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The Nietzsche Reader 1st Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631226536
ISBN-10: 0631226532
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Editorial Reviews


"Intended to introduce students to Nietzsche’s writings, the Reader is of considerable value. It includes comprehensive selections from Nietzsche’s early, middle and late writings in English. The chronological presentation of the selections is particularly useful in helping students to appreciate Nietzsche’s philosophical development." International Journal of Philosophical Studies

The Nietzsche Reader offers an extremely comprehensive collection of Nietzsche’s philosophical writings, ranging from his youthful essays on fate to the pithy, epochal books written in the twilight of his sanity. Perfect for classroom use, in any number of courses across a variety of academic disciplines.” Daniel W. Conway, The Pennsylvania State University

“Thorough yet manageable, this Reader is an excellent introduction to Nietzsche. The editors’ balanced commentary is accessible to the novice while still engaging for scholars. This book is a great contribution to Nietzsche studies.” Kathleen Higgins, University of Texas Austin

From the Back Cover

Nietzsche’s impact on modern thought cannot be overstated. Generations have been influenced by this controversial and exciting thinker whose work nourishes academic fields as diverse as philosophy, literary studies, and political theory. This collection brings together in one volume substantial selections from Nietzsche’s complete oeuvre, including some never before published in book form in English. It also contains impressive pedagogical features, including editorial sections on Nietzsche’s life and importance, an introduction to his philosophical ideas, introductions to each major section of writings, and a comprehensive guide to further reading.

Not only does the Reader generously excerpt all of Nietzsche’s major texts, it also showcases selections from his lesser-known writings, including his early critique “On Schopenhauer,” Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, and the seminal essay “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.” In addition, there are new translations of key pieces from Nietzsche’s unpublished notebooks of the 1880s, including the first sketch of the doctrine of eternal recurrence, and the “Lenzer Heide” text on European nihilism.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 574 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (February 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631226532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631226536
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,721,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ariadne on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This reader is an astonishing achievement. There is simply no other single text that can provide such great appreciation for the development of Nietzsche's thought and the breadth of his ideas. This text can be used easily by a person looking to choose to read a first full book by Nietzsche, and it provides reliable guidance for the reader seeking to progress through Nietzsche's corpus. The book could work easily in a college course on Nietzsche, supplemented by one or more complete works. The bibliography is superb, and the introductory materials are intelligent, balanced in their approach, and helpful. Even the specialist stands to gain something from careful review of the selections so as to more fully appreciate the challenging editorial decisions that produced this terrific book. For example, this book--more than any other reader, and more than any single book written by Nietzsche--allows one to see how the idea of eternal recurrence emerged and acquired greater significance in his writings. It is an outstanding value both economically and intellectually.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Timothy A. Linnemann on July 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
People who study Nietzsche seriously will tell you that Nietzsche is one of the hardest philosophers to interpret. In many places he gives off the feeling that he actually does have a grand and epic master system that all of his philosophic efforts are aimed at - and in some places this sentiment comes straight from his own pen. [Nietzsche's retrospective work 'Ecce Homo' is a good place to look for these hints] However, much more of the time Nietzsche's writings taken together look contradictory, hypocritical, even confused. Deciding how to balence one's interpretation of Nietzsche while respecting each of these considerations is a weighty challenge.

The biggest strength of Pearson's and Large's new complilation is, in my opinion, the respect they reveal for this basic roadblock to understanding Nietzsche in the selections they have chosen. The selections allow for even a novice reader to find and explore the connections and through-lines that do exist within the entire canon of Nietzsche's writings (published, unpublished, and early, middle and latter periods of Nietsche's philosophic career) while still bringing out the main points of contention that serve to challenge those connections.

There are two common forms of misunderstandings regarding Nietzsche's views and positions: the first is quick dismissal based on only superficial contradictions, the second occurs when one projects onto Nietzsche views he does not advocate for the sake of unity and consistancy. This 'Reader' presents Nietzsche in such a way that encourages the avoidance of either of these two extremes, and as such is an ideal choice for students who have gotten a little taste of Nietzsche's thought and are eager to explore his range more seriously.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Benson on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This text is as good as it gets as far as Nietzsche readings go. No other volumes on him have been updated recently, and this one is very accessible. Highly recommended for all levels of interest.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful By K. Kehler on May 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
If one is willing to deal with this kind of large, unwieldy and heavy book, and if one wants an edition with material selected from every period of Nietzsche's life (from the early years of Nietzsche's philosophizing to several of his last letters, then this is a decent enough purchase. Certainly the price is very low for a nearly 600 page Blackwell paperback.

The book contains material from every important Nietzschean text, as well as bits from inaccessible pieces and some letters. These are organized chronologically rather than thematically, divided into 5 sections (e.g., Beginnings, Early Writings, the Middle Period, Zarathrustra, and Late Writings), which are introduced by the editors Duncan Large and Keith Ansell Pearson. There's a comprehensive bibliography, organized thematically.

But I don't care for the editors' take on philosophy in general and Nietzsche in particular. Their biases (caveat: I don't know Large's work well but I have read more than plenty of Ansell Pearson's) in favour of what one can broadly call the Deleuze and Foucault tradition are disappointing to me, because I think the virtues of the general post-war French treatment of Nietzsche are overrated, and unsatisfactory when not mistaken. This means I didn't appreciate the various section introductions, much of which is straight out of Continental Philosophy for Dummies (if no such text exists, one should be invented, pronto). Then there are the elementary errors: e.g., in the General Introduction the editors say that they agree with Michel ("one of the preeminent intellectual figures of the post-war period", a telling phrase) Foucault that there is no single or core Nietzscheanism. Maybe not. But across the page they then speak of this very core: "at the center of Nietzsche's thought"...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By drollere on May 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is, at bottom, a textbook for a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate college philosophy course. if you're comfortable approaching and "using" a philosopher like nietzsche in this way, then you won't have any qualms about this volume. certainly the translations are generally among the best available, and the inclusion of several minor but illuminating texts (such as "homer's contest" and "on truth and lies") is valuable. the index amounts to a syntopicon of nietzsche's references, keywords and themes across all the included works, which is very useful.

the main problem is that all the included works are not all included -- they're heavily excerpted. this can be excused in the verbose, aphoristic or rhapsodic texts up to "beyond good and evil", but at least one of the last three books ("götzendämmerung", "antichrist", "ecce homo") should have been included entire, as all three are short and trenchant. nietzsche's reputation as scattershot and unsystematic is not helped by editing him into confetti. but as i said: this is a book for readers who will not miss what has been omitted.

i was truly underwhelmed by the introduction and prefaces. we get a little of nietzsche, a lot of what people say about nietzsche, and more about what people say about what people say about nietzsche. as another reviewer noted, european academic fashion intrudes too far and too often, and nietzsche's sarcasms about the petty fussing of scholars are regretfully ignored.
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