Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biographyby Julian Young
Pub. Date: 03/08/2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this beautifully written account, Julian Young provides the most comprehensive biography available today of the life and philosophy of the nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Young deals with the many puzzles created by the conjunction of Nietzsche’s personal history and his work: why the son of a Lutheran pastor developed into the self-styled “Antichrist”; why this archetypical Prussian came to loathe Bismarck’s Prussia; and why this enemy of feminism preferred the company of feminist women. Setting Nietzsche’s thought in the context of his times – the rise of Prussian militarism, anti-Semitism, Darwinian science, the “Youth” and emancipationist movements, as well as the “death of God” – Young emphasizes the decisive influence of Plato and of Richard Wagner on Nietzsche’s attempt to reform Western culture. He also describes the devastating effect on Nietzsche’s personality of his unhappy love for Lou Salomé and attempts to understand why, at the age of forty-four, he went mad. This book includes a selection of more than thirty photographs of Nietzsche, his friends and his work sites. Seventeen of the philosopher’s musical compositions, which are key to a deeper understanding of his intellectual project are available online.
To listen to Nietzsche's compositions, visit: http://www.cambridge.org/us/nietzschemusic
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Table of ContentsPart I. Youth: 1. Da campo; 2. Pforta; 3. Bonn; 4. Leipzig; 5. Schopenhauer; Part II. The Reluctant Professor: 6. Basel; 7. Richard Wagner and the birth of The Birth of Tragedy; 8. War and aftermath; 9. Anal philology; 10. Untimely Meditations; 11. Aimez vous Brahms?; 12. Aufwiedersehen Bayreuth; 13. Sorrento; 14. Human, All-Too-Human; Part III. The Nomad: 15. The wanderer and his shadow; 16. Dawn; 17. The Gay Science; 18. The Salomé affair; 19. Zarathustra; 20. Nietzsche's circle of women; 21. Beyond Good and Evil; 22. Clearing the decks; 23. The Genealogy of Morals; 24. 1888; 25. Catastrophe; 26. The rise and fall of The Will to Power; 27. The end; Postscript: Nietzsche's madness.
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I've read a lot of biographies on Friedrich Nietzsche, and I liked Julian Young's the best. Young covers Nietzsche's life, his philosophical influences, his feuds, and his philosophy very thoroughly. Young has a very clear way of presenting philosophical ideas and doesn't get bogged down in scholarly jargon. He speaks plain English. This is a big book, but Young's clear writing made the journey worth it. 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.