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Remembering Friedrich Nietzsche:
October 15, 1844–August 25, 1900

Friedrich+Nietzsche+Gravestone+art+museum620 words

Friedrich Nietzsche was born this day in 1844 in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, Saxony, in the Kingdom of Prussia. He died in August 25, 1900, in Weimar, Saxony, in the Second German Reich. The outlines of Nietzsche’s life are readily available online.

Nietzsche is one of the most important philosophers of the North American New Right because of his contributions to the philosophy of history, culture, and religion.

If you are thinking of reading Nietzsche’s works, the best introductions are The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ, preferably in the R. J. Hollingdale translations. The next volume should be Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, which Nietzsche described as the prose presentation of his entire worldview. I recommend the Judith Norman translation from Cambridge University Press.

Thus Spake Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s poetic presentation of his philosophy, but it should be saved for later. It is the worst possible introduction to Nietzsche. It has been many people’s first Nietzsche book, and for all too many it has been their last.

Such Nietzsche books as On the Genealogy of Morals, The Birth of Tragedy, Untimely Meditations, and The Gay Science are highly valuable, but should be saved till later. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality and Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits are products of a brief flirtation with certain Enlightenment ideas and are thus quite misleading as introductions. Ecce Homo, The Case of Wagner, and Nietzsche Contra Wagner should be saved for last. As a rule, the Cambridge University Press translations of Nietzsche should be preferred.

The introductory books on Nietzsche are mostly disappointing. I do recommend H. L. Mencken’s The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Julian Young’s Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Art and Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Religion are very clear and exciting books that examine the development of Nietzsche’s ideas throughout his career. Because of the importance of art and religion to Nietzsche, they serve as excellent overviews of his philosophy. Young has also published an important biography, Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography, which combines overviews of Nietzsche’s life and works in a single volume. Although it is a long book, it is well worth the investment of time.

Nietzsche is probably the author most often tagged on this website.

Here are the main works we have published by and about Nietzsche:

By Nietzsche:

About Nietzsche:



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  1. R.
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    I own every book he wrote. The day I began Twilight of the Idols was the first day of my life; prior to that I was walking as if dumb. Immediately transformed me into a thinking human being. I am what I am now because of this greatest of philosophers…


  2. Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    If only the West had listened. I have a copy of the Jena medical notes. So sad.

  3. Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “Filth sitteth on the throne, yea and the throne on filth.”


  4. Nestor
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Although it is a compilation of Nietzsche’s notes, assembled by other editors, rather than a unified entity complied by Nietzsche himself, I highly recommend The Will to Power as a final work in a Nietzsche series. The content is pure Nietzsche, even if the choice of sequence and thematic groupings are not. Oftimes Nietzsche expresses his ideas even more forcibly (albeit in a less polished manner) in the notes that this book collects than in his authored texts — as Oswald Spengler himself observes.

    • Bjørn
      Posted October 14, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Being an engineer, and hence a novice on the scene of philosophy with its terminology and pattern of thought, I found this youtube piece rather informative, and also a bit awe-inspiring:

      • Joseph Curwen
        Posted October 15, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        There are 2 excellent introductory books to Nietzsche’s philosophy I would suggest: this one is more ‘technical’ because they are lectures given by to university students. this one is more ‘mainstream friendly’.

        If you don’t have philosophy background, you can start with the second, and then read the first one.

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