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The Gay Science (Dover Philosophical Classics) [Paperback]

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche , Thomas Common
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2006 Dover Philosophical Classics
"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.." This is the book in which Nietzsche put forth his boldest declaration. It is also his most personal, featuring some of the author's most important discussions of art, morality, knowledge, and, ultimately, truth.

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The Gay Science (Dover Philosophical Classics) + Thus Spoke Zarathustra + Twilight of  the Idols and The Anti-Christ (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (1 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486452468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486452463
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.4 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking apart science for inspection 22 Aug 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fred took apart the hallucination of religion by revealing its psychological pantomine. Showing the reverse of repression he encouraged the strong willed to think beyond God and build a life of solitary despair looking into the abyss whilst balancing on to holding a future vision. Religion meanwhile crushed the soul with its various strictures. This contains more quips about his thinking, built around women, religion, science, socialism, logic,customs,law, relationships.

Science and its mechanic view point is severely castigated as a partial view. It built a world on belief just as religion had done previously. An ascendancy to God as he details Newton scurrying to assemble a new scaffolding to reach the heights.

The only true reality resided in the emotions within the body and these were denigrated by religion and science, so they appeared instead in sensual music and the written word, but never allowed full reign as the noise emitted was drowned in objective interpretation rather than inhabiting the moment.

This book allows the pagan to explore the world behind the facade to the Dyonisian thrill lying under the performed charade. It has no system, all the insights are built from extended aphorisms and verse, but climbs into various crescendo's, revealing the paucity of everyday life, that makes a reader pause and smile or go nooooooo and creates a shake of the head.

Take the Time to dip in, you will not find a ready made suit, you have to create you own bespoke one from the cloth he has provided.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gay Science 24 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kaufmann has done another excellent job with his translation of Nietzsche's most complete collection of thoughts. It is here that the famous adage "God is Dead" is first decreed. The Gay Science is a beautiful work of literature, and at the same time, a sort of summation of many of Nietzsche's previous and later books. The Gay Science is a must for anyone interested in Nietzsche's philosophy. And no one translates Nietzsche (or any other German philosopher) better than Walter Kaufmann.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearls of Wisdom 1 Aug 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Probably the most beautiful and important of all Nietzsche's books. It is here that the famous fragment `God is dead' appears (The Madman, book III: 125) and a passage on Eternal Return (The Greatest Weight).

The best way to get acquainted with Nietzsche is to read him direct:

The Greatest Weight. -"What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again - and you with it, speck of dust!
-Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god, and never had I heard anything more divine!" If this thought were to gain possession of you it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and everything, "Do you desire this once more and innumerable times more?", would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed you would have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal conformation and seal? (book IV: 341)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much maligned and misunderstood 1 Dec 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of all the philosophers you are ever likely to come across, Nietzsche is perhaps the easiest to read. His creative prose is graceful and poetic, whilst his aphoristic style delivers quick, witty and deeply profound insights.

However, whilst his writings are the easiest to read, they are also the hardest to truly understand - and most of the time this is completely intentional.

The result of this is that people dip into his works and come away believing that they fully understand Nietzsche's philosophy, when in reality they have allowed snippets of insight to snowball in entirely the wrong directions, resulting in gross misinterpretations. Look up the case of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb for the most extreme example of this.

Unfortunately, the only way to truly understand the development of Nietzsche's thought is to study all his works, beginning with the Birth of Tragedy and ending with Ecce Homo (and possibly The Will to Power, providing it is understood in context). It is also necessary to have a good background knowledge of antique philosophy and more recent 'influences' such as Spinoza, Kant, Hegel & Schopenhauer. Only in this way is it possible to ever come close to the true meaning behind these works.

However, Nietzsche's work is prolific - and most people will have neither the time nor the inclination to undertake this kind of project. Therefore, it is advisable to at least read a couple of introductory texts before diving into a book like this.
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