzscheans bruit, Nietzsche, particularly in the persona of Zarathustra, believed life to be beautiful because it is full of potential and meaning—“We love life, not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.” In his paradigm, joy is deeper than woe, so deep in fact that it “thirsts for woe” to enrich joy all the more. He believed in some mystical permanence of human existence, and embraced what feels like an Eastern idea of recurrence and reincarnation. “Joys all want eternity”, and that’s what each individual can expect—an eternity to discover and rediscover the meaning of their existence and the union of beings in love. So, as I have now developed a profound appreciation for some of his writings, does this mean I have become a blind fanatic of Nietzsche? Course not. He writes in Zarathustra, “Companions the creator seeks, not corpses, and not herds or believers either. Fellow-creators the creator seeks, those who grave new values on new tables.” Zarathustra at one point leaves his followers and says he will come to them again as friends when they have learned to live without him, “Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should someday collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!...Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.” And so it goes with my dedication to Nietzsche. Christopher Hitchens, in a posthumous publication of his final essays called Mortality, recollects that he once answered an interviewer’s question regarding his feelings on Nietzsche by saying he “agreed with some arguments put forward by the great man but didn’t owe any large insight to him, and found his contempt for democracy to be somewhat off-putting.” Apparently the writings of Nietzsche were much more pivotal in my life than they were in Hitchens’ life, but I would echo with him that there are things I like about Nietzsche, and things I don’t like about him. I choose to focus on what I appreciate from his works, but that does not vindicate him in all ways in my mind. Sad I have to state that, but it’s what people want to hear. I suppose they think there’s something in his ideas that will make you want to go crazy, hug horses, and arguably die of syphilis. We’ll see.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ross Blocher

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a messy, self-serious heap of obscure references and ungracious philosophy wrapped in a mountain of bad allegory. And yet, there are moments of brilliance hidden in the midden pile of Nietzsche's impenetrable poetry and prose that almost make it worth the effort. This may be the longest short book I've ever read. Granted, the original was in German, and I read an English translation. Apparently it was already arcane and replete with wordplay and personal references in i Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a messy, self-serious heap of obscure references and ungracious philosophy wrapped in a mountain of bad allegory. And yet, there are moments of brilliance hidden in the midden pile of Nietzsche's impenetrable poetry and prose that almost make it worth the effort. This may be the longest short book I've ever read. Granted, the original was in German, and I read an English translation. Apparently it was already arcane and replete with wordplay and personal references in its original form. There were a few moments when I encountered new, interesting words and consulted the dictionary, only to discover it was not an actual word. I'm sure the translators were doing the best they could. Also granted, this was published in 1883, and I came along a good 100 years later. You can only blame a book so much for being a product of its time, though. I don't see much of value here for a modern audience. The main message of the book is to prepare the way for the superman. "Übermensch" in the original, the term has been translated as "Overman" and a variety of similar coinages (all with men in mind; we'll talk about the misogyny in a minute). The idea is that mankind is only a transitional form, building toward a higher, better race. All efforts should be made to hasten his arrival and to stop mollycoddling weak, needy degenerates. What will this superman accomplish? What makes him so super? Why is his coming so important that all the ugly and inferior denizens of Earth must needs be eradicated? These questions are never raised, let alone answered. Zarathustra (aka Zoroaster, the ancient founder of Zoroastrianism) was chosen as the protagonist for a cloud of reasons: his name sounds cool, he's Persian (Nietzsche considered them early individualists), and he was all about truth. Nietzsche has him walk up and down mountains to talk to the people he meets and shout (he is always shouting or exclaiming - there are many exclamation marks) his philosophy. Along the way he encounters various real and allegorical animals (all of whom represent someone important in Nietzsche's life or some group of people) as well as a small cast of other humans. At times he disappears for a while. Other times he gets really worked up. Eventually Zarathustra gathers some "higher men" in his cave and talks to them there. That's the extent of this skeletal plot, and it's even more boring and threadbare than that sounds. The structure reminded me a lot of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, until I looked them up and saw that Gibran was a huge fan of Nietzsche's. Go figure. There are long, long passages devoid of content. Screed and mumbo jumbo, really. A few examples: Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned. To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning mouths and the thirst of the unclean. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good because they have crippled paws! The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise. O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have called thee "Fate" and "the Circuit of circuits" and "the Navel-string of time" and "the Azure bell." Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life! Do those last two even mean anything? I don't know. I tried reading them four times and then just had to move on. There's a lot of that. Oh, and I mentioned misogyny! As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats, and birds. Or at the best, cows. Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution - it is pregnancy. The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He will." Surface, is woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water. Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not. These aren't just selective quotes out of context - this is pervasive. Nietzsche even has a character exclaim, "Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right about them!" Eyeroll. There are mixed messages, and you never know when Zarathustra is supposed to be taken seriously. Nietzsche seems to have no concept of what makes some people great and others not, and is oblivious to the roles of circumstance and environment. Somehow, to him, some people are just inherently lesser, and his disgust is apparent. As though he were such a model human being himself: Nietzsche was frequently sick, out of work, unable to write, and suffering from dementia. He has a weird, limited understanding of evolution, and borrows from religion frequently. Nietzsche proclaims God dead and the church corrupt, but also makes a display of his religious inculcation in his language and poetry. Spake Zarathustra: "Man doth not live by bread alone", "do this in remembrance of me", and the psalmic punctuation "Selah". I had avoided Nietzsche for years, largely because I'd encountered him as the target of Christian apologist arguments (along with Freud), and I didn't want him to be part of my own atheism. After this, I still don't. Fans of his assure me that I'd do better to read one of his less obscurantist works, such as The Antichrist. Maybe I will. The best that can be gleaned here is encouragement to soar above and be the best person you can be, but I hope you don't do that at the expense of others. I can see why this book so often appeals to young men. There are indeed some deep insights and beautiful phrasings to be had here, but they are virtually lost in a sea of boring and spiteful blather.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Please note: Read in 2007 from an on-line edition for personal research and edification. Reactions to it are my own. Annotated Synopsis: Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that Nietzsche mimics the style of the Bible in order to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition. The o Please note: Read in 2007 from an on-line edition for personal research and edification. Reactions to it are my own. Annotated Synopsis: Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that Nietzsche mimics the style of the Bible in order to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition. The original text contains a great deal of word-play. An example of this exists in the use of the words "over" or "super" and the words "down" or "abyss/abysmal"; some examples include "superman" or "overman", "overgoing", "downgoing" and "self-overcoming". My Thoughts: Nietzsche espouses a desire to create Supermen, who will be superior to modern humans. He vilifies pity, charity, and sympathy as being weak, and glorifies the warrior and those who would be cruel to create strength in themselves and others ("cruel to be kind" I suppose you could say). His character Zarathustra speaks in a stilted, medieval way which, I suppose, is supposed to call to mind biblical passages. While I accept the importance of this work as philosophy and classic literature, I have to mark it as 2 stars because I felt this was, to a great extent, the philosophy espoused by Nazi Germany - at any rate, I could see where this formed part of the backbone of their society as developed and enforced by Hitler and his party. I did not really enjoy reading it, although I feel it is important to read as many and as varied works as possible in order that I might learn something new all the time. Read it as a classical work, and as a philosophical masterpiece, but if you are troubled by the history of the Nazis and/or Fascism, you will likely find the ideals espoused in this text to be uncomfortable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    I honestly don’t know what to think about this I feel like I’m breaking most of the Ten Commandments Reading this book. Unclean, unclean

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Kulm

    I haven’t been able to sincerely laugh in a long, long time. This book gave me what I needed: a logical basis for accepting laughter into my life again. I didn’t expect the intuitive introvert atheistic existentialist Nietzsche to have anything to say about laughter, but laughter was one of the primary themes here. This book isn’t just a collection of a philosopher’s wisdom. Nietzsche journeyed deep inside himself for his writing – so deep that he lost his own sanity and ultimately couldn’t agai I haven’t been able to sincerely laugh in a long, long time. This book gave me what I needed: a logical basis for accepting laughter into my life again. I didn’t expect the intuitive introvert atheistic existentialist Nietzsche to have anything to say about laughter, but laughter was one of the primary themes here. This book isn’t just a collection of a philosopher’s wisdom. Nietzsche journeyed deep inside himself for his writing – so deep that he lost his own sanity and ultimately couldn’t again find his way out. And yet, this book says profound things about laughter. His point, if I understood correctly, is that laughter is the way to be open to seeing yourself; to face who you really are; and to accept yourself without walls and resistance. Some quotes on that topic: “Thus spoke Zarathustra. And then the shouting and laughter of the Higher Men again came from the cave: it had started again. ‘They are biting, my bait is effective, before them too their enemy, the Spirit of Gravity, is wavering. Already they are learning to laugh at themselves: do I hear aright?’” “He calls earth and life heavy: and so will the Spirit of Gravity have it! But he who wants to become light and a bird must love himself – thus do I teach.” “Mankind’s most distant, most profound questions, his reaching to the furthest stars, his prodigious power: does that not foam together in your pot? No wonder many a pot is shattered! Learn to laugh at yourselves as a man ought to laugh. You Higher Men, oh how much is still possible!” Nietzsche, through Zarathustra, had a poetic similarity to Rumi. Here are some of my favorite passages: “It is night: now do all leaping fountains speak louder. And my soul too is a leaping fountain. It is night: only now do all songs of lovers awaken. And my soul too is the song of a lover.” “I should only believe in a god that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity – through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity! I learned to walk; since then I have let myself run. I learned to fly; since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot. Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now there danceth a God in me” “For the soul which possesses the longest ladder and can descend the deepest: how should the most parasites not sit upon it? The most spacious soul, which can run and stray and roam the farthest into itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy hurls itself into chance -” “Loneliness is one thing, solitude another: you have learned that – now! And that among men you will always be wild and strange: wild and strange even when they love you: for above all they want to be indulged!” “O afternoon of my life! O happiness before evening! O harbour in mid-sea! O peace in uncertainty! How I mistrust you all! Truly, I am mistrustful of your insidious beauty! I am like the lover who mistrusts all –too-velvety smiles. As the jealous man thrusts his beloved from him, tender even in his hardness – thus do I thrust this blissful hour from me. Away with you, blissful hour! With you there came to me an involuntary bliss! I stand here ready for my deepest pain – you came out of season!” “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.” “In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those spoken to should be big and tall. The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched. I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins – it wanteth to laugh.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Nietzsche, like many great thinkers, contradicts himself enormously. He writes that the mob is "innocently crooked, it always lies" and that "nothing is more valuable and rare today than honesty." But we are told earlier on by a murmuring dwarf that "everything straight lies...all truth is crooked, time itself is a circle." These notions may not be mutually exclusive, but if one reads each character in this novel as an expression of his beliefs, it is easy to spot many incongruities. Perhaps he Nietzsche, like many great thinkers, contradicts himself enormously. He writes that the mob is "innocently crooked, it always lies" and that "nothing is more valuable and rare today than honesty." But we are told earlier on by a murmuring dwarf that "everything straight lies...all truth is crooked, time itself is a circle." These notions may not be mutually exclusive, but if one reads each character in this novel as an expression of his beliefs, it is easy to spot many incongruities. Perhaps he is suggesting that we value truth and still recognize that truth itself is a serpentine concept in the sphere of time. We may also be persuaded that Nietzsche has reconciled these notions, as he informs us shortly after that "he who cannot lie does not know what truth is." When reading Nietzsche, I suspect modern readers might find the density of his writing and the slight arrogance underlying his criticism of 'lowly people' to be distasteful. I admit this is not a book for everyone. I adored Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet as I adored Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but I recognize that my love for these books is particular to my personality. I love philosophical ramblings, I love books suffused with ideas — even better if I do not subscribe to all those ideas. I take prose plain or purple, philosophy lucid or complex. I am, in this sense, a receptive reader to most everything. Thus Spoke Zarathustra may be too assertive for some, too rambling for others, but just right for a few. I am clearly of the group that delights in Nietszche’s work, contrary and byzantine as it may be. A relevant quote from Nietzsche concerning this book (as written in On the Genealogy of Morals): "I cannot acknowledge that anyone really knows that book [Zarathustra] well unless he has been either deeply wounded by it or deeply delighted by it at every point; then and only then can he enjoy the privilege of participating, with all due reverence, in the halcyon element from which that work is born, and in its sunny brilliance, its grand scope, its composed assurance."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Giorgi

    it is impossible to "experience" this book and preserve your identity.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    I read this when I was in my late teens; therefore, I have never read it, it is to be read by me now that I more capable of reading and thinking...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    Get a life, Nietzsche

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Wright

    Zarathustra, the character through which Nietzsche vicariously spews forth his world-view, is a pompous, narcissistic, ego maniac that is so obsessed with how right he is, he can't see just how terribly wrong he ends up being. Nietzsche constantly contradicts himself, uses poor logic and reasoning, and pushes for a social order that benefits only the elite. I'm appalled of Nietzsche's idea that the great men of the world should walk all over the little, regular people to achieve their greatness. Zarathustra, the character through which Nietzsche vicariously spews forth his world-view, is a pompous, narcissistic, ego maniac that is so obsessed with how right he is, he can't see just how terribly wrong he ends up being. Nietzsche constantly contradicts himself, uses poor logic and reasoning, and pushes for a social order that benefits only the elite. I'm appalled of Nietzsche's idea that the great men of the world should walk all over the little, regular people to achieve their greatness. He says that the existence of the general population is justified only by the fact that there may come out of them a greater race (Hitler was a big fan of this view as well). He says that morality and ethics are not real, but merely tools to manipulate masses and hold back the elite. This guy must have been insane! (Turns out he was, being committed to a mental institution only years after finishing this work). I believe George Bernard Shaw put it best, when he said the following about this book: "Nietzsche is worse than shocking, he is simply awful...Nietzsche is the champion of privilege, of power, and of inequality. Never was there a deafer, blinder, socially and politically inepter academician..." This is one of the worst books I've ever read. The tale meanders all over the place as Zarathustra ejaculates ridiculous philosophy for page after page, his followers fawning after him with nary a singular thought of their own. Both they and Zarathustra are in awe of Zarathustra's own wisdom and insight, and Nietzsche never lets a page go by without reminding us of his grandiose status. If anybody in the story tries to contradict Zarathustra, he merely laughs at how stupid the person is and ridicules them. This book is, in a nutshell, just a guy trying to make himself look all powerful, knowing, and important while making everyone else look bad. I give this book an epic FAIL!

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    The Evolution of Humanity 5 March 2014 It is from this book that one comes across the ideas that Fredrick Nietzsche is particularly famous for, that being the concept of the ubermensch and will to power as well as the idea that when one gazes into the abyss the abyss gazes into you (though that quote actually comes from 'Beyond Good and Evil' though there are references in this book about gazing into the abyss). This is probably the book that many of us who have heard of Nietzsche (which I suspec The Evolution of Humanity 5 March 2014 It is from this book that one comes across the ideas that Fredrick Nietzsche is particularly famous for, that being the concept of the ubermensch and will to power as well as the idea that when one gazes into the abyss the abyss gazes into you (though that quote actually comes from 'Beyond Good and Evil' though there are references in this book about gazing into the abyss). This is probably the book that many of us who have heard of Nietzsche (which I suspect is quite a few of us, especially in this forum) immediately think of when his name comes up in conversation. On the other hand, when his name comes up in conversation, we also generally immediately think of this guy: However the connection with Neiztsche and Hitler is tenuous at best, and as has been indicated by a number of people, the most direct connection was when Hitler met Neiztsche's sister. However, that does not necessarily mean that Hitler did not borrow Neiztsche's ideas and twist and corrupt them into his own (though taking somebody else's ideas is not necessarily a bad thing, and because somebody takes these ideas and puts them to evil uses does not necessarily mean that the progenitator of these ideas is evil themselves – I find it funny that fundamentalist Christians attack Neiztsche because Hitler uses Neiztsche's ideas to justify mass genocide yet they completely ignore the fact that others have done the same thing with ideas from the Bible, and to suggest that on the basis of the argument that they use to condemn Neiztsche they should also condemn the Bible). Granted, Neiztsche does not think all that much about Christianity – in fact he believes the whole concept of meekness and gentleness to be a sign of weakness. For instance, the idea from this book is not that God created man but that man created God to comfort him in times of trouble, and to give himself hope when none existed. Further, the idea of the Priesthood is illogical because the priesthood is only created to give legitimacy to the idea of there being a God, and in the end the priesthood is a useless appendage, a cancer that latches itself onto society and effectively drains it of much of its productivity. This is moreso the case when the priesthood uses the offerings and gifts of the population to live a comfortable lifestyle while the rest of society struggles with their day to day life. This is probably where is idea of 'God is dead' comes from (another famous saying from this book) though where this saying occurs, it is more to do with Zarathustra mourning a prophet and pitys him by saying 'does he not realise that God is dead'. Now, this idea is not that God himself is dead (because Neiztsche does not believe in God – he is an atheist) but rather that the god that was created by humanity is dead in that humanity has reached a point where they have realised that they no longer need their god and have walked away from him in unbelief, and as such because nobody believes in this god anymore there is no longer any belief to keep this god sustained, and thus god is dead. Though fast forward to our time and we discover that the need to believe in a god is alive and well, and as such the concept of god is still alive and well – and also notice that I am not capitalising god, because this is not the big G God that I believe in, but rather the concept of a god that society feels that they need to believe in to give them comfort and hope. Now, let us ignore history for a second (namely the idea of Moses and Ankenhaten coming up with the idea of a single, monotheistic, god) and look at the period in which Zarathustra lived. Zarathustra lived in Ancient Persia at a time when Persia was a polytheistic society. However Zarathustra burst onto the scene with a radical new concept of not many gods but two gods who were equal and opposite and that these two gods were in a constant struggle, one representing good (Ahura-Mazda) and one representing evil (Angra Mainyu). Actually, I think the Wikipedia definition of the conflict between truth and lie is a much better because good and evil are not necessarily objective concepts. This philosophy caught on like wildfire and went on to influence the thinking of numerous Greek philosophers and in turn the entire Western World. The reason that this is important is because the previous attempts to create a monotheistic religion failed, but the rise of Zorastrianism in Persia caught on, and thus it is interesting to note that after Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland they became much more committed to maintaining their own monotheistic religion than they were before the Babylonian Captivity. Now, two and a half thousand years later we are entering another siesmic shift in the thought of Western Civilisation, and Neiztsche is hailing back to the founding of Zorastrian philosophy to act as a basis for this new shift in modern thought. What was happening now as that the idea of the eternal conflict between the truth and the lie was changing to become not so much a conflict, but rather a means of progression. Truth and lie no longer stand forever opposing each other, but rather they act as opposing forces that seek to find a common ground, and once that common ground is found they come together to form a completely new truth – Hegel's dialectic. I probably should say something about the plot and the structure of the book before I move on to the ideas of the ubermensch and the will to power. The book appears to be a collection of speeches made by the prophet Zarasthustra to his disciples who then go on to become higher men (though not ubermensch, as that appears to be another stage in the journey of humanity). This is not 'the' Zarathustra, but rather a vehicle through which Neiztsche is espousing his philosophy of change. However this is more than just a collection of sayings, but it is rather a novel through which we watch Zarathustra and his philosophy grow, and how his disciples come to understand and grow by being his disciples and listening to his philosophy. Now, let us consider the doctrine of the ubermensch. I find that by translating the ubermensch to superman can be very misleading because many of us equate superman with this: This is not the idea that that I believed Neiztsche was speculating on, just as I doubt Jerry Seigel had Neiztsche in mind when he created the eponymous superhero. However, the idea of the superhero, at least with regards to the idea that comes out in the comics, is what Neiztsche was exploring in his writings. In a way, my understanding of the ubermensch implies the idea of humanity evolving from its current state into a new state, and this evolution is a self conscious evolution that we decide we want to do. In a way it is reaching a point where we are in control of ourselves and not dominated by our lusts and passions. It is reaching the point where we can say no, and we can force that desire from our mind, and the more control we have over our desires, the less control those desires have over us. In a way it forms a basis for modern psychology where psychologists seek to teach us 'thought control' meaning that when an invasive thought enters out mind, we crush that thought before it dominates us. This is where the concept of the will to power comes in. The will to power is where we exercise our will to control our desires and our passions, and in turn our thoughts. Thus by having the will we have power because we have power over our selves and our lives, and we are not dominated or controlled by the world around us. It is the point where were are bombarded with advertising to buy things that we don't need to be able to say 'I don't need that' and therefore do not buy it. It is the will to be able to control our passions and desires to the point where we are not living under perpetual debt. If there is an unbermensch that has been in existence, that person, to me, would be none other than Jesus Christ. To me Jesus is the ultimate example of a man who enjoyed life and had fun, but did not let his passions or desires overcome him so that he was able to move through his life, teach and in teaching being able to live out an example of his teaching. He did not shy away from persecution, did not let himself be discouraged by mockers, and did not let himself get caught up with popularity. Most of all, he did not sell out to the religious and political heavyweights of his day, but he remained committed to accepting everybody on their own merits, and would live and associate with those whom society had ultimately rejected.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mr.

    Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra remains one of the most powerful and cryptic tomes in the history western thought. Is this a work of philosophy or poetry? Due to the immense power of Nietzsche's writing, it remains highly readable, even for those who are not usually comfortable reading philosophy. In the prologue, Nietzsche describes Zarathustra's isolation in the mountains and his intention to descend so that he can teach mankind. Zarathustra proclaims that God is dead and the overman, the s Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra remains one of the most powerful and cryptic tomes in the history western thought. Is this a work of philosophy or poetry? Due to the immense power of Nietzsche's writing, it remains highly readable, even for those who are not usually comfortable reading philosophy. In the prologue, Nietzsche describes Zarathustra's isolation in the mountains and his intention to descend so that he can teach mankind. Zarathustra proclaims that God is dead and the overman, the sort of man who has overcome his own nature. Zarathustra proclaims: "The time has come for man to set himself a goal. The time has come for man to plant the seed of his highest hope" (17). Nietzsche is passing his philosophical project onto Zarathustra as an author might pass his personal impressions onto a fictional character. Zarathustra is a new symbol of wisdom in the modern era; he teaches that man is now burdened with the task of creating a meaning for himself. In Zarathustra's speeches, he speaks of the "three metamorphoses of the spirit" (25), which include how the spirit becomes a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion a child. For Nietzsche, even the lion of freedom is not sufficient; the child who can create represents the possibility of an overman. Zarathustra says: "The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred `Yes.' For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred `Yes' is needed: the spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers his own world" (27). Zarathustra teaches man that God is the result of an act of creation, that man is capable of willing new gods and goals. He says: "this god whom I created was man-made and madness, like all Gods!" (33). Zarathustra might be called the God of the Body as he claims that it was originally the sick and decaying who hated the body and nature and subsequently created heaven. Zarathustra provides and alternative: "Listen rather, my brothers, to the voice of the healthy body: that is a more honest and purer voice. More honestly and purely speaks the healthy body that is perfect and perpendicular: and it speaks of the meaning of the earth" (33). Zarathustra warns man of the power of `Good and Evil,' of preachers of virtues and the soul. However, for all of man's creative efforts in conjuring systems of value, man still is left without a clear goal. Zarathustra concludes the first book by insisting that he will only return when his listeners have denied him, for he desires to cultivate an independence of thought. In the second book, Zarathustra returns and begins to speak about creation and pitying. In the second section (Upon the Blessed Isles), he argues that "God is a conjecture; but I desire that your conjectures should not reach beyond your creative will. Could you create a god? Then do not speak to me of any gods. But you could well create the overman [...] of the overman you could recreate yourselves: and let this be your best creation" (86). For Zarathustra, creation is the solution to redeem man from his suffering. Additionally, man's will to power is a potentially liberating capacity. In the fifth section, Zarathustra critically examines different conceptions of traditional virtue. He says: "you are too pure for the filth of the words: revenge, punishment, reward, retribution" (94). After much vivisection and refutation, Zarathustra moves into a discussion of the possible meaning of existence for man in the section On the Tarantulas. Here, he makes a proposal: "For that man be delivered from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms" (99). Zarathustra warns man to mistrust all who have a powerful inclination to seek revenge and enact punishment.In book three, Zarathustra continues his prophetic teachings to mankind, though he insists that he is "Godless" (170). He reflects about the absence of having a true audience; one gets the impression that Zarathustra is echoing Nietzsche's loneliness as a largely unrecognized philosopher and writer. He continues with a transvaluation of all values wherein Zarathustra declares the `three best cursed things,' which are: "sex, the lust to rule, [and] selfishness" (188). He condemns Christianity's disapproval of these things, arguing that sex represents a happiness of the body, the lust to rule is a variant of the will to power, and selfishness is a mode of self enjoyment. Zarathustra is concerned that the dominant institutions of our time have conditioned human beings to hate and fear themselves. Additionally, he teaches man about man's ultimate purpose, which he describes in the third section of `The Old and New Tablets,' where he writes: "There it was too that I picked up the word `overman' by the way, and that man is something that must be overcome-that man is a bridge and no end" (198). For Zarathustra, a going under is a crossing over, a transition. In this way, mankind is taught to confront his own mortality. In `The Convalescent,' Zarathustra rests for seven days after a collapse in his cave. He is upset with the animals for watching him in pain, for pain and cruelty (whether it is directed inward or outward) is the greatest flaw of man. It is here that Zarathustra gives his most profound teaching: "Alas, man recurs eternally! The small man recurs eternally!' Zarathustra has established his reason for being: to teach the eternal recurrence of the same. All events and beings of the universe have existed an infinite number of times and will continue to repeat eternally. Zarathustra claims: "I myself belong to the causes of the eternal recurrence. I come again, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent-not to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come back eternally to this same, selfsame life, in what is greatest as in what is smallest, to teach again the eternal recurrence of all the things" (221). It is because of the eternal recurrence of the same that mankind should affirm life and will subsequently overcome nihilism. Zarathustra expresses a desire that mankind embrace himself as such, and to be willing to act as a bridge for something greater. He declares: "You are mere bridges: may men higher than you stride over you. You signify steps: therefore do not be angry with him who climbs over you to his height" (283). According to Zarathustra, it is only since God has died that mankind can be resurrected. In `On the Higher Man,' Zarathustra announces the life of the overman, an indication of a higher being able to climb over man. Zarathustra announces: "O my brothers, what I can love in man is that he is an overture and a going under [...] Overcome these masters of today, O my brothers-these small people, they are the overman's greatest danger" (287). Human beings must, in accordance with their nature, be willing to go down in order to go across. They are the bridge to something higher. The thought of eternal return contains many facets and implications. One the one hand, the notion of eternity without the trajectory of a goal and without a definitive close could be viewed as the essence of nihilism or pessimism. However, this is not a complete thought of eternal recurrence. Yet if the thinker understands the relation between nihilism and the eternal recurrence of the same, he can fully affirm life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Nietzsche tends to be one of those philosophers that readers either really like (the literary crowd who reads the occasional philosopher) or really don't like (the philosophy crowd who reads the occasional novelist). I suppose I am one of the latter. While I enjoy reading some of Nietzsche's works, I enjoy them most when he centers them around his "ideal man" concept. "Thus Spoke" doesn't seem to be one of those. Simply put, the sections are short situational stories concerning Zarathustra and d Nietzsche tends to be one of those philosophers that readers either really like (the literary crowd who reads the occasional philosopher) or really don't like (the philosophy crowd who reads the occasional novelist). I suppose I am one of the latter. While I enjoy reading some of Nietzsche's works, I enjoy them most when he centers them around his "ideal man" concept. "Thus Spoke" doesn't seem to be one of those. Simply put, the sections are short situational stories concerning Zarathustra and different people that he meets. Zarathustra imparts his unworldly advice and wisdom to those who do not understand it. Nietzsche was not a religious man, in any real sense of the word, but in this book it is hard to remember that. While I would recommend this book simply because of its "classical" status, I can't say that it was one of my favorites. But, perhaps its only because I do not understand it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    I have a feeling this one is going to be difficult. (Review to come!)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Murtaza

    It would be presumptuous to suggest I had the capacity to evaluate or even say anything new about Nietszche, who along with Karl Marx was one of the two most influential thinkers of the past two centuries. Like most people I've absorbed many of his ideas by osmosis through various forms and had a familiarity with them even before the first time I read one of his essays. Reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra for the first time however, there was something that struck me: the extent to which this is writ It would be presumptuous to suggest I had the capacity to evaluate or even say anything new about Nietszche, who along with Karl Marx was one of the two most influential thinkers of the past two centuries. Like most people I've absorbed many of his ideas by osmosis through various forms and had a familiarity with them even before the first time I read one of his essays. Reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra for the first time however, there was something that struck me: the extent to which this is written like a spiritual text. Nietzsche was a rarity in being a great writer, even in translation. The text of this book is utterly immersive and feels more like plunging into a terrifying world than scanning words on a page. In this he reminded me of Ibn Arabi, whom you don't read so much as dose yourself on. I would suggest that this book has a genuine psychological effect on its reader. When you read a canonical work later in life you've probably already consumed a huge amount of cultural output bearing its influence. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is full of snapshots of psychedelic imagery and brought to mind many otherwise inexplicable psychological horror films I'd seen over the years. The purpose behind his writing, I believe, was to break down the mental and spiritual edifice that man had created over millennia so that something new could be built in its place: the overman. The sacred had to be profaned but more importantly some shock therapy was in order to truly break people free of the moorings that held them in place. Nietzsche described himself in one unforgettable passage as "a heavy drop from the dark cloud," that heralded the time before the lightning came. He was right.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Flock

    Though I doubt that I could read the German version as easily as I once could, I still much prefer it to the translations. If you must read a translation, make it the Walter Kaufmann version, which is, in any case, easiest to find beyond being the best that I have seen. Side note: Kaufmann's translation of Goethe's Faust is also one of the best you will find for that work. As for the work itself, what can I possibly say that has not already been written in praise of this epic? The criticism one m Though I doubt that I could read the German version as easily as I once could, I still much prefer it to the translations. If you must read a translation, make it the Walter Kaufmann version, which is, in any case, easiest to find beyond being the best that I have seen. Side note: Kaufmann's translation of Goethe's Faust is also one of the best you will find for that work. As for the work itself, what can I possibly say that has not already been written in praise of this epic? The criticism one most often hears of this work is that it is inconsistent in both theme and narration. How this ever came to be seen as a legitimate critique is beyond me...the work is cogent from start to finish, but not if one reads it as a manifesto. Zarathustra is not laying down a new religion from start to finish. He is developing one, thinking aloud and learning from his experiences. It would seem that readers expect this to be a traditional piece of wisdom writing in which the narrator already has "all the answers" from the beginning. Zarathustra is not a pedagogue; Nietzsche would not write such a patronizing character. Zarathustra's reasoning is imperfect, is human, and his journey to "enlightenment" is meant to be the reader's journey. When reading this book, do not expect that it will provide you with perfect wisdom at every step. Rather, it shows the development of the idea over the course of the story, and what we have is not a series of contradictions (as some have lamely asserted) but rather a visibly growing light, culminating with Zarathustra's triumphant cry: 'Dies ist mein Morgen! Mein Tag hebt an!' This is my morning. My day begins! And so he leaves the dark mountains shining like the 'Morning Sun.'

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    After years of hearing about Nietzsche's contributions to western philosophical culture, and after reading countless texts that referenced, examined or quoted him, I finally decided to tackle one of his books in full. But now, having done so the only honest reaction that I can offer is "what the [email protected]#$ did I just read." Call me a philistine, but I got nothing out of this book and it seems to me that the whirlwinds of hype surrounding Nietzsche could be a case of literary "emperors new clothes." Th After years of hearing about Nietzsche's contributions to western philosophical culture, and after reading countless texts that referenced, examined or quoted him, I finally decided to tackle one of his books in full. But now, having done so the only honest reaction that I can offer is "what the [email protected]#$ did I just read." Call me a philistine, but I got nothing out of this book and it seems to me that the whirlwinds of hype surrounding Nietzsche could be a case of literary "emperors new clothes." The text itself was just a rambling stream of consciousness rant that I would expect from a sophomore philosophy major. It seemed to be page after page of words leading the reader nowhere. He frequently references or alludes to other works of world literature going all the way back to the ancient greeks, but that only proves that he was well-read not that he had anything worthwhile to say. Maybe I came in at the wrong time and if I started reading him at one of his earlier books I would have gotten a lot more out of it, but honestly, I'm not sure a gun to my head could convince me to read him again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Nomen-Mutatio

    "Have you ever said Yes to a single joy? O my friends, then you have said Yes too to all woe. All things are entangled, ensnared, enamored; if ever you wanted one thing twice, if ever you said, "You please me, happiness! Abide moment!" then you wanted all back. All anew, all eternally, all entangled, ensnared, enamored--oh then you loved the world. Eternal ones, love it eternally and evermore; and to woe too, you say: go, but return! For all joy wants--eternity." Someday I'm going to go through m "Have you ever said Yes to a single joy? O my friends, then you have said Yes too to all woe. All things are entangled, ensnared, enamored; if ever you wanted one thing twice, if ever you said, "You please me, happiness! Abide moment!" then you wanted all back. All anew, all eternally, all entangled, ensnared, enamored--oh then you loved the world. Eternal ones, love it eternally and evermore; and to woe too, you say: go, but return! For all joy wants--eternity." Someday I'm going to go through my Nietzsche reviews and write something substantial. For now I'll insert my favorite quotations every so often.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Absolutely fucking based. Absolutely fucking based.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    I didn't have the heart to go through it. I apologize, Nietzsche, but you don't interest me anymore.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.