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

482 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 on 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 just 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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26 Comments

  1. Ulric
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Perhaps someone at CC might review NIETZSCHE: THOUGHTS & PERSPECTIVES

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Front-Press/190496407658027

    This publisher seems to have many similar interests to your own, having produced other volumes on Evola, Crowley and Codreanu. K R Bolton is a contributor, and I know his work is popular at CC Towers.

  2. francis alexander
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t understand these days, why anyone who knows Evola,even needs Nietzsche. Emphasis on “needs”.

    Nietzsche had a “confused love of transcendence” , whereas Evola had a clear and lucid knowledge.

    When it comes to the Supra-Human Evola actually knows what he is talking about!

    Sure Nietzsche had some interesting things to say, but from the perspective of The True Right or Tradition, he’s not especially important in my book.

    • Michael O'Meara
      Posted October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Francis,

      The relationship between Nietzsche and Evola is not so straightforward. In my view, their respective strengths and weaknesses are complementary. For there are serious philosophical and historical problem with Evola’s Platonism (as I try to show in ‘The Primordial and the Perennial’) and Nietsche’s anti-Platonism often provides not just a welcome ‘corrective’, but a sense of ‘human transcendence’ that is directly pertinent to the crackup of modernity anticipated in his work. Indeed, I don’t think Evola is imaginable without Nietzsche.

      We ‘need’ Nietzsche, just as we need all the great European anti-liberals.

  3. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Rudolf Steiner visited him in his illness. He saw his soul hovering above his body – the most beautiful he had ever seen.

    Paul Brunton said that the syphillis acted like a negative kundalini – coiling up his spine into his brain driving him mad. Ecce Homo, his last book, does have a distinct megalomania to it.

    • Posted October 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      The syphilis myth is debunked in the biographies I mentioned.

      • Jaego Scorzne
        Posted October 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Thank you. Are there any ideas as to what his weakness and final debility and death were caused by?

  4. Occupy Atlantis
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    100% Negro Free- just right, just us!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHFf7NIwOHQ

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Well, if you ignore the fact that the composer was a Jew, sure.

  5. Posted October 15, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Why should Ecce Homo be saved for last? It’s a unique window to understand why Nietzsche became mad.

    In his dense study about Nietzsche, Heidegger commits the gross mistake of taking seriously Nietzsche’s metaphysics about the eternal return of the identical. Heidegger and almost all Nietzsche’s scholars cannot fathom that such “metaphysics” was just the defense mechanism of a tormented soul.

    I would study Nietzsche’s biographers too. Otherwise we risk a “hemiplegic” approach to the philosopher. Yes: I read the thick volumes by Werner Ross and Curt Paul Janz (I believe I wrote about it in a 2009 CC thread). But even Kaufmann says that Stefan Zweig’s 1925 psychological study The Struggle with the Daimon is unsurpassed. (In fact, I now believe that with her 1991 The Untouched Key Swizz psychologist Alice Miller surpassed Zweig.)

    But for CC readers I’d recommend Zweig’s biography on the tormented souls of Kleist, Holderlin and Nietzsche (Kleist committed suicide and Holderlin and Nietzsche became mad). To those who complain that Zweig was Jewish, remember that he passed the “Hitler test”. Zweig wrote the script for a Richard Strauss comic opera, and Strauss insisted that Zweig’s name appeared on the theatrical billing, much to the ire of the Nazi regime. But it seems that the script of Strauss’ chosen librettist was read by no other than the Führer himself before the opera was premiered.

    • karsten
      Posted October 16, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I would study Nietzsche’s biographers too.

      I think these are very secondary. Nietzsche’s works speak for themselves, independent of biographical information.

      I’m pretty much a formalist, and believe very much in the New Criticism advocated by Cleanth Brooks et al, and their caution against the Intentional Fallacy.

      Even a book like Ecce Homo can be read as pure text and as the presentation of compelling ideas, and need not be seen though any kind of filter of “madness.”

      • Posted October 18, 2011 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        Karsten, you cannot separate the tragedy that drove Nietzsche mad from his philosophy. The psychotic breakdown is central to understand this tragic figure. Don’t forget that after it he lived eleven years and never recovered. Let me quote a few passages from the bio that Kaufmann deems “unsurpassed”. No ellipsis added between unquoted excerpts.

        The Struggle with the Daimon (Viking Press German-English translation, 1939):

        Chapter “The Seventh Solitude”:

        “Oh solitude, you are my home!” Such is the melancholy chant which issued from an icy world of silence. In Germany no publisher would any longer accept his manuscripts. The fourth part of Thus Spake Zarathustra was printed at Nietzsche’s expense. In order not to forfeit the friendship of Overbeck, the last remaining intimate of youthful days, he wrote apologetically: “Dear old friend, please read the book from beginning to end.”

        Thus humbly did the greatest mind of the century petition his contemporaries to consider the greatest book of the epoch. So vast was the chasm between this man’s genius and the pettiness of the time. Practically no reviewer or critic took the slightest notice of Zarathustra, which the author described as “the greatest gift ever bestowed upon men.”

        Having overthrown all the altars, he built an altar for himself in order to praise himself, seeing that no one else would acknowledge him. He chanted his own dirge with enthusiasm and exultation, mingling it with songs celebrating his deeds and his victories. To begin with, a twilight covered the landscape of his mind and when black clouds stalk up from the horizon and distant thunder growls; then a strident laugh rent the sultry air, a mad, violent, and wicked laugh full of despair, heartbreaking: this was the paean of Ecce Homo.

        As the book develops, its cadences become increasingly spasmodic, the yells of laughter are more shrill amid the glacial silence; he is, as it were, outside himself. His hands are raised, his feet stamp rhythmically; he breaks into a dance, a dance over the abyss, the abyss of his own annihilation.

        The following two chapters are superb from the lyrical viewpoint.

      • karsten
        Posted October 18, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        Karsten, you cannot separate the tragedy that drove Nietzsche mad from his philosophy. The psychotic breakdown is central to understand this tragic figure.

        I absolutely believe that you can separate the man from the text. In fact, that you must. Understanding this “tragic figure” is interesting, to be sure, but understanding the philosophy in its own right is far more important. As soon as one begins to draw in biography, one begins to wonder, “Oh, is this passage tainted by madness? Or that passage?” It becomes a shortcut for dismissing the philosophy as a whole by those who are not predisposed toward it, or by being patronizing towards it by those who are sympathetic to the man’s all-too-human plight.

        The Left constantly pathologizes the Right in order to dismiss it, and sympathetic Nietzsche commentators who invite the biographical approach unwittingly aid them is diminishing Nietzsche by third-hand psychoanalysis.

        The text has a life of its own, independent of the author, and I believe that all of his works, including Ecce Home have a complete intrinsic validity that it worthy of being examined on its own merits as text, free of “madness” discussions.

        Other great writers have suffered a similar fate. The reputation of Byron as a poet, for example, has suffered from biographical colouring ever since his own day. If one could free it of this sideline, one could interpret it on the basis of pure ideas and aesthetics, and when one does this, a richer appreciation of Byron’s poetry can and does emerge. Nietzsche would be better served by such an approach as well.

      • Posted October 18, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        @ and I believe that all of his works, including Ecce Home [sic] have a complete intrinsic validity that it worthy of being examined on its own merits as text, free of “madness” discussions.

        Some passages, yes. Others not. The grandiose delusions in the Ecce homo chapters—”Why I Am So Clever”, “Why I Am So Wise”, “Why I Write Such Good Books”, “Why I am a Destiny”—are a classic example of a pre-psychotic breakdown. Nietzsche also wrote there that he carried upon his shoulders mankind’s destiny.

        Brilliant pages from the lyrical viewpoint for sure, but why this megalomania? It was precisely Nietzsche’s personal agony what he tried to super-compensate through the silly theory of the eternal recurrence of the identical in his Zarathustra. This is why I believe that Heidegger’s approach to Nietzsche’s “metaphysics” is just stupid. When you believe your own BS, that all it takes to erase your suffering caused by the external world is merely change the way you see things and say “Yes” to every single ounce of pain, you are buying a one-way ticket to the mad world: what Nietzsche did in some passages of his Zarathustra and in Ecce homo. There are limits to self-delusion that a human soul can tolerate. Zweig again:

        As soon as his mind has ceased to pity his body, no longer participated in his sufferings, he recognized that his life had acquired a new perspective and his illness a deeper significance. Consciously, well knowing what he was about, he now accepted the burden, accepted his fate as a necessity, and since he was a fanatical “advocate of life,” loving the whole of his existence, he accepted his sufferings with the “Yes” of his Zarathustra and, as accompaniment to his tortures, sang the jubilant hymn “again and yet again for all eternity!”

        When Nietzsche used the old Heraclitus doctrine of the eternal recurrence of the identical as his chosen defense mechanism, one is left to wonder if he had had second thoughts. Because well into his insanity period the former philosopher would eat his own feces, as recounted by Werner Ross in Der ängstliche Adler. Friedrich Nietzsches Leben (coprophagia is a well-known behavior of a terminal stage in schizophrenic patients). Before his illness Nietzsche certainly would have had another opinion about the Heraclitus doctrine instead of desperately clinging to such defense mechanism had he knew how far such grotesque mechanism would lead him.

        Incidentally, it is not my intention to despise the philosopher, whom I still admire, only setting the record straight as to what happened to his mind.

      • karsten
        Posted October 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        The grandiose delusions in the Ecce homo chapters—”Why I Am So Clever”, “Why I Am So Wise”, “Why I Write Such Good Books”, “Why I am a Destiny”—are a classic example of a pre-psychotic breakdown. Nietzsche also wrote there that he carried upon his shoulders mankind’s destiny.

        Well, those who scorn Nietzsche in toto deem his entire oeuvre psychotic. That’s what happens when you start letting biography intrude into textual discussion. Suddenly, there’s no argument or idea that can escape a facile ad-hominem put down. Where, precisely, do we draw a line as to which ideas are mad and which are not? So one Nietzsche argument, a person deems as “delusional,” therefore it’s rejected out of hand. But then what? If a different Nietzsche idea is deemed semi-delusional, do we take it semi-seriously? Who assigns the percentage of delusionality, the madness rating? It becomes all too easy to dismiss any Nietzsche idea, then, as delusional, according to the percentage to which one disagrees with it.

        To use your own example, who’s to say that Nietzsche didn’t carry upon his shoulders mankind’s destiny — in the sense that the fate of the world will be decided on the basis of whether master morality is restored, or slave morality eradicates it completely?

        And you know what? Nietzsche was clever. And wise. And he did write good books. I have always loved the sheer brio of those chapter headings — for in Nietzsche’s case, such pride was well justified. Nietzsche’s great progenitor Goethe once said, “Mastery is often considered egotism.” I could list dozens of Beethoven quotes that assert mastery in an even bolder manner. And of course, some deemed Beethoven mad as well. Would that all composers and philosophers could be so mad, if it yielded more works like those of Beethoven and Nietzsche.

        By the way, no apologies for the typos. I make them regularly and will undoubtedly continue to make them. The site doesn’t have an edit function (not that its absence is a big deal to me).

      • Posted October 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        @ “Where, precisely, do we draw a line as to which ideas are mad and which are not?”

        The line is fuzzy, as is fuzzy even among the sanest people of the world: nationalists (e.g., many of us believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories, or that some awful events of the 20th century Europe didn’t actually happen, etc.). What I liked the most in Silvano Arieti’s magnum opus, Interpretation of Schizophrenia is a sentence imagining a space visitor, more integrated psychologically than the Earth dwellers, who, according to Arieti, would find many instances of magical thinking in our moral, social and religious costumes. However, even with such fuzziness we can draw a line.

        @ To use your own example, who’s to say that Nietzsche didn’t carry upon his shoulders mankind’s destiny…?

        The trouble I see with this question is that many schizophrenic patients claim to be God, Prophet, Messiah. They have a tremendous mission to accomplish on Earth.

        When in 1889 a true genius like Nietzsche starts to sign his letters as “The Monster”, “The Crucified”, “Antichrist”, Dionysius”, the trouble lies in separating his brilliant prose and insights with the obvious symptoms. At least one of those letters rang the alarm and Overbeck hastily traveled to Italy to try to rescue his friend. In Nietzsche’s last letter to Burckhardt he wrote: “What I find distasteful and hinders my modesty is that, at bottom, each name of history is me”.

        Again, this de-personalization, together with the mystifying pseudonyms, is not uncommon in pre-psychotic episodes. And when finally Nietzsche calls all European ruling houses, excluding the Hohenzollern of course, for a congress in Rome; when he addressed “My dear son Umberto” the king of Italy, and “My beloved son Mariani” the Vatican cardinal secretary; when he was willing to “shoot the German emperor and all anti-Semites” and wrote his “Last Consideration” that says “After the old God has been removed I am ready to govern the world”, it is obvious that the German philosopher crossed the line into madness, especially if we view these writings together with his behavior in Turin that shocked Overbeck, to say the least.

      • karsten
        Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        The issue is not whether or not Nietzsche went mad, how mad he was, when he was mad, etc. The issue is whether this madness issue should influence discussions of his texts. I reaffirm that it should not.

        Once we allow this biographical information to be used to dismiss some of his writing, it can be used to dismiss all of his writing.

        What, one might ask, is so troubling about signatures like “The Monster”, “The Crucified”, “Antichrist”, Dionysus” etc.? Especially at a time when people use Internet pseudonyms of all sorts, often quite grandiose ones. (One Alt Right writer calls himself “Metternich.”) The uses of these names are poetic texts, from which one can also glean interesting interpretations. More impressionistic texts can be read more symbolically.

        At some point, a text may be truly opaque, but then that’s all that it is — an opaque text. That is a sufficient assessment; one doesn’t need to embark on an armchair-psychologist diagnosis of its madness quotient. One could end up jettisoning rich material by dismissing it all with the broad brush of “madness.”

        To use the Beethoven analogy again, I am reminded of a quote from E.T.A. Hoffmann regarding those who dismissed Beethoven’s compositions in his own time. (Carl Maria von Weber, for example, upon hearing Beethoven’s Seventh, deemed Beethoven “ripe for the madhouse”): Hoffmann writes:

        “How does the matter stand if it is your feeble observation alone that the deep inner continuity of Beethoven’s every composition eludes? If it is your fault alone that you do not understand the master’s language as the initiated understand it, that the portals of the innermost sanctuary remain closed to you?”

        That will do for Nietzsche as well.

      • Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        @ What, one might ask, is so troubling about signatures like “The Monster”, “The Crucified”, “Antichrist”, Dionysus” etc.?

        Context. Those letters were sent a few days before Overbeck found Nietzsche doing “grotesque dances and jumps” in his room after Overbeck’s trip from Germany to Turin.

        @ The issue is whether this madness issue should influence discussions of his texts.

        We can chose the 3rd of January of 1889 as Nietzsche’s breakdown, when he collapsed in Piazza Carlo Alberto in Turin, before the Overbeck visit.

        As I said, some of the themes of his “letters from madness” I already quoted appear in diluted form in Ecce homo (written in October and November of 1888). And even the frantic embracement of “the eternal recurrence of the identical” in his Zarathustra (1887) is an obvious neurotic (and failed to boot) mechanism edified against the several torments in Nietzsche’s life. The continuum of sufferings => neurotic mechanisms => pre-psychotic delusions => psychotic breakdown is interwoven with the late stages of his philosophy. That’s why I believe the authors mentioned in my first post are must reading to understand the man and his philosophy.

      • karsten
        Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Context.

        A moving away from text to “context” is exactly what has ruined scholarship. “Context” is exactly what the feminists, marxists, post-colonialist, etc., go on about forever and have used to undercut the entire canon of Western literature. “Context” is a distraction from text and is usually used to undermine it and trivialize it — particularly, of course, right-wing text.

        That’s why I believe the authors mentioned in my first post are must reading to understand the man and his philosophy.

        Understanding “the man” is irrelevant to understanding the philosophy — and in fact, worse than irrelevant, it is a distorting distraction. The text speaks for itself.

        I’m not saying that no one should study biography. Biography can be very interesting, even fascinating. It can create heroes, which is what we need. But biography and “context” must be kept away from the analysis of text, in order to give text its due.

      • Posted October 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        So in your opinion all of this Ecce homo stuff of feeling oneself the most important man in history, a “destiny” (sic) is altogether unrelated to Nietzsche’s coming breakdown, and that any biographical connection of one with the other is “worse than irrelevant”, a distortion and “distraction”?

        I have never seen this religious faith about a human philosopher. It reminds me Rudolf Bultmann’s Lutheran (actually irrational) faith in the Pauline view of the gospel in spite of the fact that all of his textual criticism pointed out to an anti-Lutheran, and a far more human, interpretation of the historical Jesus. Only religionists stick to their theology and want to ignore the implications of history and biography.

        Wagner nailed it when, even before his breakdown, said “Poor Nietzsche!” It was precisely the pains of the existential hell that poor Nietzsche endured what moved him to elaborate the grotesque defense mechanisms that appear in his later work. His life and later philosophy are a case-book case of how existential agonies, coupled with unresolved childhood traumas (the Miller study mentioned above) produced a classic schizo breakdown.

        It’s amazing that after more than a century after Nietzsche died his fans cannot tolerate the fact that part of his philosophy—like that of Epictetus, Augustine and Spinoza—was raving mad. But again, white nationalists crave for a new guru after the old religion died and some of them cling to poor Nietzsche. I cannot understand this human mania and phobia to emptiness, of clinging to flawed persons (Jesus, Buddha, etc., and other charlatans of the human soul) instead of living under a sky free of any gods or secular prophets.

        Ecce homo may be my favorite Nietzsche book. But I see it as a window to understand his pathology: just as Augustine’s Confessions is far more readable than his “saner” theological treatises. The Confessions are a mine to understand what went so wrong with a theological monster that even Catholic Paul Johnson criticized in his book on the history of Christianity.

        Ecce homo, the Confessions… literary gems to see what’s wrong not only with these influential thinkers, but with all those who admire them, Christians and atheists, the whole lot.

      • White Republican
        Posted October 20, 2011 at 2:22 am | Permalink

        I think it’s a matter of appreciating both the text and the context in appropriate measure, rather than of opposing one to the other. Texts are products of particular times and places and should be understood as such. Of course, some approaches to texts are perfectly useless for understanding them, such as those of psychoanalysis and deconstructionism.

        Incidentally, I’d like to ask Chechar if he’s read Thomas Szasz’s The Myth of Psychotherapy.

      • Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        @ “I’d like to ask Chechar if he’s read Thomas Szasz’s The Myth of Psychotherapy.”

        Yes. Actually I’ve read ten books by Szasz and quote him in my book. The Myth of Psychotherapy is one of my favorites, together with Anti-Freud and The Manufacture of Mental Illness.

  6. Arthur
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    If you can read Italian, one of the best books in recent years is Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico by Domenico Losurdo. The author is a Marxist, but he demolishes lots of the tendentious scholarship over the last several decades and firmly re-establishes Nietzsche’s right-wing credentials.

    • karsten
      Posted October 16, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I haven’t read the book in question, but I’m not surprised to hear that a Marxist might sooner comprehend the true Nietzsche than some latter-day apologists who try to soften his philosophy. If the translation of Losurdo’s title means “the aristocratic rebel,” as it sounds like it would, then he’s on the right track.

      When I was researching Third Reich cinema many years back, I remember finding a Marxist writer who more correctly and helpfully identified the various tropes of NSDAP filmmaking than other writers who tried to “rehabilitate” the works by deconstructing them.

      Often, all that one has to do with Marxist criticism is turn its value system on its head. Thus, what is denounced as immoral is what is noblest about the work, what is denounced as “kitsch” is in fact an expression of highest beauty, and so forth. Invert the value system, and you can get a solid analysis (sometimes) from a Marxist source. Being of the enemy camp, and being opposed to master morality, a Marxist will sooner identify the elements in a aristocratico-traditionalist that are most radically opposed to slave morality, most purely an expression of master morality, than someone who is politically more of the middle. He’ll be on the hunt for them, as we are, except he’ll be looking for them to bury them, while we to praise them.

      Mind you, that doesn’t make reading Marxist analysis the least bit more pleasurable, and the constant negative judgmentalism does quickly become grating.

      • bukiol
        Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        “Often, all that one has to do with Marxist criticism is turn its value system on its head. Thus, what is denounced as immoral is what is noblest about the work, what is denounced as “kitsch” is in fact an expression of highest beauty, and so forth. Invert the value system, and you can get a solid analysis (sometimes) from a Marxist source. ”

        Absolutely.

  7. karsten
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    For any Nietzsche devotees travelling to Germany, I highly recommend a visit to the tiny village of Röcken. It’s just a short train ride away from Leipzig and features Nietzsche’s tomb, which really is just a modest grave, alongside that of his sister and her husband. There’s something quite profound about the fact that so great a philosopher — I would argue the greatest of all — was interred in so humble a manner.

    If the war had gone differently, the monuments that would exist to Nietzsche today would, I believe, dwarf all others. Nietzsche would be as much a part of popular consciousness as Marx, tragically, is today — in lieu of Marx, as a matter of fact.

    The Nietzsche-Archiv in Weimar is more for scholars than for the general public. The town of Naumburg, on the other hand, has a modest but interesting museum devoted to Nietzsche, and this is the lone example of a proper, pilgrim-oriented “Nietzsche museum” on German soil, as far as I’m aware.

    http://www.mv-naumburg.de/nietzschehaus

    Just a few tips for anyone planning a Nietzsche tour of Germany, at some point.

    And Nietzsche isn’t the only hero whose grave is so modest. Herbert von Karajan, the greatest musician of the 20th century and the finest conductor of all time, is likewise interred in an exceedingly modest grave in his native Salzburg. Following the postwar dismemberment of the magnificent tomb that the NSDAP built for him, Manfred von Richthofen now lies in a relatively humble plot, with his family, in Wiesbaden. Needless to say, more tragic still is the fact that so many heroes of the Reich have no markers whatsoever.

    As for the suggested sequence of Nietzsche reading, I suppose the suggestions are good if the prospective reader has little time to devote to Nietzsche. But if someone is willing to commit to a proper Nietzsche adventure, then I cannot recommend highly enough a chronological reading, as his works very much build on one another.

    If such a commitment of time can be made, I would recommend starting with Daybreak, which is where the first signs of the revaluation-of-values premise appears, then proceeding to The Gay Science Books I-IV, and onwards.

    I would only discourage readers from following that with Zarathustra if they really don’t care for poetry and poetic language. But if they do have any background in poetry, I would suggest keeping Zarathustra in its proper place in the queue, then going on to The Gay Science Book V, then to Beyond Good and Evil, and onwards.

    I can only speak from my own experience, but there is no more exhilarating moment in literature than coming to the final passage of The Gay Science Book IV, which is the prologue to Zarathustra, and from there launching straight into Zarathustra itself.

    • Chip Farley
      Posted October 16, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      ‘There’s something quite profound about the fact that so great a philosopher — I would argue the greatest of all — was interred in so humble a manner.

      If the war had gone differently, the monuments that would exist to Nietzsche today would, I believe, dwarf all others.’

      Your assertion certainly has merit when one stops to consider that when the National Socialists re-designed the Tannenberg War Memorial they decided on three texts to place into its vault: Mein Kampf, Myth of the Twentieth Century, and Thus Spake Zarathurstra. ( http://goo.gl/U70xb )

      Nietzsche assuredly would have been held in high esteem in the New Order.

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    Asatru: A Native European Spirituality

    The Lost Philosopher

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace

    Defiance