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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free…
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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Revised Edition (original 1878; edition 1996)

by Fredrich Nietzsche (Author), Marion Faber (Translator), Stephan Lehmann (Translator), Arthur C. Danto (Introduction)

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1,685138,065 (4.05)9
This remarkable collection of almost 1,400 aphorisms was originally published in three instalments. The first (now Volume I) appeared in 1878, just before Nietzsche abandoned academic life, with a first supplement entitled The Assorted Opinions and Maxims following in 1879, and a second entitled The Wanderer and his Shadow a year later. In 1886 Nietzsche republished them together in a two-volume edition, with new prefaces to each volume. Both volumes are presented here in R. J. Hollingdale's distinguished translation (originally published in the series Cambridge Texts in German Philosophy) with a new introduction by Richard Schacht. In this wide-ranging work Nietzsche first employed his celebrated aphoristic style, so perfectly suited to his iconoclastic, penetrating and multi-faceted thought. Many themes of his later work make their initial appearance here, expressed with unforgettable liveliness and subtlety. Human, All Too Human well deserves its subtitle 'A Book for Free Spirits', and its original dedication to Voltaire, whose project of radical enlightenment here found a new champion.… (more)
Member:Deirdre.An
Title:Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Revised Edition
Authors:Fredrich Nietzsche (Author)
Other authors:Marion Faber (Translator), Stephan Lehmann (Translator), Arthur C. Danto (Introduction)
Info:Bison Books (1996), 275 pages
Collections:Your library
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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits by Friedrich Nietzsche (Author) (1878)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Not going to lie did have to look up what an aphorism was. I think you may need a deeper appreciation of philosophy than I have to be able to appreciate this piece of work. ( )
  brakketh | Jul 6, 2020 |
Friedrich Nietzsche was relatively prolific, writing both things that I have heard of and things I have not heard of. Certainly, I would say that this book is part of the latter category. This is surprising to me since I thought I was more familiar with what he wrote. I am not an expert on Nietzsche, but I am a fan of his philosophy. The edition that I have was translated by Helen Zimmern, with an introduction by Dennis Sweet.

With that said, this book is similar to the rest of Nietzsche’s non-fiction works. It has a series of numbered statements that elaborate on what Nietzsche says. The book covers various topics of morality and the human condition. It is by turns pithy and verbose. From what I understand, it is one of his earlier works but maintains the same feeling as his later works.

The book has nine main divisions and they are as follows; First and Last Things, The History of Moral Sentiments, The Religious Life, Concerning the Soul of Artists and Authors, The Signs of Higher and Lower Culture, Man in Society, Wife and Child, A Glance at the State, and Man Alone by Himself. This version of the book also contains an Introduction, a Preface, an Epode, a series of Endnotes, and a Suggested Reading section. All in all, there are 638 main statements.

Human, All Too Human is enjoyable, but distilling it into something short and pithy evades my writing skill. Even now, I am at a loss of what to actually say. In any case, that’s about all I can say without wasting your time further. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |


There are many generalizations and sweeping judgments made about Nietzsche and his philosophy. I find such remarks next to useless. For me, there is only one way to approach Nietzsche – read each paragraph and maxim and aphorism slowly and carefully and arrive at my own conclusions after seeing how his words apply to my own life. As by way of example, below are several of his shorter aphorisms from this book coupled with my comments.

“FROM CANNIBAL COUNTRY – In solitude the lonely man is eaten up by himself, among crowds by the many. Choose which you prefer.” ---------------- I’ve spent many hours in solitude, sometimes days or even weeks at a time. For me, solitude is pure gold: to live within, to mediate, to relax into the core of one’s body and inner light is most refreshing, a sheer joy, anything but an experience of being lonely. Matter of fact, any feelings of loneliness quickly poisons one’s solitude. If you feel lonely, perhaps it’s time to slow down and take a serious account of your life.

“AGAINST THE DISPARAGERS OF BREVITY – A brief dictum may be the fruit and harvest of long reflection. The reader, however, who is a novice in this field and has never considered the case in point, sees something embryonic in all brief dicta, not without a reproachful hint to the author, requesting him not to serve up such raw and ill-prepared food.” ---------------- I enjoy 800 page novels but I also enjoy reading aphorisms. The shorter, the better. Sometimes, one, two or three sentences is all that’s needed to spark probing reflection and sincere consideration.

“DEBAUCHERY – Not joy but joylessness is the mother of debauchery.” --------------- I recall college drinking parties with lots and lots of beer and hard liquor, where everyone drank themselves into numbness and a drunken stupor. Those memories are like a distant bad dream. Fortunately, it only took a party or two for me to realize that wasn’t my scene. I started practicing yoga and meditation and have had the good fortune to experience great joy for many years as a direct result of this practice.

“KNOWING HOW TO WASH ONESELF CLEAN – We must know how to emerge cleaner from unclean conditions, and, if necessary, how to wash ourselves even with dirty water.” ---------------When I encounter ugliness, whether in people or in my surroundings, I try to use such ugliness as a sting, a reminder to cherish experiences of kindness and beauty.

“THE FARCE OF MANY INDUSTRIOUS PERSONS - By an excess of effort they win leisure for themselves, and then they can do nothing with it but count the hours until the tale is ended.” -------------------- I recall Joseph Campbell relating how many workaholics and professionals spend many years climbing the ladder but when they get to the top they realize they are leaning against the wrong wall. From my own experience, I’ve had a couple professional careers but I’ve always enjoyed weekends more than weekdays. I think Nietzsche hits the bulls-eye here: If you are at a loss when you spend time away from your work-a-day world, ask yourself if you are really living life from your own creative and spiritual depth.

“SIGNS FROM DREAMS - What one sometimes does not know and feel accurately in waking hours whether one has a good or a bad conscience as regards some person is revealed completely and unambiguously by dreams.” --------------------- I just finished ‘The Kindly Ones’ by Jonathan Littell where the main character recalls his life as a Nazi SS officer when he had a series of vivid, horrific, hellish dreams. However, he refused to listen carefully to what he dreams were telling him; if he did, he probably wouldn’t have continued to engage in twisted, perverted practices and a number of senseless murders. For myself, for years I’ve kept a dream journal and practiced lucid dreaming. Most fruitful for self-discovery.

Since this is a review of one of Nietzsche’s books, Nietzsche gets the last word. And since we are all readers of books here, I thought this maxim most appropriate:
“A GOOD BOOK NEEDS TIME – Every good book tastes bitter when it first comes out, for it has the defect of newness. Moreover, it suffers damage from its living author, if he is well known and much talked about. For all the world is accustomed to confuse the author with his work. Whatever of profundity, sweetness, and brilliance the work may contain must be developed as the years go by, under the case of growing, then old, and lastly traditional reverence. Many hours must pass, many a spider must have woven its web about the book. A book is made better by good readers and clearer by good opponents.” ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
In his writings, it is with Human, All Too Human, that Nietzsche begins his rebellious stint. For me, it is not that HATH doesn't have anything of substance, but breaks away from too many norms. With his health beginning to take a toll (he would get splitting headaches from reading or writing), Nietzsche couldn't sit down and hammer out a multivolume work on par with his intellect, or the demands from philologists and philosophers of the day. Very apparent in HATH is Nietzsche's use of aphorisms as opposed to essays. The writings in HATH are more of spurts of thought, rather than long, thought out essays. This is where I have my own critique. As an academic, and one who rebels outside Nietzsche's form of rebellion, I don't particularly care for this style of thought. While I suppose as an aesthetic, Nietzsche could carry an argument in a witty sentence, I must object to this form of thought, as Nietzsche contradicts himself, is an unreliable narrator, is flat-out wrong sometimes (see his misogynistic thoughts on women), and doesn't use evidence.

This malady seems to be partially cured in Nietzsche's later writings (even Daybreak, the next chronological work is better), but that is no excuse. As one who highly values things such as a well-structured essay, footnotes, and evidence, I can only criticise this form of Nietzsche. While his aphorisms may be witty and pointed, as someone who is looking for a worldview, you might not find much reasoning in HATH. Nietzsche constructs a wonderful formula for self liberation: 1) Read Nietzsche, 2) ????? 3) Be free my child! ( )
  MarchingBandMan | Oct 23, 2017 |

There are many generalizations and sweeping judgments made about Nietzsche and his philosophy. I find such remarks next to useless. For me, there is only one way to approach Nietzsche – read each paragraph and maxim and aphorism slowly and carefully and arrive at my own conclusions after seeing how his words apply to my own life. As by way of example, below are several of his shorter aphorisms from this book coupled with my comments.

“FROM CANNIBAL COUNTRY – In solitude the lonely man is eaten up by himself, among crowds by the many. Choose which you prefer.” ---------------- I’ve spent many hours in solitude, sometimes days or even weeks at a time. For me, solitude is pure gold: to live within, to mediate, to relax into the core of one’s body and inner light is most refreshing, a sheer joy, anything but an experience of being lonely. Matter of fact, any feelings of loneliness quickly poisons one’s solitude. If you feel lonely, perhaps it’s time to slow down and take a serious account of your life.

“AGAINST THE DISPARAGERS OF BREVITY – A brief dictum may be the fruit and harvest of long reflection. The reader, however, who is a novice in this field and has never considered the case in point, sees something embryonic in all brief dicta, not without a reproachful hint to the author, requesting him not to serve up such raw and ill-prepared food.” ---------------- I enjoy 800 page novels but I also enjoy reading aphorisms. The shorter, the better. Sometimes, one, two or three sentences is all that’s needed to spark probing reflection and sincere consideration.

“DEBAUCHERY – Not joy but joylessness is the mother of debauchery.” --------------- I recall college drinking parties with lots and lots of beer and hard liquor, where everyone drank themselves into numbness and a drunken stupor. Those memories are like a distant bad dream. Fortunately, it only took a party or two for me to realize that wasn’t my scene. I started practicing yoga and meditation and have had the good fortune to experience great joy for many years as a direct result of this practice.

“KNOWING HOW TO WASH ONESELF CLEAN – We must know how to emerge cleaner from unclean conditions, and, if necessary, how to wash ourselves even with dirty water.” ---------------When I encounter ugliness, whether in people or in my surroundings, I try to use such ugliness as a sting, a reminder to cherish experiences of kindness and beauty.

“THE FARCE OF MANY INDUSTRIOUS PERSONS - By an excess of effort they win leisure for themselves, and then they can do nothing with it but count the hours until the tale is ended.” -------------------- I recall Joseph Campbell relating how many workaholics and professionals spend many years climbing the ladder but when they get to the top they realize they are leaning against the wrong wall. From my own experience, I’ve had a couple professional careers but I’ve always enjoyed weekends more than weekdays. I think Nietzsche hits the bulls-eye here: If you are at a loss when you spend time away from your work-a-day world, ask yourself if you are really living life from your own creative and spiritual depth.

“SIGNS FROM DREAMS - What one sometimes does not know and feel accurately in waking hours whether one has a good or a bad conscience as regards some person is revealed completely and unambiguously by dreams.” --------------------- I just finished ‘The Kindly Ones’ by Jonathan Littell where the main character recalls his life as a Nazi SS officer when he had a series of vivid, horrific, hellish dreams. However, he refused to listen carefully to what he dreams were telling him; if he did, he probably wouldn’t have continued to engage in twisted, perverted practices and a number of senseless murders. For myself, for years I’ve kept a dream journal and practiced lucid dreaming. Most fruitful for self-discovery.

Since this is a review of one of Nietzsche’s books, Nietzsche gets the last word. And since we are all readers of books here, I thought this maxim most appropriate:
“A GOOD BOOK NEEDS TIME – Every good book tastes bitter when it first comes out, for it has the defect of newness. Moreover, it suffers damage from its living author, if he is well known and much talked about. For all the world is accustomed to confuse the author with his work. Whatever of profundity, sweetness, and brilliance the work may contain must be developed as the years go by, under the case of growing, then old, and lastly traditional reverence. Many hours must pass, many a spider must have woven its web about the book. A book is made better by good readers and clearer by good opponents.”



( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nietzsche, FriedrichAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Faber, MarionTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollingdale, R. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pütz, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schacht, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This remarkable collection of almost 1,400 aphorisms was originally published in three instalments. The first (now Volume I) appeared in 1878, just before Nietzsche abandoned academic life, with a first supplement entitled The Assorted Opinions and Maxims following in 1879, and a second entitled The Wanderer and his Shadow a year later. In 1886 Nietzsche republished them together in a two-volume edition, with new prefaces to each volume. Both volumes are presented here in R. J. Hollingdale's distinguished translation (originally published in the series Cambridge Texts in German Philosophy) with a new introduction by Richard Schacht. In this wide-ranging work Nietzsche first employed his celebrated aphoristic style, so perfectly suited to his iconoclastic, penetrating and multi-faceted thought. Many themes of his later work make their initial appearance here, expressed with unforgettable liveliness and subtlety. Human, All Too Human well deserves its subtitle 'A Book for Free Spirits', and its original dedication to Voltaire, whose project of radical enlightenment here found a new champion.

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"Dedicato alla memoria di Voltaire nell'anniversario della sua morte avvenuta il 30 maggio 1778" volle scrivere Nietzsche sul frontespizio della prima edizione di Umano, troppo umano, quasi a sottolineare il carattere "illuministico" di questa sua opera. Scritto tra il 1876 e il 1879, il libro, nella sua forma definitiva, comprende due volumi, nel secondo dei quali Nietzsche raccolse Opinioni e detti diversi e II viandante e la sua ombra, già pubblicati separatamente. Circola in quest'opera, che rifiuta la tentazione metafisica e le sue cristallizzazioni dogmatiche di un conoscere separato dalla vita, una sorta di sottile e spregiudicata ebbrezza intellettuale che cattura il lettore per la ritmica felicità espressiva, perfettamente aderente al gusto della conquista interiore. Introduzione di Giovanni Maria Bertin.
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