Thus Spake Zarathustra (Dover Thrift edition)by Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Common (Translator), Nietzsche
A tremendously influential philosophical work of the late nineteenth century, Thus Spake Zarathustra is also a literary masterpiece by one of the most important thinkers of modern times. In it, the ancient Persian religious leader Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) serves as the voice for Friedrich Nietzsche's views, which include the introduction of the controversial doctrine of the Übermensch, or "superman."
Although later perverted by Nazi propagandists, the Übermensch was conceived by Nietzsche to designate the ultimate goal of human existence as the achievement of greatness of will and being. He was convinced that the individual, instead of resigning himself to the weakness of being human and worshipping perfection only possible in the next world (at least in the Christian view), should try to perfect himself during his earthly existence, and transcend the limitations of conventional morality. By doing so, the Übermensch would emerge victorious, standing in stark contrast to "the last man" — an uncreative conformist and complacent hedonist who embodies Nietzsche's critique of modern civilization, morality, and the Christian religion.
Written in a passionate, quasi-biblical style, Thus Spake Zarathustra is daring in form and filled with provocative, thought-provoking concepts. Today, the work is regarded as a forerunner of modern existentialist thought, a book that has provoked and stimulated students of philosophy and literature for more than 100 years.
What People are Saying About This
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Thomas Common's origional translation is far superior to the later ones, both in the beauty of the wording and closeness to the German text. Unfortuately, this version officiously and unforgivably does-away with Common's 'archaic'English (e.g.'thou' and 'methinks', etc) and some of his more uncommon words (e.g.'abut'and 'gay'), thereby very much spoiling it. If people can't realise that 'gay' in this context doen't actually refer to homesexual, then they really shouldn't be reading such a book since they certainly won't understand Nietzsche's thoughts. When is one supposed to use words such as 'sepulchre' and 'abut' if not in a deep, poetic book like this? Instead of Ludovici's excellent notes this version substitutes a deeply patronising and whats more egregiously ignorant essay by the same man (I understand one is not allowed to use expletives) who spoilt Commons text. I sincerely advise that you buy the (5 star!)Dover thrift edition instead which thankfully (I believe) retains both Common's origional text and Ludovici's essay - plus its only a fraction of the price!
I'm now orthodox Catholic(former agnostic/atheist), however i have many atheist friends, and they all rave about Nietzsche. I must say Nietzsche is provocative, and a very talented as a writter, however i wasen't very impressed with his philosophy initself, i thought it was an interesting story, however Nietzsche seemed to fail to actually prove his contentions(to a sufficiant degree). I thought it was interesting that he chose for his character to claim 'God is dead' AFTER talking with the hermit, rather than choosing to creat a socratic style diologue(although i know he beleived Plato to be boring). His overman(or superman) theory is interesting, however i think Dostoevskies 'Crime and Punishment' refutes the pragmatic nature of the idea, and the validity of the idea itself. Not to ramble:). Intresting, provocative book, but i felt it failed to live up to its reputation, Id'd give it three stars, two because of Nietzschies' (amazing)talent as a writter, 1 for being provocative, but he looses two because i fell his philosophy is erronious
A good classic read for the philosophy student.