Translated by Thomas Common, with introduction by Mrs Förster-Nietzsche, & notes by Anthony M. Ludovici
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most influential thinkers of the late 1800s, penning critiques on philosophy, religion and social norms. Nietzsche’s controversial thoughts on what he saw as religious and political repression emerged early on in his life – as a schoolboy he wrote “Very often submission to the will of God and humility are but a covering mantle for cowardly hesitation to face our destiny with determination.”
Thus Spake Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s magnum opus on the subject of God, morality and political idealism. The legendary Persian philosopher and moralist, Zarathustra (Zoroaster), is his choice for the central character because, he says, “Zarathustra created the most portentous error, morality, consequently he should also be the first to perceive that error.” So it falls on Zarathustra to turn his own original doctrine on its head. He takes on the task of seeking the truth – “to aim straight”, as Nietzsche puts it – and finds his answer after much soul-searching.
The book takes the form of a story in four parts, styled with a biblical cadence. Zarathustra the radical thinker comes down from his mountain cave and attempts to persuade the people to throw off their stifling preconceptions of God and other-worldly hopes. He entreats them to dispense with life-denying concepts such as pity, humility, guilt, and to seek instead the superman, or übermensch, in themselves. This ‘beyond man’ would move past the human condition and would create his own life-affirming values and purpose.
Thus Spake Zarathustra remains a provocative work – and is all the more valuable for it.
|Формат:||22.9cm x 15.2cm x 1.4cm|
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