Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and Nobody

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Aug 14, 2008 - Literary Collections - 384 pages
'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.
 

Contents

SECOND PART
69
THIRD PART
129
FOURTH AND LAST PART
205
Explanatory Notes
288
Index
322
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in 1844 in Roecken, Prussia, and studied classical philology at the Universities of Bonn and Leipzig. While at Leipzig he read the works of Schopenhauer, which greatly impressed him. He also became a disciple of the composer Richard Wagner. At the very early age of 25, Nietzsche was appointed professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, Nietzsche served in the medical corps of the Prussian army. While treating soldiers he contracted diphtheria and dysentery; he was never physically healthy afterward. Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music (1872), was a radical reinterpretation of Greek art and culture from a Schopenhaurian and Wagnerian standpoint. By 1874 Nietzsche had to retire from his university post for reasons of health. He was diagnosed at this time with a serious nervous disorder. He lived the next 15 years on his small university pension, dividing his time between Italy and Switzerland and writing constantly. He is best known for the works he produced after 1880, especially The Gay Science (1882), Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-85), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), The Antichrist (1888), and Twilight of the Idols (1888). In January 1889, Nietzsche suffered a sudden mental collapse; he lived the last 10 years of his life in a condition of insanity. After his death, his sister published many of his papers under the title The Will to Power. Nietzsche was a radical questioner who often wrote polemically with deliberate obscurity, intending to perplex, shock, and offend his readers. He attacked the entire metaphysical tradition in Western philosophy, especially Christianity and Christian morality, which he thought had reached its final and most decadent form in modern scientific humanism, with its ideals of liberalism and democracy. It has become increasingly clear that his writings are among the deepest and most prescient sources we have for acquiring a philosophical understanding of the roots of 20th-century culture.

Bibliographic information