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 Ubermensch, or "superman."
Although later perverted by Nazi propagandists, the Ubermensch 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 Ubermensch 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.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
About the Author
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE was born on October 15, 1844, to the family of a Protestant minister in the town of Röcken, which is located in the Saxony-Anhalt region of what is now eastern Germany. After studing philosophy in Bonn and Leipzig, Nietzsche became a professor at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 1869. Later he opted to become a Swiss citizen.
While working in Switzerland, he published his first book, a literary work titled The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. This volume was produced during Nietzsche’s friendship with the composer Richard Wagner, though only a few years would pass before the two would part ways as a result of personal and intellectual differences.
In failing health and unable to devote himself full time to both teaching and independent writing, Nietzsche chose to resign his university position. During the next decade he wrote such works as Thus Spake Zarathustra (most of which appeared in 1883), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), Genealogy of Morals (1887), Twilight of the Gods (1888), Antichrist (1888), and Ecce Homo (1888).
His collapse while in Turin, Italy, in early 1899, would prove the beginning of a long and arduous struggle with ill health and insanity. Nietzsche died in the care of his family in Weimar on August 25, 1900, just a few weeks prior to his fifty-sixth birthday.
Nietzsche advocated the view that all humankind should reject otherworldliness and instead rely on its own creative potential to discover values that best serve the social good. His infamous “superman” or “overman” is one who has recognized how to channel individual passions in the direction of creative outlets. In rejecting the morality of the masses, Nietzsche celebrates the pursuit of classical virtues.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Yes and i dont like how things r working in this clan please meet me at dark empire for more info if thats ok lease come there are two other cats there too hope to c u there
He snaps the dark cat's neck and trots out.-Frostbite
One of Nietzsche's top 3 books, I must disagree with the review written by the 17 year old above who fails to understand the fluidity of language and the reason why archaisms are just that. Who reads old english today anyway? (for me, the original of Beowulf was very difficult, but Seamus Heaney's modern interpretation is wonderful!) As Nietzsche would say, 'Den weg namlich -- den gibt es nicht!'