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The Portable Nietzsche (Portable Library) Paperback – January 27, 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
Like all "portable" books in the Viking series, this one contains excerpts from works. This is not all bad, but it is not all good, either. I have always felt that it is much better to read works in their entirety rather than edited snippets. With this in mind, the book's #1 virtue is the fact that it contains an excellent complete & unabridged translation of "Also Sprach Zarathustra."
In his book "Beyond Good And Evil" Nietzsche stated that "Books for all the world are always foul-smelling books: the smell of small people clings to them." (p. 43, Walter Kaufmann, translator). Well, if this be the case, then "Zarathustra" is most decidedly NOT a book for all the world. It is not written for (nor, indeed is even read by very often) individuals with small minds. It is an epic poem that was mostly written while this German fellow was stoned on opium. That fact not-withstanding, it is an astounding achievement. (It seems that Nietzsche produced some of his best art while he was influenced by opium - just like Edgar Allen Poe and Hector Berlioz).Read more ›
Obviously, this work is a challenge to understand, and even after several readings one will still be finding new insights hidden within Nietzsche's words. The works contained within this book are decidely anti-Christian, so be forewarned.
Overall, this is a great introduction to Nietzsche, contained in a compact and reasonably-priced single volume.
Critics who say that Nietzsche is "obvious" often miss the fact that his thinking was once considered blasphemous & unheard of. In an era that he felt was bogged down in nostalgia & blandness driven by mindless veneration, Nietzsche felt compelled to state what he thought people were denying. If you don't get this, then you won't see how he is still relevant today in a similar era of chronic rehashing of old values whose uselessness is forgotten or hidden by the varnishing given them in a post-global world. In fact, part of Nietzsche's challenge to thinking man is that the "obvious" without critical faculties hides untapped potential. It is only your attitude that is "obvious". This is the crux of his idea of the "reoccurring theme": do you use nostalgia as reflection? Restoration? Irrelevance? Do you go beyond it? Or do you sit idly fawning & worshipping it like a permanent acolyte; never going beyond the instruction manual? An early insight & major clue is given at the VERY BEGINING of this book in a "Letter To His Sister". In a reply to a comment she made about truth being "obvious", his answer condenses to a statement that NOTHING is "obvious" until someone WORKS IT OUT first in the course of human history.
Nietzsche even had the foresight to see that his concise style would be often quoted without being truly understood, and he frequently says so in many writings included here. This is why this volume is so indispensible (i.e.Read more ›
Unlike a great deal of philosophers who appear stodgy, Nietzsche infuses his work with passion and fervour. His words are thought provoking, and in my case, life altering in a positive way. I don't know what else to say, other than this;
If you have had the urge to know more about Nietzsche and his works, continue on with it. I consider The Portable Nietzsche more of a manual of life than a collection of theories. For the most part, Nietzsche is the voice of common sense, but he would rather have you decide for yourself, I believe. Nietzsche is not for the faint of heart, however, and is shrouded in controversy over various topics, including, but not limited to religion, sexism and others.
In my opinion, the open minded reap the most benefit from Nietzsche's words.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a great collection. It introduces the essential works of Nietz and also comes with very helpful forwards and introductions. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Good translation. Highly readable. Good selection of Nietzsche. Had the Paperback, but wanted the Kindle to be "portable"Published 2 months ago by Calvin P. Poole, Jr.
Helped in writing essay and class discussions. it is concise and clear to readPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's great if you want an overview of what Nietzsche was trying to say but of course things (words) do get lost in translating from german to english.Published 4 months ago by Star Light