The Death of Nietzsche's Zarathustra

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $74.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $74.98   
  • New (5) from $74.98   
  • Used (4) from $86.48   


In this study of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Paul S. Loeb proposes a fresh account of the relation between the book's literary and philosophical aspects and argues that the book's narrative is designed to embody and exhibit the truth of eternal recurrence. Loeb shows how Nietzsche constructed a unified and complete plot in which the protagonist dies, experiences a deathbed revelation of his endlessly repeating life, and then returns to his identical life so as to recollect this revelation and gain a power over time that advances him beyond the human. Through close textual analysis and careful attention to Nietzsche's use of Platonic, biblical, and Wagnerian themes, Loeb explains how this novel design is the key to solving the many riddles of Thus Spoke Zarathustra - including its controversial fourth part, its obscure concept of the Übermensch, and its relation to Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of the challenge this book poses to the standard and currently authoritative interpretations of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Paul Loeb's careful exegesis and persuasive argumentation will oblige most of the leading Nietzsche scholars working today to revisit – and, in many cases, to revise – their interpretations accordingly. An impressive achievement by any measure."
—Daniel Conway, Texas AM University

"This is a provocative, novel, and erudite attempt to thread a philosophical path through the enigmatic and labyrinthine work that Nietzsche consistently considered to be his masterpiece. Paul S. Loeb establishes one of the strongest readings yet of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, arguing in a spirited, polemical, and rigorous manner that Zarathustra’s story interweaves narrative and concept to develop a startling idea of post-human temporality. Readers will find here new and powerful views of Nietzsche’s thoughts of eternal recurrence and the Übermensch, and suggestions of how these illuminate the program of overcoming ressentiment in his Genealogy of Morals."
—Gary Shapiro, University of Richmond

"In this careful, innovative, and nuanced study, Loeb (Univ. of Puget Sound) develops an alternative to standard doctrinal and ironist readings of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra by revealing how its literary structure expresses the philosophical significance of the otherwise enigmatic teaching of the eternal return of the same.... Highly recommended...."
—E. S. Nelson, University of Massachusetts Lowell, CHOICE

"Paul Loeb's The Death of Nietzsche's Zarathustra is a superb contribution to the philosophical scholarship on Nietzsche's notoriously most inaccessible book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.... Loeb's book presents an ingeniously argued and richly insightful interpretation of Nietzsche's literary fiction that pointedly and often persuasively takes issue with each of the major TSZ commentaries to have been published within the last twenty-five years or so.... an immediately indispensable and, again, excellent contribution to the literature on TSZ...."
—Robert Gooding-Williams, The University of Chicago, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Because the Genealogy [of Morals] is widely taken to be Nietzsche’s most important work, Loeb’s attempt to resolve its paradoxes by reference to the doctrines of Zarathustra is both important and timely. ... This book includes eight well written chapters along with a bibliography and index. It also sports a final chapter that promises to provide several thesis topics for graduate students interested in Nietzsche’s moral thought."
—Bryan Finken, University of Colorado at Denver, Philosophy in Review

"Loeb's book is much bolder and potentially more compelling than the great commentaries, because its boldness rests solidly on the boldness of Nietzsche himself—this is the most literal reading of Nietzsche's masterpiece to date, literal in the sense that it dares to take Nietzsche at his word where others have ascribed metaphoricity and other rhetorical functions to him."
—Adrian Del Caro, Purdue University, The Journal Of Nietzsche Studies

"This book constitutes an 'event' in Nietzsche studies and is one of the most important books published in recent years on Nietzsche in the English-speaking world. It is both scholarly and immensely challenging. "
—Keith Ansell Pearson, The University of Warwick

"The Death of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is a valuable contribution both in its overall argument and in its specific discussions. Readers will find stimulating discussion of some new issues raised in original ways."
—George Lăzăroiu, PhD /IISHSS, New York, Review of Contemporary Philosophy

"The Death of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is one of the most ambitious attempts recently to develop a sustained argument about the meaning and purpose of Also sprach Zarathustra."
—Hans Ruin, Nietzsche Studien

"This is a refreshing and inspired approach to Nietzsche’s text and one which promises to yield innovative and exciting interpretations. ... [t]his work must surely be regarded at a meta-level as the most far-reaching attempt yet to take seriously what a life lived through the prism of eternal return might be like."
—Jill Marsden, Bolton University, The Agonist: A Nietzsche Circle Journal

"[T]hat Zarathustra dies affirming life is the central thesis in Paul Loeb’s account of Nietzsche’s philosophical masterpiece, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. But that Zarathustra dies at all has hitherto escaped the attention of all commentators, and this is what makes Loeb’s argument so startling, so original, and so significant. ... Loeb’s knowledge of Nietzsche’s works, like his command of the vast secondary literature, is exemplary; and his intriguing argument ...will surely have a decisive influence on Nietzsche scholarship in years to come ..."
—Paul Bishop, University of Glasgow, Journal of European Studies

"Given the significance to Nietzsche’s thought of the central philosophical concepts of TSZ , the eternal recurrence and the overman, and Nietzsche’s own insistence that it contained what is essential to his philosophy, this book is a must read for Nietzsche scholars and a thought provoking text for anyone interested in Nietzsche’s ideas."
—Katrina Mitcheson, Manchester Metropolitan University, British Journal for the History of Philosophy

"Paul Loeb's book is one of the most challenging and stimulating treatments I have ever read. It will be something of a bombshell in Nietzsche studies."
—Lawrence J. Hatab, Old Dominion University, New Nietzsche Studies

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521519236
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2010
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul S. Loeb is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puget Sound. He is the co-translator and co-editor (with David F. Tinsley) of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in Volumes 7, 14, and 15 of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface; Texts and citations; Introduction: the clue to the riddles; 1. The eternal recurrence of the same; 2. Demon or god?; 3. The dwarf and the gateway; 4. The great noon; 5. The laughing lions; 6. The shepherd and the serpent; 7. Circulus vitiosus deus; 8. Post-Zarathustra; Bibliography; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)