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Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None
     

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Stephen Metcalf (Translator)
 

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This revelatory new translation by strips Thus Spoke Zarathustra down to its foundations in Gothic horror, and discovers a much darker book than previously understood. Not content to focus erringly on God is dead, this new translation sings a dithyramb to the earth at the same time as it mercilessly hunts down the concept of humanity to its theological bedrock. Epic

Overview

This revelatory new translation by strips Thus Spoke Zarathustra down to its foundations in Gothic horror, and discovers a much darker book than previously understood. Not content to focus erringly on God is dead, this new translation sings a dithyramb to the earth at the same time as it mercilessly hunts down the concept of humanity to its theological bedrock. Epic and neo-classical, minimalist and ultra-modern; at times aggressive and confrontational, at others tender, lyrical, grotesque and comical - this is the closest reproduction of the tone and tenor of the German original available in English today. One of the most controversial books in the history of European literature it is a founding classic of modernism in philosophy and poetics.

Zarathustra - Star of Gold - the sun-worshipping prophet of the earliest strain of monotheism, returns to recant and condemn his own ideas in the name of an entity he calls the Übermensch. He wanders through a familiar land whose customs, laws, and values have been mortgaged to religion and commerce. The people there believe they exist at the summit of civilization. Zarathustra educates them that the opposite is true.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983884217
Publisher:
Sun Vision Press
Publication date:
05/28/2012
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Nova Apocalypsis
Nietzsche's reputation has always thrived on its appeal to the anomalous, that 'transgression against a secret, unfamiliar rule of the game.' Against a European age of optimism in science and technology; of material and territorial expansion (usually at the expense of Asia and Africa); and of a triumphant tone in philosophical biology that, for the first time, tore the natural world out of the phantasm of divine origins and into the idea, dialectical or otherwise, of endless progress - he offered little more than complete disgust. His term for all this apparent progress was nihilism. This is what attracted Stefan George, Nietzsche's first populariser, to his anachronistic, 'untimely' aesthetic. Nova Apocalypsis is, in its brutal doggerel, atypical of George's melancholic, introspective and highly lyrical Stimmung. It is a howl of rage which, while lamenting the fall of the Christian religion and the insectoid communion that consummates itself in its dust, also uncompromisingly cribs its imagery from Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In this poem, we are not told who the God of the Flies, a familiar, biblical image of the Devil, might be - we are just left with the sinister image of the larval hatching of his reign. However, a companion piece to this poem (both of which were written in 1907), entitled der Widerchrist, is more explicit. Here we encounter the Lord of the Vermin, who creates things from dirt that look just like gold; and proclaims himself to be greater than the dying Endchrist in his willingness to attribute the miraculating forces of production to himself, as material wealth lures the mad massing Volk to squander what remains of all yesteryear's charms, before dying like swine in a burning farmyard, as the call of the Last Judgement sounds. In spite of all the apocalyptic, biblical imagery, George's real lament is for the mechanization of the German language under the Kaiserreich (1871 - 1918). The voice of the God of the Flies is both the embodiment of rapidly advancing capitalism and, probably, that of the Kaiser. ..... from the translator's introduction

Meet the Author

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism, nihilism and postmodernism.

Stephen Metcalf is a Professor of Linguistics at Warwick University, UK.

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