Author bio

Author Image

Friedrich Nietzsche - book author

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation,” which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be. Often referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers along with Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), Nietzsche's revitalizing philosophy has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries.

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Friedrich Nietzsche is the author of books: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo, On the Genealogy of Morals, The Anti-Christ, The Gay Science, The Birth of Tragedy, The Portable Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Ecce Homo

Author Signature

Author Books

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a foundational work of Western literature and is widely considered to be Friedrich Nietzsche’s masterpiece. It includes the German philosopher’s famous discussion of the phrase ‘God is dead’ as well as his concept of the Superman. Nietzsche delineates his Will to Power theory and devotes pages to critiquing Christian thinking, in particular Christianity’s definition of good and evil.
Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil is translated from the German by R.J. Hollingdale with an introduction by Michael Tanner in Penguin Classics.

Beyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche's position as the towering European philosopher of his age. The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a 'slave morality'. With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own 'will to power' upon the world.

This edition includes a commentary on the text by the translator and Michael Tanner's introduction, which explains some of the more abstract passages in Beyond Good and Evil.

Frederich Nietzsche (1844-1900) became the chair of classical philology at Basel University at the age of 24 until his bad health forced him to retire in 1879. He divorced himself from society until his final collapse in 1899 when he became insane. A powerfully original thinker, Nietzsche's influence on subsequent writers, such as George Bernard Shaw, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann and Jean-Paul Sartre, was considerable.

If you enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil you might like Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, also available in Penguin Classics.

"One of the greatest books of a very great thinker." —Michael Tanner
The Genealogy of Morals consists of three essays exploring morality and its origins where Nietzsche makes ample use of his training as a philologist. These works contain Nietzsche's most thorough and clear expression of his psychological philosophy. This edition includes Ecce Homo, Nietzsche's review of his life and works, with the exception of The Antichrist. These two books are compiled, translated and annotated by renowned Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann.
On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) is a book about the history of ethics and about interpretation. Nietzsche rewrites the former as a history of cruelty, exposing the central values of the Judaeo-Christian and liberal traditions - compassion, equality, justice - as the product of a brutal process of conditioning designed to domesticate the animal vitality of earlier cultures. The result is a book which raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both ethics and interpretation. Nietzsche questions moral certainties by showing that religion and science have no claim to absolute truth, before turning on his own arguments in order to call their very presuppositions into question. The Genealogy is the most sustained of Nietzsche's later works and offers one of the fullest expressions of his characteristic concerns. This edition places his ideas within the cultural context of his own time and stresses the relevance of his work for a contemporary audience.
The reference to the Antichrist is not intended to refer to the biblical Antichrist but is rather an attack on the "slave morality" and apathy of Western Christianity. Nietzsche's basic claim is that Christianity is a poisoner of western culture and perversion of the words of and practice of Jesus. Throughout the text, Nietzsche is very critical of institutionalized religion and its priest class, from which he himself was descended. The majority of the book is a systematic attack upon the interpretations of Christ's words by St. Paul and those who followed him. Nietzsche claimed in the Foreword to have written the book for a very limited readership. In order to understand the book, he asserted that the reader "... must be honest in intellectual matters to the point of hardness to so much as endure my seriousness, my passion." The reader should be above politics and nationalism. Also, the usefulness or harmfulness of truth should not be a concern. Characteristics such as "Strength which prefers questions for which no one today is sufficiently daring; courage for the forbidden" are also needed. He disdained all other readers.
"[This book] mirrors all of Nietzsche's thought and could be related in hundreds of ways to his other books, his notes, and his letters. And yet it is complete in itself. For it is a work of art." —Walter Kaufmann in the Introduction

Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God—to which a large part of the book is devoted—and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence.

Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his philosophy. The book contains some of Nietzsche's most sustained discussions of art and morality, knowledge and truth, the intellectual conscience and the origin of logic.

Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche's most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published.

Walter Kaufmann's English versions of Nietzsche represent one of the major translation enterprises of our time. He is the first philosopher to have translated Nietzsche's major works, and never before has a single translator given us so much of Nietzsche.
A compelling argument for the necessity for art in life, Nietzsche's first book is fuelled by his enthusiasms for Greek tragedy, for the philosophy of Schopenhauer and for the music of Wagner, to whom this work was dedicated. Nietzsche outlined a distinction between its two central forces: the Apolline, representing beauty and order, and the Dionysiac, a primal or ecstatic reaction to the sublime. He believed the combination of these states produced the highest forms of music and tragic drama, which not only reveal the truth about suffering in life, but also provide a consolation for it. Impassioned and exhilarating in its conviction, The Birth of Tragedy has become a key text in European culture and in literary criticism.
The works of Friedrich Nietzsche have fascinated readers around the world ever since the publication of his first book more than a hundred years ago. As Walter Kaufmann, one of the world's leading authorities on Nietzsche, notes in his introduction, "Few writers in any age were so full of ideas," and few writers have been so consistently misinterpreted. The Portable Nietzsche includes Kaufmann's definitive translations of the complete and unabridged texts of Nietzsche's four major works: Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, Nietzsche Contra Wagner and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In addition, Kaufmann brings together selections from his other books, notes, and letters, to give a full picture of Nietzsche's development, versatility, and inexhaustibly.

"In this volume, one may very conveniently have a rich review of one of the most sensitive, passionate, and misunderstood writers in Western, or any, literature." -Newsweek
Nietzsche's notebooks, kept by him during his most productive years, offer a fascinating glimpse into the workshop and mind of a great thinker, and compare favorably with the notebooks of Gide and Kafka, Camus and Wittgenstein. The Will to Power, compiled from the notebooks, is one of the most famous books of the past hundred years, but few have studied it. Here, at last, is the first critical edition in any language.

Down through the Nazi period The Will to Power was often mistakenly considered to be Nietzsche's crowning systematic labor; since World War II it has frequently been denigrated, just as fallaciously, as being not worth reading. In fact, it represents a stunning selection from Nietzsche's notebooks, in a topical arrangement that enables the reader to find what Nietzsche wrote on nihilism, art, morality, religion, the theory of knowledge, and whatever else interested him. But no previous edition—even in the original German—shows which notes Nietzsche utilized subsequently in his works, and which sections are not paralleled in the finished books. Nor has any previous edition furnished a commentary or index.

Walter Kauffman, in collaboration with R.J. Hollingdale, brings to this volume his unsurpassed skills as a Nietzsche translator and scholar. Professor Kauffman has included the approximate date of each note. His running footnote commentary offers the information needed to follow Nietzsche's train of thought, and indicates, among other things, which notes were eventually superseded by later formulations, and where all German editions, including the very latest, depart from the manuscripts. The comprehensive index serves to guide the reader to the extraordinary riches of this book.
In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome - Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ - and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his 'forthcoming revelation of all values'. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche's main beliefs and is in every way his last testament.