Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and Nobody

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Oxford University Press, Aug 14, 2008 - Literary Collections - 384 pages
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'The profoundest book there is, born from the innermost richness of truth, an inexhaustible well into which no bucket descends without coming up with gold and goodness.' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885) was Nietzsche's own favourite among all his books and has proved to be his most popular, having sold millions of copies in many different languages. In it he addresses the problem of how to live a fulfilling life in a world without meaning, in the aftermath of 'the death of God'. Nietzsche's solution lies in the idea of eternal recurrence which he calls 'the highest formula of affirmation that can ever be attained'. A successful engagement with this profoundly Dionysian idea enables us to choose clearly among the myriad possibilities that existence offers, and thereby to affirm every moment of our lives with others on this 'sacred' earth. This translation of Zarathustra (the first new English version for over forty years) conveys the musicality of the original German, and for the first time annotates the abundance of allusions to the Bible and other classic texts with which Nietzsche's masterpiece is in conversation. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Currently in my second reading of this book and translation. Very enjoyable, and when not enjoyable it is imparting too much on the reader, which is still on the best side of written words. Graham Parkes gives us bountiful side notes to work with, though there is still endless interpretation required. Nearly every line could have an asterisk next to it. The translation is excellent, I would say the next best thing would be fluency in German/Nietzschean.
A winding tale with every moment unpredictable, my personal fault is not having explored Beyond Good and Evil, which would certainly clarify some of his FN's intentions. Like his prose perspective on the state and what he believes should take its place. As always there is something to question and criticize in FN's writing, but it is a quasi-fiction with much more to tell than the mundane interworkings of state and politics.
Everyone should grab this edition, despite the awkward cover, and dive in.


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About the author (2008)

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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