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The Portable Nietzsche (Viking Portable Library) Paperback – 1 Dec 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; US Ed edition (1 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140150625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140150629
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Prussia in 1844. After the death of his father, a Lutheran minister, Nietzsche was raised from the age of five by his mother in a household of women. In 1869 he was appointed Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, where he taught until 1879 when poor health forced him to retire. He never recovered from a nervous breakdown in 1889 and died eleven years later. Known for saying that "god is dead," Nietzsche propounded his metaphysical construct of the superiority of the disciplined individual (superman) living in the present over traditional values derived from Christianity and its emphasis on heavenly rewards. His ideas were appropriated by the Fascists, who turned his theories into social realities that he had never intended.

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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Gerard on 6 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback
In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche writes: "...It seems to me that to take a book of mine into his hands is one of the rarest distinctions anyone can confer upon himself - I even assume he removes his shoes when he does so."
The words in the review summary, and also immediately above, demonstrate both the impact Nietzsche believed his writings would come to have, and the wonderfully sarcastic tone evident in much of his work.
Walter Kaufmann included some inspiring sections from Ecce Homo, as indeed he has done with many of Nietzsche's most valuable published works and unpublished notes and letters etc. This is, of course, in addition to the complete and unabridged texts of Nietzsche's four major works.
Kaufmann's introduction provides much welcome biographical information on Nietzsche; in addition, a preface to each of the major chapters is included. I felt that Kaufmann's contribution substantially added to my experience of the book. He seemed always to be close to hand when difficult terminology was encountered. As a result of this positive experience, I have gone on to buy a further two books edited by Walter Kaufmann.
If you buy this book, I am convinced you will agree that almost every page exposes the reader to challenging, inspirational and (at least upon first encountering it) harrowing material. If one should happen upon a page of relative calm, why not linger awhile and enjoy the poetic brilliance of Nietzsche's rhapsodic writing, his cutting humour and that wonderful, wonderful sarcasm!...
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Palindrome Mordnilap on 28 July 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Please note this review refers to the KINDLE EDITION ONLY.

The Portable Nietzsche is an excellent book, providing a superb translation of the very best of Nietzsche's works by the greatest translator of Nietzsche there has ever been: Walter Kaufmann.

However! Kindle users beware. Not for the first time, this is a Kindle edition that has been thrown together without any care at all. It is painfully obvious that the publisher has simply taken a paperback version and scanned it through OCR (optical character recognition) software without bothering to check the results. There are so many typos that I can't even believe they ran the thing through a spellchecker! Exclamation marks become rendered as the number 1, "m" becomes "n" and words run into one another frequently. This distracts from the enjoyment of Nietzsche's words and there really is no excuse for the publisher to hide behind. They are charging top price for this Kindle edition and the very least one could expect in return would be for it to have been proofread.

Overall, whilst I enjoy the convenience of the Kindle itself, I would urge Kindle owners to boycott buying the Kindle edition of this book until or unless the publishers see fit to correct the gross number of mistakes with which it is riddled.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "eramus0" on 24 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback
Only 2 points need to be made about this book:
1. It contains full texts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols, and The Antichrist, and Nietzsche contra Wagner, plus all the greatest passsages from his other books.
2. It is translated by Kaufmann, and Kaufmann tranlsations are the best
Simple, if you love Nietzsche and your collections do not comply with points 1 or 2, then you need this book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 9 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
This anthology of Nietzsche's writing is a marvelous work - Kaufmann's translations make the philosopher's unique style accessible and interesting to the English reader; it doesn't resort to false formality or dry academic prose as is often the case in translation of such material, but rather sets things in lively and dynamic tones, much as Nietzsche's own writing and tendency toward the dramatic was noted by his contemporaries.
Nietzsche's father was a Lutheran minister, but he died five years after Nietzsche's birth in 1844. Nietzsche was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunts; later in his life, his sister would become executor of his estate (after Nietzsche had become incapable of managing his own affairs) and reshape his philosophy and writings in her own idea - this becomes a running motif in later anthologies of Nietzsche; editors can quote and clip to fit their own agendas. In some ways, that is true of Kaufmann's text here, but in much less inappropriate ways than others, particularly Nietzsche's first editor, his sister.
Nietzsche was a star pupil from his earliest days at university in Bonn and Leipzig. His formal study was in classical philology, but his attentions turned in various directions quickly during his writing and professional life - he had an intense interest in drama and the arts, with Wagner's music and Greek drama in principal interest. His first book was devoted to these topics - 'The Birth of Tragedy'. It was not highly regarded at the time, but has since become much more appreciated as an anticipation of later developments in philosophy and aesthetics.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection contains all Nietzsche's most important texts, except `Beyond Good and Evil'.
In those texts, Nietzsche shouts, exhorts, explains or translates via metaphors, poems, pastiches, maxims and aphorisms in a manic delirious style his vision on life, man and woman, good and evil, freedom, `natural' laws and abject institutions (State and Church).

Extreme disappointment in mankind
In `Thus spoke Zarathustra', Nietzsche clamors, that `God died, and that now we want the `Ûbermensch' to live.' But, why not man?
Nietzsche is extremely disappointed by man's refusal to live a `natural' life, instead of that of a slave: `I walk among men as among the fragments and limbs of men - but no human beings.'
`Man is something that must be overcome.' We must prepare the emergence of `Ûbermenschen'.
One of the few `Ûbermenschen' he saw around him (Richard Wagner) turned at the end of his life with his opera `Parsifal' into an `Orpheus of secret misery', defending `Rome's faith without the text'.

What is this `natural' life?
`Natural' life is unfettered freedom. Man should create his own laws of good and evil: `Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law?'
Life is selfishness, the will to assume responsibility for oneself, the lust to rule, to live `with the manly instincts which delight in war and victory.' To be one who is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's own cause.(!)

The culprits of the fact, that mankind lives in fetters, are Christianity, the philosophers of reason, the defenders of equal rights for everyman and the State.

The Christian morality is anti-natural, because it is against the body, the senses, the instincts.
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