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Basic Writings of Nietzsche

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Indispensible collection of Nietzsche's Writings

By booklover "booklover" - November 25, 1999

This book is the best collection of Nietzsche's writings. Kaufmann's translation is incomparable; it has energy, wit; its language is a delight. In other translations Nietzsche comes off as much more ponderous.The Birth of Tragedy is a good place to start for knowledge of the early Nietzsche and is an indispensible book for understanding what came later. The Genelogy of Morals is the least aphoristic of Nietzsche's writings and provides an extended treatment of Nietzsche's famous and infamous views on morality, especially Christian morality. Beyond Good and Evil is aphoristic brilliance containing many of Nietzsche's most famous ideas.The one thing that would make this book perfect is the addition of Kaufmann's translation of the Gay Science.For those interested in Nietzsche there is no better place to start than this book.Nietzsche like Plato and unlike most philosophers really knew how to write. His writing is brilliant, original, and his style has no... read more

A Good Place to Start

By Z. Liu - July 31, 2001

The first work of Philosophy I slogged through was Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, in a standalone edition translated by Kaufman. I suppose that is as good a place to start as any. The most important thing that this volume highlights is how easily anything Niezsche said can be so easily taken out of context and abused by anyone who so chooses. For example, his "blond beast" is quite literally a lion, and not an Aryan Superman.Work by work analysis:The Birth of Tragedy -- Only attempt this as your first Nietzsche book if you already have a good understanding of how Greek Tragedy works. At the very least, you should have read Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, Sophocles' Theban Plays, some Euripides, Aristophanes' The Clouds, Plato's Apology, and if possible, Aristotle's Poetics. Also, as Kaufman makes clear, the last ten sections, about Wagner, should be taken with a shakerful of salt.The Aphorisms -- It is very easy to take these gems especially out of context... read more

Great Companion to *The Portable Nietzsche*

By M. PARADISO-MICHAU - August 11, 2005

In any edited text, one needs to be cautious of the editor's biases and potential heavy-handedness (e.g. intentional omissions). In *Basic Writings of Nietzsche,* the editor, Walter Kaufmann, has selected five of Nietzsche's volumes (*The Birth of Tragedy,* *Beyond Good and Evil,* *On the Genealogy of Morals,* *The Case of Wagner,* and *Ecce Homo*) which touch on aspects of Nietzsche's overall trajectory. Also included are selections from *Human, All-Too Human,* *Mixed Opinions and Maxims,* *The Wanderer and His Shadow,* *The Dawn,* and *The Gay Science.*

Kaufmann is not ashamed to refer the reader to his own works on Nietzsche, especially *Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist* and his edited *The Portable Nietzsche*, which contains the full-texts of *Thus Spoke Zarathustra,* *Twilight of the Idols,* *The Anti-Christ,* *Nietzsche Contra Wagner,* and miscellaneous, yet relevant shorter excerpts, essays, and letters.

Together, these two edited... read more

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