77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Very much maligned and misunderstood,
By A Customer
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This review is from: Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (Classics) (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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