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Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  5,566 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Duplicate ISBN: 0-14-044514-5
In 1888, the last sane year of his life Nietzsche produced these two brief but devastating books.

Twilight of the Idols, 'a grand declaration of war' on all the prevalent ideas of his time, offers a lightning tour of his whole philosophy. It also prepares the way for The Anti-Christ, a final assault on institutional Christianity. Yet although N

Paperback, 208 pages
Published 1990 by Penguin Books (first published 1889)
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Jun 19, 2007 Carolyn added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't get offended easily
Shelves: philosophy
Twilight of the Idols is one of my favorite books of all time. My favorite quote from the book is, "To attack the passions at their roots means to attack life at its roots." Nietzsche is, as has often been said, religion for philosophers. This book is about the meaning of life, mostly, and how we should conduct ourselves in light of that meaning, or lack thereof. At the time, I was coming from a Judeo-Christian background, though I wasn't a Christian any longer, and it really opened my eyes to o ...more
John David
“Twilight of the Idols” and “The Anti-Christ” are two of the last books, both composed in 1888, that Nietzsche wrote before his final descent into syphilis-induced madness which occurred during the first week of 1889. It continues themes he had developed in his earlier work, and “The Anti-Christ” especially approaches Christianity with a particularly ferocious and critical eye.

As anyone who has thumbed through a volume of Nietzsche can tell you, his work isn’t composed of clear, well-defined pr
Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist are two short books combined into one. The first is a collection of ideas, opinions and conjectures and the other is his criticism of christianity. My first impression of Twilight of the Idols was that Nietzsche was a bit hysterical … (it was all those exclamation marks)., but it turns out that he was a curmudgeon. He was not impressed with how the German populace was being educated – the teachers! He thought that people now were not taught how to see, to ...more
Late Nietzsche is amazing. Finally freed from the constraints of even remotely making sense or forming coherent arguments, Nietzsche invites his readers to make up more or less anything and attribute it to these books. The best part is that, if one were inclined to feel guilty about such loose attributions, by this point in his corpus Nietzsche has already gotten you over any such compunctions.
David Sarkies
I found this book in the bible college library and as such decided that I had to read it (who would expect to find Nietzsche, a man who hated christianty, in the bible college). However, he was there, and I decided to read him. It also help that in my Church History lecture we looked at the 19th Century German Critics, of which he was one.

If I had one thing to say about Frederick Nietzsche, and that is that he is a nutter. It might sound harsh, but it is true. He went insane in about 1888, and d
I had to read this in my Introduction to Philosophy at uni a lifetime ago. My one memory of it that really stands out is how annoyed he made me. I mean, this guy was trashing Socrates – and I’ve always been rather fond of Socrates – and the criticism seemed quite pathetic. I mean, criticising Socrates because he was ugly! What sort of argument is that? Is this really ‘philosophy’?

This book ends with the line, “I, the last disciple of the philosopher Dionysus — I, the teacher of the eternal recur
Really amazing stuff. Eye-opening. My first true reading experience of Nietzsche. Even if you disagree with them, the thought that goes into this, the imagination, the excellent questions and questioning -- everybody should read this guy!
Filippus Sergius Angelus
There is no doubt that Nietzsche was a great thinker, this is apparent in these two works. It is also quite apparent he was a terrible man.

Twilight of the Idols: Rife with contradiction, I got the impression much was said for shock value. He uses the Sudra to show the horrors morality supposedly inflicts on social classes, but immediately afterwards laments the equality we are faced with today. A more amusing contradiction, however, is his take on morality as a concept. He writes that "[moral j
John Martindale
I have a friend that shared with me how if there is no God, then Nietzsche makes perfect sense; for his philosophy naturally follows from the assumption that "God is dead". Oh man, if this is so, then this books makes me desperately hope there is a God! Nietzsche scorns Christian morality, which is arguably the very foundation for western civilization. With fanatic zeal he tries to saw off the limb upon which he sits. With a moralistic passion he derides self-control, mercy, equality and kindnes ...more
Jeremy Ra
Misinterpreted and abused, the infamy of Nietzsche needs no further comment. Even Nietzsche himself has foreseen what might become of his theories when he dedicated the book to all and none. Yet his mysterious aphorisms completely altered the course of intellectual current, and the thoughts that he provoked are still radical and surprising, not to mention relevant.

Although known best by many to have authored the Will to Power, the sagacity that Nietzsche possessed culminates in its fullest gran
Agostinho Paulo
I look up to the Nietzsche first and foremost as a psychologist, being an avid psychology reader he comes in a full package, nothing I've read comes close to him, the second being remote. His subtle analysis go to the very roots of whatever subject he took at hands, his honesty and bareness, sudden twisted and perspectivism is what intrigues me the most about him.

Secondly his attitude towards life and existence which is invigorating and life affirming. His love of life. He dances, he lives poetr
Oh Friedrich, how I love a polemic... and while your flaws are glaring as all hell to even the most inane reader, you still say some shit that's just as refreshingly radical today as it was in the late 19th Century. What so many people don't realize about Nietzsche, I think, is how secretly Nietzschean they themselves are. Recommended to all snarky antitheists, die-hard materialists, and general rabble-rousers.
Alice Watkins
I came into this book without too much background knowledge on German politics and history of the 19th century, which meant that a lot of the references Nietzsche made were fairly lost on me in the first quarter of the book, but once he started focusing on the "idols" of culture and philosophy, I settled into the first text a lot better. I would recommend it to anyone that's read a fair amount of Nietzsche and wants to find out about where his possible influences come from, since he spends a lon ...more
Two brilliant, scorching works of pyrophilosphy produced as Nietzsche, that bright burning sun, went supernova. As delightful as all his writing is, he never wrote so wonderfully, so beautifully, in such an enrapturing, searing polemical style as he did in 1888, when he produced Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ. These works, alongside Zarathustra, represent a sort of summation of Nietzsche's passion - and this is what Nietzsche was: not a sober-minded empiricist building a body of knowl ...more
Ralowe Ampu
it's a struggle to hold nietzsche in the same space as a resistance to empire, because his allegiances resist being parsed, not that people need to be quantified, but when trying to do history it's a struggle to be coherent in providing an accout of civilizational discontents or what is found to be urgently distressing in the social order. nietzsche then becomes bracingly incoherent as he appears to contradict, passionately promoting what he passionately despises. all that appears consistent is ...more
David Zerangue
This was an excellent read. Eveyrthing you have silently questioned, Nietzsche has placed on paper. The titles may create misgivings amongst the religious community, but they should really take a moment to explore what he has put forth. The Twilight of the Idols represents a collection of various thoughts and points interspersed with a lot of ravings against people he did not uphold. Getting past those ravings leaves you with some very wise prose. The Anti-Christ targets the aftermath of Jesus' ...more
Matt Knox
In "Twilight of the Idols", I can't quite place what profound statement Nietzsche is attempting to make; I'm told it's a criticism of logic, although it appears to me more of a rambling essay on why Kant sucks.

"The Anti-Christ" is easier to place. Nietzsche attacks Christianity as weak, disgusting, a lie spun into 'truth' - all very true, but his praise of Islam and the Hindu caste system weakens my liking of him. He seems to imply with his glorification of the Lawbook of Manu that the Untoucha
I've read a lot of different books in my lifetime. Greek tragedies, Shakespearean plays, Modern Sci-Fi, Even Tolstoy, But none of them were full of hate. Nietzsche may have had a difficult life because of his illness. He may even have been an incredibly intelligent man. A Genius even. But he was also an ass. And I mean a Huge ass. He spews hate. I think he revels in it. He also is an ego maniac. I knew going into this book that the man had an inflated ego and was strongly anti-christian. But he ...more
Minh Quan Nguyen
My review is about the book twilight of the idols. The anti-christ is another important book and need a another review of it.

The best review of these kinds of book of Nietzsche is a quote from him in this book:

my ambition is to say in ten sentences what other people say in a book and what other people do not say in a book ...

This is a book like that. In this book, you can find Nietzsche thoughts about so many things: morality, religion, education, music, other great thinkers he knew … This is
Crap. His arguments aren't with Christ, they're with two thousand years of (mostly) Catholic history. And people don't just "go" crazy, right? If he was crazy the year after he wrote this, can't you be safe in saying he was mostly crazy already?
High three stars. Justly deserves his reputation as one of the great German prose writers, with lots of puns and pithy phrasing. Twilight of the Idols is a useful summary in high literary style of many of what Nietzsche thought of key philosophical issues, free will and epistemology, etc., with a rather interesting section on contemporary culture, attacking figures like the Goncourts, Sand and G.Eliot. The Antichrist is more coherent, a fascinating polemic against the Christian tradition. I didn ...more
Every star I gave this book is a star I thought was closer sending me to hell. Nietzsche gives many explanations and opposed beliefs towards Christianity. He called all priests liars and the whole agenda a falsehood. His motive was because his father and father after him were practicing pastors. He might not have seen the light as his blood line did and chose to profit otherwise. The payoff was Nietzsche went crazy spending his last 10 years in an insane asylum and never given the ability to col ...more
This is an intense read, at times ecstatic at times repetitive but Nietzsche's powerful prose takes you along for the ride. In Twilight of the idols he attacks his former heroes, this is consistent with any intellectual the more knowledge that is gained and truth that is sought, what previously was held as great will become trivial. Its just that Nietzsche attacks some quite renowned people like Socrates and Wagner. There are many words of wisdom that i think anyone can relate to for example he ...more
Not half as good, refreshing, original or wildly insightful and exuberant as The Birth of Tragedy but still very interesting, exuberant in its own way, and above all impassioned. I just feel that the same points came to the fore in slightly altered forms so often that my interest began to degenerate towards the midpoint of The Anti-Christ.

Very sharp, though, rather insightful, and full of interesting psychological explanation and philosophical digression. This book makes me wish Nietzsche was st
Gavin Breeden
What an interesting book. During the final sane year of his life -- before he suffered a complete mental breakdown, which ended his writing -- Nietzsche wrote two final short works which are combined in this book. The first, "Twilight of the Idols," is sort of a summary of his thought, and since I haven't read a great deal of his work prior to this, this was a harder piece for me to follow. Nietzsche also expresses here his desire to say more in ten sentences than others say in entire books. His ...more
Matthew Mattia
There is a lot of richness in Nietzsche that goes beyond him personally; there is a non-prejudicial way of using most of his ideas even though he took some past the point of skeptical self-control he advocated, to the extreme, to conviction, which he himself argued against.

He asks us to be skeptics, but he takes his ideas to the extremes and by doing so distorts reality.

That said, there was much to be interacted with seriously, to be thought about, to be learned from.


1. Will to life (partici
Lukas Szrot
I have read this volume again and again over the past decade since I purchased it for a humanities seminar as an undergrad. I really enjoy nietzsche's work, and not because I agree wholeheartedly with it--I find many of his elitist, misogynistic leanings positively repulsive.

But alas I am a confessed skeptic and cynic; thus I admire his courage. Few human beings who have ever walked this earth, scholars or otherwise, are so willing to challenge the convictions of their time, and, for that matter
Oct 29, 2007 Justin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Nietzsche/Non-fans of Nietzsche
I recently lost this book at a party that--don't ask why I brought it but--I got drunk at and since I read like 85% of it I'm considering it "read". Truth be told, these days I've been boozy a little more than I'd like to admit which is not the best state to be reading philosophy. However, I read (present tense) Nietzsche more to peer into the mind of a tragic figure and someone whom I have some affection for, intellectually, of course. He's indisputably more radical than most of what passes for ...more
He's weirdly conflicted about whether or not one should seek truth at any cost, or whether it's wiser NOT to know some things, whether that's better for one's life and ability to form projects and move forward. He's gone back and forth on this several times, from "On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life" to "Dawn" and "The Gay Science" to here. There's a split in him between the joyful guy who loves life and accepts everything as it is, and the feverish, deadly serious prophet who ...more
I read both of these books with a close friend and we discussed each and every idea as we worked our way through these two classics. Nietzsche is thought-provoking and upended much of what I had previously thought about the nature and content of western thought. Studying his thought processes has taught me to reevaluate every single idol of my own. More than one has come up wanting.

His perspective on organized religion and Christianity in particular truly resonated for me. What he wrote was exa
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  • Existentialism and Human Emotions
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • Culture and Value
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • Minima Moralia
  • The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844/The Communist Manifesto
  • Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology
  • Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche
  • The Ego and Its Own
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) is 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 ide ...more
More about Friedrich Nietzsche...
Thus Spoke Zarathustra Beyond Good and Evil On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo The Anti-Christ The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs

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“Thus the man who is responsive to artistic stimuli reacts to the reality of dreams as does the philosopher to the reality of existence; he observes closely, and he enjoys his observation: for it is out of these images that he interprets life, out of these processes that he trains himself for life.” 19 likes
“Reason" in language - oh, what an old deceptive female she is! I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar.” 12 likes
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