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Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One is (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Friedrich Nietzsche , Michael Tanner , R. J. Hollingdale
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Nov 1992 Penguin Classics
In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome - Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ - and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his 'forthcoming revelation of all values'. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche's main beliefs and is in every way his last testament.

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Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One is (Penguin Classics) + Beyond Good and Evil (Penguin Classics) + Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (26 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140445153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140445152
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13.2 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Frederich Nietzsche (1844-1900) became the chair of classical philology at Basel University at the age of 24 until his bad health forced him to retire in 1879. He divorced himself from society until his final collapse in 1899 when he became insane. He died in 1900.

R.J. Hollingdale translated 11 of Nietzsche's books and published 2 books about him.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE fortunateness of my existence, its uniqueness perhaps, lies in its fatality: to express it in the form of a riddle, as my father I have already died, as my mother I still live and grow old. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy in Praxis 23 Aug 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Madness was a psycho somatic reaction to the world around him. It was not Nietzsche going mad through genes, it was isolation and loneliness, need, longing, desire drifting inward because the only conversations he could have were with himself. His fathers death finally detonated upon him. As a child he endured the abyss and is spun out from an early age. The world had become destablised and instead he created a new world, where he excelled in an Ancient Greece. Socrates disturbed his rhythm with his reason and dialectics and Fred sought to assimilate him.

Nietzsche's self affirmation embodied within the subtitles of Ecce Home denotes the last stand, before the tides of modern ennui washed over him. Searching for meaning he found silliness and backwardness, locked hand in hand in an infantilism, shutting out his version of reality, the flux of charades people inhabit to make sense of the universal meaninglessness they parade in various hallucinations of reality.

Church, Science, Socialism and Materialism had captured the imaginations and reduced everyone to cyphers, regulated by machines and customs so their individual essence became hidden within these greater mass projections. The social world drifted into collective fantasies, that provided individual recompense. His warnings about the rush to embrace more alienation, was, and is still, unheeded. The calls for a more authentic life fell on deaf sodden ground, as satiation in must have events, took over the imagination. Authenticity became a shallow pre-occupation.

This was not the ravings of a mad man, they were embracing parties, nationalities, events and beliefs. They sought salvation in this world as cyphers of greater systems.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly autobiography 27 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I like Muhammed Ali. I like his elan, audacity, humour and lack of humility. Nietzsche, in this autobiography is the same and not the same. I find it an extremely moving reckoning of the life that one man had so far lived; alone. Nietzshce gives us some classsic phrases: 'I am not a man, I am dynamite' and, speaking of himself in the third person, 'one is either born after him or before him'. Many readers have noted the unchained egotism as a sign of the madness that was to possess him in a few weeks time, yet there are moments in this book of truly profound and moving humility. Yes, humility, a quality not often associated with Nietzsche, despite being one of his most noticeable and endearing traits;'Perhaps I am a buffon', he writes. Never in the books of any other philosopher that I have read has such an honest admission been made. And that is what makes Nietzsch such a startling figure. He was as clever as they come, he attempted an unparalled rational/emotional assault on life, wrote books that are outstanding, was a historian, psychologist and epigrammist of genius, was continually ignored by the world, and still, summing up the his life's work thus far, knowing how he towered above so many, still he is able to admit to his reader, to himself, that, perhaps, he has got it all wrong. This book is an joyful, witty read.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How One Becomes What One Is 5 Sep 2000
By A Customer
There seems to be a common belief among Nietzsche scholars that while 'ecco homo' has interest, this interest is largely limited to the study of a man slowly succumbing to his eventual fate of mental collapse. Thus the book's ironic, perhaps parodic, and psychological/philosophical elements are ignored, and regarded as less worthy of citation and analysis than Nietzcshe's notebook jottings that constitute his nachlass.
I think this is a highly suspect position, and that 'ecco homo' contains interesting philosophical insights on, for example, Nietzcshe's health as causing his perspectivism, the importance of 'little things' on great thought, as well as incredible prophetic insights concerning the history of the twentieth century.
In short, don't be put off by the chapter titles or those who consider the book merely as the record of incipient madness. This isn't to deny that Nietzsche wasn't at his intellectual peak - far from it. It is true that he was past his best, and that megalomaniac tendencies are clear throughout this strange work, but i maintain that it contains insights worthy of serious attention.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecce Homo is Nietzsche's testament. 10 Oct 2000
By A Customer
In my opinion Nietzsche's Ecce Homo is his most moving work; it is a portrait of a man celebrating his existence in the world regardless of his suffering. Perhaps Nietzsche somehow knew that the mental illness which was eventually to incapacitate him was close on the horizon and that he had little time to set the record straight and leave a personal account of his life as he lived it. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche declared 'I am dynamite' and was aware that his work could be used by those who he opposed the most. He was right. Ultimately, Ecce Homo is Nietzsche's final self-portrait and a testament to the celebration of life against diversity.
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