- Paperback: 292 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (November 13, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521599636
- ISBN-13: 978-0521599634
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) 2nd Edition
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Daybreak marks the arrival of Nietzsche's 'mature' philosophy and is indispensable for an understanding of his critique of morality and 'revaluation of all values'. This volume presents the distinguished translation by R. J. Hollingdale, with a new introduction that argues for a dramatic change in Nietzsche's views from Human, All too Human to Daybreak, and shows how this change, in turn, presages the main themes of Nietzsche's later and better-known works such as On the Genealogy of Morality. The edition is completed by a chronology, notes and a guide to further reading.
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As emphasized in the extremely well-written introduction by the editors (who do a great job in setting Daybreak in its context among other works by Nietzsche), the main subject of the book is a critique of morality -- what does it really mean to humans when we try to strip it down to its essentials and challenge the many conventions of custom. Nietzsche does not simply treat morality as an interesting subject for a pleasant intellectual dialogue, but rather makes it clear that he is in deadly earnest about how fundamentally important it is, and how our attitudes about it create ourselves and our world. You cannot read this book passively, because Nietzsche writes about difficult concepts that are very much alive today, such as this excerpt from section 149 about the common compulsion to conform to social custom, "The need for little deviant acts":
"Sometimes to act against one's better judgment when it comes to questions of custom... many toerably free-minded people regard this, not merely as unobjectionable, but as 'honest', 'humane', 'tolerant', 'not being pedantic', and whatever else those pretty words may be with which the intellectual conscience is lulled to sleep: and thus this person takes his child for Christian baptism though he is an atheist; and that person serves in the army as all the world does, however much he may execrate hatred between nations; and a third marries his wife in church because her relatives are pious and is not ashamed to repeat vows before a priest. ... The thoughtless error! ... it thereby acquires in the eyes of all who come to hear of it the sanction of rationality itself!"
There's much more of course, and one of the constantly exciting aspects of reading Nietzsche is to experience the way he interweaves discussions of art with larger philosophical concerns. His insights into literature and music are never trivial, and he provides a series of very startling perspectives. Daybreak is not the best known of Nietzsche's works, but it is essential to anyone who wants to engage seriously with his thought.
These bad translations are everywhere, and here is another one. Way too stiff and literal. There is obviously something wrong here. The translation is barely intelligible at times. Nietzsche was a good writer. It should be a pleasure, not a form of torture, to read him, but you would never know it from this translation.
The author (or should I say 'perpetrator'?) of this translation has a way with words, and that way is....awful.
This translation does not merit a 'review', only a denunciation. It's horrid, inept translating. Hollingdale has all the literary skill of a dishrag. Varies from merely adequate at best to ludicrous and unintentionally (one hopes) hilarious.
The more of this travesty I read, the angrier I become.
Cambridge initially issued this translation back in the 1980s, with an introduction by the late Michael Tanner. Cambridge has re-issued the Hollingdale translation with a new introduction and notes, but Cambridge is so cheap they did not re-set the text to accommodate the notes. Instead, they just stuck the notes at the end and put the section number above it. There is no reference within the text itself that alerts the reader to the presence of a note at the end. Cheap bastards!