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Thus Spake Zarathustra A book for all and none and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Thus Spoke Zarathustra Paperback – July 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


, also translated as Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Treatise by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in four parts and published in German between 1883 and 1885 as Also sprach Zarathustra. The work is incomplete, but it is the first thorough statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and the masterpiece of his career. It received little attention during his lifetime but its influence since his death has been considerable, in the arts as well as philosophy. Written in the form of a prose narrative, Thus Spake Zarathustra offers the philosophy of its author through the voice of Zarathustra (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster) who, after years of meditation, has come down from a mountain to offer his wisdom to the world. It is this work in which Nietzsche made his famous (and much misconstrued) statement that "God is dead" and in which he presented some of the most influential and well-known (and likewise misunderstood) ideas of his philosophy, including those of the Ubermensch ("overman" or "superman") and the "will to power." Though this is essentially a work of philosophy, it is also a masterpiece of literature. The book is a combination of prose and poetry, including epigrams, dithyrambs, and parodies as well as sections of pure poetry. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

About the Author

Graham Parkes is the author of Composing the Soul: Reaches of Nietzsche's Psychology (Chicago, 1994), and the editor of Nietzsche and Asian Thought (Chicago, 1991). He is joint editor, with Steve Odin, of The Blackwell Source Book iin Japanese Philosophy (2005).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (July 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613823061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613823064
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer F Armstrong on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nietzsche is above all a psychological thinker at his most profound. Sometimes, he extends his psychology into political theory, sometimes in a way that seems to give psychological insight to political movements. More often than not, his psychology cannot be generalized into political statements, although Nietzsche wants to do this.

In his book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he is at his best since he is a psychologist rather than a social critic. (Where he dabbles too much into issues of politics and gender, he is inclined to err.)

Nietzsche's Zarathustra is a prophet for a secular era. It's very interesting how much the ideas in the book parallel those later discovered by Wilfred Bion, especially in terms of the psychology of group dynamics. Nietzsche had insights into the ways that groups unconsciously coordinate their members to reinforce conformity and compliance. There is no place for a self-reliant individual where there is a "herd". Creativity is even less respected by the "herd", because it disrupts the unconscious mechanisms of herd organisation. Without needing to have any intellectual grasp of a reality outside of the herd, those who partake of group dynamics are still capable of annihilating anyone who thinks and acts differently from the group. The attacks by the herd against the one who stands alone and the counter-struggle for survival have psychological origins at a subliminal level.

Nietzsche makes visible these otherwise hidden phenomena: he shows that generally those who stand alone are destroyed, that nobody has to say anything for these attacks to begin to occur. They happen automatically without overt provocation. It's group psychological dynamics at work.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First and foremost: this is not a review of the literary quality of Nietzsche's work, but rather of this particular publication.

I've read this book several times- as I imagine is true of many of you, at various noteworthy phases of my life where it took on new and different meanings. As a result, I've read at least three distinct versions of this work, including the original German (which is a second language to me).

To begin with, this is the first that included a truly comprehensive foreword regarding Nietzsche's relationship to his works along a timeline- someone coming upon "Zarathustra" as a first Nietzsche read, or as a student, will find a lot of very helpful contextualization before they even begin reading the text itself.

Moving on to the text itself, I regard it as a much-needed modern interpretation of "Zarathustra." As much as Nietzsche's goal may well have been to parody religious and mystical trappings, the outdated language of the German-English translation is to many distracting and off-putting. This translation preserves the spirit of the work in modern, straightforward English without any liberties taken with the cultural nuances of the German or the overall storytelling style that was characteristic of Nietzsche at this point in his career.

Overall, the best "Zarathustra" you can read. The Kindle edition is quite nicely formatted, too.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lady Z on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I feel that I must add a review here seeing that the only review is by somebody religious with bad taste and education. This book by Nietzsche is the first (but major) step towards enlightenment. I understand some people find it difficult to comprehend, but that is his whole point: the Overman (Ubermensch in German or superman)is somebody who has developed themselves in all senses including a bright, brilliant and agile mind. I understood everything what I read and I am in awe. A key point is we should strive to achieve happiness within ourselves. And this is a very difficult task as we are embroiled in our 'bad karma' - a collection of repressed feelings that spring out from prohibitions that go against our spirit. These feelings tie us to false morals, false gods, false actions and lives. They make us small. And those who are trapped in smallness then cannot possibly allow for greatness in others. As they mock and criticise the great they further prohibit the greatness for themselves thereby re-enforcing the bullying of their spirits. I wish you all to find your genius, your greatness, self-love and love.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. DeKalb on September 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a tough read, don't think it isn't, but it is lovely in both its hope and its hopelessness. For all mankind: unattainable. There is often the positive notion, in its most hopeful moment contrasted by the basest derogation by man in which there surely appears no hope for him. It appears that most people, the generally unread, have done much quoting of Nietzsche out of context and ultimately, Nietzsche must have known he'd be oft misquoted for he states: `I suspect ye would call my Superman - a devil!' (2021). In the appendix it is also a note to casual readers - this is not where to being reading any Nietzsche, so if you're starting here - stop!. This is `the opus' which is the child of many works of previous thought, for the future love of all that is Nietzsche, don't start here! This is the allegorical surmising of much of Nietzsche's work. Quite fantastic.

This work has the ability to present in a very new-age fashion, per philosophically its primary goal is transcendental, to go beyond man's current state, to shed the chains of our egos, to experience the world sensually without intense derisive judgment and to laugh at our situations of gravity. It is fantastic in that because it's a book `for all and none', anyone spiritually inclined can sense the weightiness as Nietzsche points out all the flaws of humanity and casts his wish for the recognition of the Superman, for something better than what we are, even if we shall never achieve his ends.

As a social commentary of the people of the times, what he sees and experiences around himself. Astute observations of the workings of mankind, essentially stating that we've turned away from the true meaning of `God', and that far too many people place value erroneously in inane and mistakenly virtuous things.
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