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Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is (Oxford World's Classics)

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0192832283
ISBN-10: 019283228X
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About the Author


Formerly Chairman of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, Duncan Large is currently Joint Secretary of the Conference of University Teachers of German in Great Britain and Ireland. His recent books include The Nietzsche Reader (edited with Keith Ansell-Pearson).
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019283228X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192832283
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,558,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Luc REYNAERT on May 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is some sort of an autobiography of F. Nietzsche with his own short comments on his books, his literary and musical preferences, Christianity and the future of mankind. He also explains why he is a true immoralist.

Nietzsche stresses the all important influence of Schopenhauer in his life: `I very earnestly denied my `will to life' at the time when I first read Schopenhauer.'
His preferred authors are H. Heine, Byron, Stendhal, P. Loti, P. Mérimée, A. France and G. de Maupassant. In music, he likes Rossini, Chopin, Schütz, Haendel, Liszt, Bizet and Bach.

A true immoralist
A true immoralist confirms a double negation; first, of the so-called supreme, good, benevolent and beneficent man, and secondly, of the altruistic Christian morality.
He calls for `a revaluation of all values'. Concepts like God, soul, virtue, sin and eternal life are mere imaginings and lies prompted by the bad instincts of sick natures. All the problems of politics, social organization and education have been falsified because one mistook the most harmful men for great men.

Christianity
Blindness to Christianity is the crime par excellence, the crime against life. Its morality is vampirism. It is the most malignant form of the will to lie. It is a gruesome fact that anti-nature received the highest honors and was fixed over humanity as law and categorical imperative. It invented a `soul' to ruin the body. The Bible is a product of the will to suppress the truth. Its saints are slanderers of the world and violators of man.

Optimism
But, F. Nietzsche remains a fundamental optimist, because men strive for the forbidden. Therefore, his philosophy will triumph one day, because that what was forbidden has always been the truth.
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Format: Paperback
The painting on the cover is very good. I have often looked at the picture as if the Christ in the painting is ashamed of each and every one of the people tormenting him. The painting ECCE HOMO by Quentin Massys from 1515 is in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The book itself is, as Nietzsche says about his Twilight of the Idols: "A great wind blows through the trees, and all around fruits drop down--truths." It takes a society that is seriously going wrong to get a thinker going in the "And in all seriousness, no one before me knew the right way" direction. Nietzsche had several cultures to learn from, and sharing an interest in Schopenhauer with Richard Wagner was merely a bit of good luck compared to the depth of insight that Nietzsche was able to gain on human culture as a need to make new discoveries. Each time I read this book, I am astounded at how profound the point of view that gave Nietzsche his own distinctions ended up being his literary autobiography instead of The Will To Power.
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I must admit: this review will be biased... Nietzche happens to be my favorite philosopher so any book by him will be higly praised automatically by me.Perhaps the sole warning about this book I would give to a prospective buyer is this: Ecce Homo is not an objective autobiography. If one is looking for objectivite and exactitude in the description of life events, look elsewhere. This book is not for you. It is more of a psychological autobiography. The author explains who he is, why he is how he is and what makes him so special as well as providing glimpses about what he thought his real legacy would be. In a nutshell, if Nietzsche is already your hero,and you would love to know him more and get a glimpse of what made him tick, then, by all means, rush and buy this book. Otherwise, don't.
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Format: Paperback
Duncan Large's new translation of Ecce Homo for the Oxford World Classics series is excellent: it is as authoritative and accurate as it is fresh and easy to read. Anyone teaching this book, especially, or even recommending it to others, should tell them about this version. It lends an entirely different flavor to the German, exactly what a new translation should do. Though Roger Hollingdale's version is the most solid, in my view, and Walter Kaufmann's the most forceful, this translation seems to get at the precariousness, the grotesqueness of the German, and particularly the tension it establishes with the tradition of autobiography.
The biggest change Large adopted was to use the second person singular pronoun much more for the German "Man." Thus, for "Wie man wird, was man ist," the famous subtitle of the little volume, we do not get the more traditional translation with the impersonal "one," as in Hollingdale's rendition "How One Becomes What One Is," but the much more interesting and simple "How To Become What You Are."
The effect is remarkable when it is dispersed across the entire book. It is an entirely different--and I think more interesting--experience of reading.
Though some crucial things are lost (and every version, Kaufmann's especially does this), Large's translation, I think, benefits in the end for being so very bold. Hollingdale saves some key words better perhaps than Large, who interprets them more, it could be said--and interprets them precisely by going back to the roots of the German words, which should not in itself be seen as an act of fidelity to the source text's meaning, as is so often taken to be the case in philosophical translations of German (though this allows you, the reader, to reinterpret them more easily).
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