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Basic Writings of Nietzsche by Friedrich…
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Basic Writings of Nietzsche

by Friedrich Nietzsche

Other authors: Walter Arnold Kaufmann (Editor)

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It would be impossible to give an actual review to this book. The profundity of all that it contains simply defies any attempt at a concise interpretation. Therefore, I will simply make a minor comment on the edition itself.

This project of this book is invaluable. The scope, depth, and insight provided by the editors and Kaufmann himself are of inestimable importance. It is easy to get lost, even the most robust of readers, in such a compendium, and I thank the editors of this volume for providing that.

Thus the criticism. I feel that a two volume set of ALL of Nietzsche's work should have been attempted. With the possible exception of Zarathustra, I feel that it is more than justified to have in toto the five volumes that this book excerpts from in its section entitled "Seventy-five Aphorisms from Five Volumes." Were one to include these in one volume, and then conclude the second volume with "Twilight of the Idols" and "The Antichrist," I feel they would have provided an even greater contribution to Nietzsche scholarship. It may seem cumbersome to have so much in such little space, but when it comes to translations and editions, consistency of translation and commentary is very beneficial. Even more so, those five volumes excerpted here are not easy to come by, and are often horribly translated.

Nevertheless, a full 5 stars. Whether you hate him or love him, you must read him (which - as Kaufmann points out - most people, even those with heated opinions of him, have not). ( )
  PhilSroka | Apr 12, 2016 |
A great edition of Nietzsche - curious how much the Tea Party COULD use some of these comments, but that would raise the level of discourse,and they would need to read the entire text (unlikely) to extract those few citations. Oh, Gingrich might! ( )
  vegetarian | Oct 20, 2011 |
Notoriously prone to misinterpretation, Nietzsche has never been so well served by any editor as by Walter Kaufmann. As a translator, Kaufmann is helpful and honest, forthcoming about specific difficulties presented by the text during translation. Yet his greatest virtue is as a Nietzsche scholar. Without him, I suspect Nietzsche would still be suffering under the shadow of Nazi Germany, an undeserved association. This edition is careful to emphasize the biographical and historical contexts of the author, helping to dispel the misconception of Nietzsche as proto-Nazi. At the same time, Kaufmann unambiguously addresses his misogyny and complicated antisemitism.
The selections are a superb foundation for a new reader, or a hearty addition to an established Nietzsche library. I recommend this and any text edited by Kaufmann. ( )
1 vote Brunoc | Feb 3, 2008 |
A great Niezsche sampler. His aphoristic style does lend itself better than most for collections such as this, but the editors have still done a very good job of choosing those aphorisms which are representative of Nietzsche's style but still accessible to those new to his thought.
  caffron | Jul 13, 2007 |
A good introduction to Nietzsche with plenty of notes. ( )
  openset | Oct 22, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Friedrich Nietzscheprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaufmann, Walter ArnoldEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Whatever may be at the bottom of this questionable book, it must have been an exceptionally significant and fascinating question, and deeply personal at that: the time in which it was written, in spite of which it was written, bears witness to that—the exciting time of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679783393, Paperback)

A better title for this book might be The Indispensable Writings of Nietzsche. Indeed, the six selections contained in Walter Kaufmann's volume are not only critical elements of Nietzsche's oeuvre, they are must-reads for any aspiring student of philosophy. Those coming to Nietzsche for the first time will be pleased to find three of his best-known works--The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, and On the Genealogy of Morals--as well as a collection of 75 aphorisms drawn from Nietzsche's celebrated aphoristic work. In addition, there are two lesser known, but important, pieces in The Case of Wagner and Ecce Homo. Kaufmann's lucid and accurate translations have been the gold standard of Nietzsche scholarship since the 1950s, and this volume does not disappoint.

Anyone who has slogged their way through the swamps of German philosophical writing---in Kant or Hegel or Heidegger--will find Nietzsche a refreshing and exhilarating change. The selections are well chosen, and a cover-to-cover read will aptly depict Nietzsche's philosophy. In this volume the reader will find many of Nietzsche's polemical (and frequently misunderstood) ratiocinations on Christianity, Socrates, Germany, and art. Here, too, are his seminal and unforgettable critiques of Western morality ("That lambs dislike great birds of prey does not seem strange: only it gives no ground for reproaching these birds of prey for bearing off little lambs"). For philosophical fireworks, Nietzsche can hardly be matched. His brazen defiance of intellectualism's conventions still rings in contemporary thought because he practiced philosophy with a hammer. --Eric de Place

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:07 -0400)

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Gathers Nietzsche's major writings, including "The Birth of Tragedy," Beyond Good and Evil," and "Ecce Homo," as well as aphorisms and letters.

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