Twilight of the Idols with the Antichrist and Ecce Homo

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Wordsworth Editions, 2007 - Philosophy - 260 pages
Translated by Antony M. Ludovici. With an Introduction by Ray Furness The three works in this collection, all dating from Nietzsche's last lucid months, show him at his most stimulating and controversial: the portentous utterances of the prophet (together with the ill-defined figure of the Ubermensch) are forsaken, as wit, exuberance and dazzling insights predominate, forcing the reader to face unpalatable insights and to rethink every commonly accepted truth. Thinking with Nietzsche, in Jaspers' words, means holding one's own against him, and we are indeed refreshed and challenged by the vortex of his thoughts, by concepts which test and probe. In 'The Twilight of the Idols', 'The Antichrist', and 'Ecce Homo' Nietzsche writes at breakneck speed of his provenance, his adversaries and his hopes for mankind; the books are largely epigrammatic and aphoristic, allowing this poet-philosopher to bewilder and fascinate us with their strangeness and their daring. He who fights with monsters, Nietzsche once told us, should look to it that he himself does not become one, and when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. Reader, beware. AUTHOR: When the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) lapsed into insanity in 1889, he had little conception of the fame and controversy his works would come to attract. Initially influential on writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Thomas Mann, his ideas would be misappropriated by the Nazis in the 1930s to support their policies on anti-Semitism, nationalism and warfare. It would be some years, and with the benefit of better translations, before his works would become more properly evaluated.
 

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

The first interesting thing I discovered about Nietzsche is something I suspected when I read Beyond Good and Evil: Nietzsche "learnt much from La Rochefoucauld" (p. viii). And to start off with first ... Read full review

Contents

How the true world ultimately became a fable
22
The improvers of mankind
37
owe to the ancients
83
The Antichrist
97
Preface
167
am so clever
186
write such excellent books
204
am a fatality
253
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in 1844 in Roecken, Prussia, and studied classical philology at the Universities of Bonn and Leipzig. While at Leipzig he read the works of Schopenhauer, which greatly impressed him. He also became a disciple of the composer Richard Wagner. At the very early age of 25, Nietzsche was appointed professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, Nietzsche served in the medical corps of the Prussian army. While treating soldiers he contracted diphtheria and dysentery; he was never physically healthy afterward. Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music (1872), was a radical reinterpretation of Greek art and culture from a Schopenhaurian and Wagnerian standpoint. By 1874 Nietzsche had to retire from his university post for reasons of health. He was diagnosed at this time with a serious nervous disorder. He lived the next 15 years on his small university pension, dividing his time between Italy and Switzerland and writing constantly. He is best known for the works he produced after 1880, especially The Gay Science (1882), Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-85), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), The Antichrist (1888), and Twilight of the Idols (1888). In January 1889, Nietzsche suffered a sudden mental collapse; he lived the last 10 years of his life in a condition of insanity. After his death, his sister published many of his papers under the title The Will to Power. Nietzsche was a radical questioner who often wrote polemically with deliberate obscurity, intending to perplex, shock, and offend his readers. He attacked the entire metaphysical tradition in Western philosophy, especially Christianity and Christian morality, which he thought had reached its final and most decadent form in modern scientific humanism, with its ideals of liberalism and democracy. It has become increasingly clear that his writings are among the deepest and most prescient sources we have for acquiring a philosophical understanding of the roots of 20th-century culture.

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