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A Nietzsche Reader (Penguin Classics) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (October 26, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140443290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443295
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

About the Author

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Prussia in 1844. After the death of his father, a Lutheran minister, Nietzsche was raised from the age of five by his mother in a household of women. In 1869 he was appointed Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, where he taught until 1879 when poor health forced him to retire. He never recovered from a nervous breakdown in 1889 and died eleven years later. Known for saying that “god is dead,” Nietzsche propounded his metaphysical construct of the superiority of the disciplined individual (superman) living in the present over traditional values derived from Christianity and its emphasis on heavenly rewards. His ideas were appropriated by the Fascists, who turned his theories into social realities that he had never intended.
R. J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche’s books and published two books about him. He has also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for the Penguin Classics. He is Honorary President of the British Nietzsche Society, and was for the Australian academic year 1991 Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne.
R. J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche’s books and published two books about him. He has also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for the Penguin Classics. He is Honorary President of the British Nietzsche Society, and was for the Australian academic year 1991 Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Kindle on June 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Assigned as a textbook in my 19th century philosophy class, I must admit that this little volume was a pleasure to read - twice. While it may be criticized as a collection of Nietzschean quotable quotes, I was continually fascinated by his insights. It left me wondering if any of the ideas attributed to Freud were actually original, and it confirmed some of my own hard won critiques of contemporary evangelicalism.
Before the class was over I had purchased another half dozen books by this man!
A warning to those considering reading this - you will not receive pages of editorial content. Go elsewhere if you are looking for an interpretation of Nietzsche. Also, you may find this thinker as addictive as I have.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Caligastia145 on April 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book includes quotations from Nietzsche explaining the Superman, the Will to Power, his view of Religion, etc, etc. A decent introduction of his thought and ideas, but for a more complex understanding of the man Nietzsche was, I would recommend you buy his books individually. Nonetheless, a great book for the price.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
THE way to start Nietzsche. It's good to know the basic philosophical currents of Western thought(at least Plato and Aristotle for the basic schools of philosophy, with Augustine, renaissance thinkers like Erasmus or Bacon, Kant, and the other German philosophers of the time being good addenda for added richness) before you get into this, because so much of this is either a recasting of those old thoughts or a vicious attack upon them. I didn't find the language difficult at all...every once and a while, there would be a convoluted sentence that took several passes to understand, but in general it's quite straightforward. A beautiful body of work condensed into some salient passages. Suggestion: start with this...you'll be able to have a perfectly educated conversation about all of his major ideas after reading this book, and you'll be able to tell how much you agree or disagree with him. Then, if his work agrees with you, pick up the Viking Portable Nietzsche, which has all of Thus Spake Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols, the Antichrist, and Contra Wagner, and then a section of excerpts similar to this book. By that time, you'll know what other works you want to read in their entirety(I suggest Beyond Good and Evil, to begin with, along with The Birth of Tragedy as a side-endeavour), and you'll also know more Nietzsche than any pseudo-intellectual poseur who wants to sound good at parties could comprehend.
The philosophy itself deserves five stars for being eloquent, fully realised, and the work of an educated genius, not to mention its historical value on the way modern thought works, but I simply must subtract one star for its incompleteness. You get the ideas, but not the full range of its art and magesty.
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Format: Paperback
Nietzsche has been interpreted to represent the last word in a line of thought which begins with Socrates, generally referred to as the era of Western classical philosophy. Like enormous bookends, Nietzsche and the object of so much of his thought, Socrates, sit, at the crucial intersections of the flow and development of ideas, and adjudicate, with all that came between and after somehow in the radius of their influence. Nietzsche, father of existentialism, intellectual father of the 20th century.
The battle will always rage (Nietzsche, true to the fire of his Herakleitian habit, would have liked that): which is better, this one, Hollingdale's anthology, A Nietzsche Reader, or Kaufmann's anthology, the venerable Viking Portable Nietzsche? I'll cop on that one. But, for the prospective buyer, I'll attempt a brief, opinionated comparison.
1) Translation: I was nurtured on the Kaufmann, which I used to carry around with me in my high school days, 40 years ago. Thus, for me, the Kaufmann translation rings truer to my tinny ear and limited knowledge of German. Besides, Kaufman was German. But, as Nietzsche gets down on the Germans at least as much as the English (a fact to which his Nazi misinterpreters liked to turn a blind eye), and, as Hollingdale's translations are accepted in the academic world to be at least as accurate as the revered Kaufman, pas differance there, or one merely of taste.
2) Organization: The Hollingdale is far better organized for quick reference or for the first time reader who wants an easily accessed guide to Nietzsche "from the horse's mouth" (with Nietzsche - this way is best, for so much of Nietzsche's power is in his enormous literary gifts).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Hans on July 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
After giving "Nietzsche in 90 Minutes" the 45 minutes it deserves, I started looking for something a little more advanced. I didn't feel I was ready to start in on "Thus Spake Zarathustra" so I picked this gem up. After finishing it, I moved on to some of Nietzsche's works and was thankful I'd read some background first.
This is still a moderately difficult read for someone that reads a few pithy quotes now and then and feels more at home in a computer lab, but it is manageable. I'm sure a true philosopher type would look down his/her nose at this book, but I found it useful!
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