A Nietzsche Reader (Classics) Paperback – 14 Jun 2004
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About the Author
Friedrich Nietzsche was born near Leipzig in 1844, the son of a Lutheran clergyman. At 24 he was appointed to the chair of classical philology at Basle University, where he stayed until forced by his health to retire in 1879. Here, he wrote all his literature, including Thus Spake Zarathustra, and developed his idea of the Superman. He became insane in 1889 and remained so until his death in 1900.
R. J. Hollingdale translated eleven of Nietzsche's books and published two books about him; he also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for Penguin Classics. He was the honorary president of the British Nietzsche Society. R. J. Hollingdale died on 28 September 2001.
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Top customer reviews
R.J.Hollingdale, who became famous for his sensitive translations of Nietzsche's books, has packed their essential flavour and many of their most important thoughts into less than 300 pages. Most of the book comprises selected passages from Hollingdale's own translations, which make Nietzsche's famously complex prose relatively easy to understand. (Always remembering that Nietzsche himself did not want or expect anyone to read his books quickly or without considerable effort). A brief Introduction, which serves only to explain the book's approach, is followed by a Preface which explains in Nietzsche's own words how he wanted his books to be read. The rest of the book is divided into three Parts, corresponding very roughly to Nietzsche's early, intermediate, and later thought. The book ends with a Postscript made up of assorted maxims and definitions, and a short bibliography (dating to 1977, when the book was first published). There is no index. The front cover, however, shows a brooding, romantic mountain scene from a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, which surely reflects Nietzsche's love of the open and especially desolate mountain regions.
This is a far easier approach to Nietzsche than trying to read, say, Thus Spake Zarathustra. As good (and essential)as TSZ is it's unlikely to give a great deal of insight into its author if read without the backstory. But whatever happens do read Hollingdale's excellent introduction, in the final two and a half pages he succeeds in giving an overview of Nietzsche that seems to have eluded many an academic.
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