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Nietzsche Paperback – October 16, 2001
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From Library Journal
Russian-born woman of letters Lou Salome (1861-1937) had a brief but tempestuous relationship with Nietzsche in 1882. In 1894, while Nietzsche languished in madness, Salome published Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken , here translated for the first time into English. Salome attempts to show how Nietzsche's philosophy can be seen as a reflection of his psychology. She construes his philosophical development as driven by a series of illnesses and recoveries, his later philosophy as mystical, and his madness as the inevitable result of his philosophizing. The book will interest scholars as the first full-scale account of Nietzsche's thought; its claims and methods, however, must be treated with caution. Richard Hogan, Southeastern Massachusetts Univ., North Dartmouth
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Show[s] how Nietzsche's philosophy can be seen as a reflection of his psychology. . . . The first full-scale account of Nietzsche's thought. -- Library Journal
This translation of Salomé's early portrait of Nietzsche . . . is long overdue. -- Choice
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Top customer reviews
Over the years we have heard from almost everyone who was anyone in Nietzsche's life, except Lou Salome. This makes the published reprint of her 1894 even more important for those involved in Nietzsche studies. To say that Salome brings a unique perspective to her work is a bit of an understatement, but those who simply expect this to be memoir of the man she knew will be, I think, somewhat joyfully disappointed. Instead she has written what well may be the first attempt to view the persona behind the works. After giving us an excellent analysis of Nietzsche's philosophy, she comes to the conclusion that perhaps Nietzsche's madness was the inevitable result of his philosophy. Was this, as Nietzsche's sister said, merely a fantasy of female revenge? Then simply compare the last page of her book with the events of Nietzche's last days in Turin, events which she cannot have known. Hers is a provactive and illuminating look at Nietzsche, made more powerful by the fact that she was first to the gate and that the strength of her book is the analysis, not the memories.
As with any book on Nietzsche that comes to us in a foreign language, translation is most important if we are to have not only a working understanding, but also a deeper understanding than we would ordinarily expect. That the translator should be the late Siegfried Mandel is only to the reader's advantage. His translation is crisp and clear. His excellent introduction makes it all the more clear to me that this man is, or should be at least considered, one of the formost Nietzschean scholars of his time. (For further reference, see his excellent "Nietzsche and the Jews.")
This is a book every serious student of Nietzsche should have in his or her library and a book that may contribute to a new vision of the tortured harbinger of the overman.
Her explanation of Nietzsche's ethics is likewise better than most and certainly more succinct. Because Salome knew Nietzsche well, she is able to tie the development of his ideas to his changing psychology. Overall, her remarkably compact, yet appropriately complex and nuanced, exposition on Nietzsche is the wisest that I have read.
Readers of this biography may also like "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about Nietzsche, the death of God, the crumbling of Western civilization, and what the West can do to stop it.