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Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – November 28, 2000
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Anyone who has slogged their way through the swamps of German philosophical writing---in Kant or Hegel or Heidegger--will find Nietzsche a refreshing and exhilarating change. The selections are well chosen, and a cover-to-cover read will aptly depict Nietzsche's philosophy. In this volume the reader will find many of Nietzsche's polemical (and frequently misunderstood) ratiocinations on Christianity, Socrates, Germany, and art. Here, too, are his seminal and unforgettable critiques of Western morality ("That lambs dislike great birds of prey does not seem strange: only it gives no ground for reproaching these birds of prey for bearing off little lambs"). For philosophical fireworks, Nietzsche can hardly be matched. His brazen defiance of intellectualism's conventions still rings in contemporary thought because he practiced philosophy with a hammer. --Eric de Place
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Top Customer Reviews
The Birth of Tragedy is a good place to start for knowledge of the early Nietzsche and is an indispensible book for understanding what came later. The Genelogy of Morals is the least aphoristic of Nietzsche's writings and provides an extended treatment of Nietzsche's famous and infamous views on morality, especially Christian morality. Beyond Good and Evil is aphoristic brilliance containing many of Nietzsche's most famous ideas.
The one thing that would make this book perfect is the addition of Kaufmann's translation of the Gay Science.
For those interested in Nietzsche there is no better place to start than this book.
Nietzsche like Plato and unlike most philosophers really knew how to write. His writing is brilliant, original, and his style has no peer. Kaufmann produces English that is without peer in his translation of Nietzsche's works.
Whether you love him or hate him, exposure to Nietzsche can be a life-changing experience.
Work by work analysis:
The Birth of Tragedy -- Only attempt this as your first Nietzsche book if you already have a good understanding of how Greek Tragedy works. At the very least, you should have read Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, Sophocles' Theban Plays, some Euripides, Aristophanes' The Clouds, Plato's Apology, and if possible, Aristotle's Poetics. Also, as Kaufman makes clear, the last ten sections, about Wagner, should be taken with a shakerful of salt.
The Aphorisms -- It is very easy to take these gems especially out of context. However tempting it is to browse them for a few good quotes, I strongly urge you against it. They are, however, very helpful when Nietzsche refers to them.
Beyond Good and Evil -- This is as good a place as any to start your exploration of Nietzsche. The problem is, even though it is supposed to be a more straightforward approach at communicating the message found in Zarathustra, this is still written very pithily. The prose is very joyful, poetic, and requires thought. Then again, if you weren't willing to commit some thought to Nietzsche, then it's not worth picking up Nietzsche.
On The Geneology of Morals -- A sequel to BG&E. I don't suggest starting here. The prose is more straightforward than BG&E, he is attemting polemic in essay form.Read more ›
Kaufmann is not ashamed to refer the reader to his own works on Nietzsche, especially *Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist* and his edited *The Portable Nietzsche*, which contains the full-texts of *Thus Spoke Zarathustra,* *Twilight of the Idols,* *The Anti-Christ,* *Nietzsche Contra Wagner,* and miscellaneous, yet relevant shorter excerpts, essays, and letters.
Together, these two edited collections offer the reader a full-scope introduction to the life, thought, and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, a genuine master of criticism and insight.
It is not essential to agree with all of W.K's interpretations of N. in order to refer to the present work as an important introduction and overview. As W.K. will himself advise you, there is no substitute for reading the original works of N., but some definite value can be made from taking W.K's interpretations and applying them as a counterpoint to your own investigations.
Consider your encounter with N. as a process. W.K. is an important part of engaging N's unique mind and extraordinary outputs in the English language.
The translation seemed very good to me, and I've enjoyed Kaufmann's translations before - particularly his book "Goethe's Faust" is one of the best poetic translations I've ever read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An imperfect, yet insightful read. Covers a lot about morality, religion and other questionable topics. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
a dynamic and exciting writer who presents a different point of viewPublished 6 months ago by Frederick Mazie
This is a book to stay on my book shelf for years. I like The books that were contained in here. I like genealogy of Morals , Beyond good and evil and The birth of the tragedy the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by matthew am