Jacob Stubbs's Reviews > Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
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Jun 19, 11

bookshelves: philosophy
Read in June, 2011

"Also Sprach Zarathustra" is an interesting philosophic look into Nietzsche's beliefs and philosophy. He lays out his doctrine of eternal recurrence, which (in my opinion) holds many similarities to "The Cave" analogy found in Plato's "Republic". He lays out his views of God, Christianity, virtue, truth (with a little "l"), and the "Will to Power" in this as well. Overall, I think Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence idea is the foundation for his nihilism and ultimately drives at the existential question of "Why are we here" (c.f. Heidegger's "Why is there essents instead of nothing?" as for a better look at such). Nevertheless, Nietzsche's espousal of truth (with a little "l") ultimately pushes him to think that mankind cannot hold knowledge of why he is here, what his purpose is, etcetera. This means that he is to "dance" or create his way out of the abyss he finds himself in, hoping to carry himself into another, higher form (see the overman). Through this, then, Nietzsche's eternal recurrence ultimately pushes mankind or the human creature from exiting one "cave" to another through the act of creating (leaving the abyss). Thus, the "Will to Power" (the force of mankind's existence) will ultimately cause him to attempt to leave the dank abyss; however, due to the death of God (assuredly the most taken out of context passage ever written [besides, perhaps, Phillipians 4:13]), mankind will never be able to do so, as he cannot understand himself as holding access to "Truth" (with a big "T").

By the way, I hope to have a philosopher ensure that I am not too far off with my existential reading of Nietzsche by Tuesday. If I am far off, the review will be updated...

On a stylistic note, Nietzsche's writing style holds an impressive power. I spent many times after finishing an aphorism or essay in amazing awe of his power with words. I have always viewed Nietzsche's writing style as being quite pretty, but having read select passages in God's One, Only, and True Translation (the King James Version [Although the Hebrew and Greek versions might be more inspired than the English version]) that Nietzsche references in this book, I was amazed at Kaufmann's translation ability and Nietzsche's grasp of the Biblical writing style and its poetic beauty. Due to the failure of a previous translation, I was not able to make it far into this amazing work; however, I can now understand why Kaufmann is such a reputable Nietzsche scholar.

If Nietzsche could have edited this slightly, it would have been even better.
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