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Thus Spoke Zarathustra Paperback – 28 Feb 1974

3.9 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (28 Feb. 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140441182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140441185
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The most famous Nietzsche book which formed part of his 'campaign against morality' […] the German philosopher explores the ethical consequences of the 'death of God'. Some say the book was a catalyst in Hitler's thinking and the rise of the far-right, others that Zarathustra was the most important text on human potential ever written. Hear it for yourself. The Naxos audiobook also includes helpful introductions to every chapter. --Bukowski on Bukowski zine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. S. Close on 25 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a lovely reprint of an old edition of zarathustra. A wonderful copy to read, but academics would do better to purchase the penguin classics version (Hollingdale trans.) principally because this edition has no bibliographical data.
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Format: Paperback
Before I start I should say that 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' is an excellent book. It sets forth the majority of Nietschze's views through the mouth of the prophet Zoroaster. The closest thing to a criticism I can levy is that his succeeding works like 'beyond good and evil' might be a bit more suitable if you're a philosophy student like me since they set forward his views a bit more bluntly (on the other hand why not read both). I would normally give it a happy five stars, however in this case I'm not reviewing just the book in general but rather this particular edition. The translator has littered the book with exagerated archaisms. What the intention of this was is a mystery to me but the effect is clear, the book is near to unreadable. Tacking -eth to the end of every verb and sprinkling in thous and thees isn't an improvement and I can hardly believe that it represents in any way the original German. Don't be tempted by the low price, you'll regret it.
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Format: Paperback
I hate to give Thus Spoke Zarathustra less than five stars in any form, but Common's translation is just unreadable. For a more readable (and better) translation use Kaufmann's version. Despite this, Zarathustra is Nietzsche's masterpiece and one of the greatest books of all time!
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Format: Paperback
While its certainly a challenge to dim the vibrancy and insight of Nietzsche work, this translation certainly rises to the occasion.

Many key concepts in 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' are marred by inexplicable translation errors.

For example Nietzsche's concept of the 'ubermensch' and the 'letze mensch' are rendered as "the superman" and "the ultimate man", whereas a more accurate translation is "the overman" and "the last man".

The last man and the overman represent polar opposite concepts in Nietzsche's view. The overman represents humanities highest potential, the meaning of the earth. an uncertain future that is to be achieved by an unerring commitment to transformation both personal and societal. By contrast the last man represents modern man in its most complacent and static form. A man of neither highs nor lows. A man of comfort, not chaos, a man who can no longer 'give birth to a dancing star'.

In the original text the intended difference between the last man and the overman is clear. "Ultimate man" confers a sense of "greatest" that is completely contrary to Nietzsche's original intention and makes the passages seem confused and ill defined.

While the genius of Nietzsche's work still shines through for the most part, one wonders how well R.J Hollingdale understood Nietzsche or German in some of the many inaccurate translations in this book.

I highly recommend this book to any lovers of philsophy and the human condition. However the Walter Kaufman translation is far superior. it avoids muddying Nietzsche original intent. It's unafraid to use direct translations of german words even if they sound less poetic, and as such retains the clarity of Nietzsche original sentiment
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not sure what to say about this. When I opened the package the book that came out appeared not to be the one I had ordered. Both front and back covers proclaimed John Locke's Second Treatise of Government. Definitely not what I ordered. Further examination showed that the spine said "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" and the contents and text WERE what I had ordered. So I shall keep it partly because it amuses me that a book of philosophy should be such an external muddle.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Previously I had read a bad translation of"Beyond Good and Evil" and thought Nietzsche rather obtuse and fanatical,but this work redeems him and makes him more accessible.The book is written in a mock biblical style and divided into 81 brief chapters which makes it easier to digest and use as a reference.I should also mention that the syntax used is of an archaic style and although it reads straight forwardly it may be confusing and irritating for some who would rather not make the effort.
The story concerns a Persian prophet his travels and philosophical musings and his search for the "higher man".It is set in some indeterminate past and at time takes on mythological qualities reminiscent of more ancient texts.
This is a fine book to read if you find yourself despairing of the mob mentality that prevails in society and it will give you plenty of encouragement and support to plough your own furrow in life.Although it is not hard to see how Nietzsche's writings could be used to fuel fanaticism ,to see it for this quality alone is to miss the overall message and it is more balanced than some would have you believe.
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Format: Paperback
In "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" Nietzsche takes us on the journey of a hermit, which is told in such an eccentric manner that one has to re-read the pages of this book a few times before we can discern a meaning. I oddly read this book as one of the first philosophical works for me to ever touch on, and I must say it set me on course to study more and more philosophy simply for it's releaving brilliance and feeling. To claim to understand Nietzsche completely would be nonsensical, rather I understood instead much of what he advocated, that people be individuals and that they live for their own happyness and to try and not have pity. He saw pity as the means to all of the evil in the world and the reason for all of mankinds problems and despair, instead he tried to go "beyond good and evil" with the aim of making a human being of such purity than all of mankinds problems would be removed. He was also like many of his time, somewhat of an elitist but not in the sense we have come to take it, also he was by no means a fascist as one review would like to claim. Instead he believed people of similar kinds and beliefs should form together as friends who loved each other in the truest form and who would fight for each other to the death. His main battle was against the melanchoy, and much of what he says is in metaphors and can be easily misunderstood which is why it's important to read this book for yourself, and to ignore the propoganda. Whether Nietzsche was correct or not, is rather of little important but what can be taken from reading this book is a mindset you shall find from nowhere else, it is a challenge to what we believe and more importantly one of the most joyful books I've ever touched my hands upon.Read more ›
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