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Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  6,947 Ratings  ·  159 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 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
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
“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
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
David Sarkies
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
More Disjointed Thoughts of an Angry Philosopher
20 October 2010

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 library of a Bible College – the again this wasn't a fundamentalist, can't have any books that aren't written by approved authors in the library type of Bible College). However he was there, and I decided to read him. It also help that in my Church History lecture we looked
Jeremy Ra
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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.
Taylor Pearson
Thought the history of Christianity in the Antichrist was really thought-provoking.

Twilight of the Idols was a bit of a disappointment. I felt like he covered the same ground but better in On the Genealogy of Morals.
Scriptor Ignotus
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
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
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So much ink has been spilled on Nietzsche commentary that there's not much to say. Has the legacy of the Platonic, transmitted as it was through Judeo-Christian culture, robbed modern humanity of the earthly joys of living? Is the rejection of the material world in favor of the spiritual a false duality that will haunt Western intellectual life forever? They're questions well worth considering.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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
William Schram
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, philosophy
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a number of enduring works, with Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ being his last before he went insane. Now this book is the Penguin Classics version of these two works and was printed in 2003 with a new further reading section. R.J. Hollingdale provides the translation and there is an introduction by Michael Tanner. As the book says, the introduction provides historical context for his statements and ideas.

Nietzsche is pretty famous so I don’t remember when I
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Read it again, today. The Anti-Christ is the first Nietzsche I've read.

Make no mistakes here, folks. Nietzsche is the one who truly loved Jesus Christ. Love -- in the sense that he understood, he felt with him. Although Nietzsche himself might not be aware of it.

There were two sentences from early Christian papyrus texts that Jung once mentioned:

He who is close to me is close to fire, he who is away from me is away from the Kingdom of Heaven.

When one is with oneself one is with Christ.

Of course
Renxiang Liu
On Twilight of the Idols

This book is more systematic and also more consistent than most of Nietzsche's other works. The currents of thought that ran through his writing, varying restlessly for a satisfying expression, came to a pause in this volume. Therefore, it serves as a "snapshot" of Nietzsche's mature thinking.

The first thing to note is about the subtitle. One should not under the "hammer", as popular interpretations tend to do, to be a symbol of smashing, dismantling, nullifying. In the P
Jun 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alice Watkins
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Zerangue
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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
Troy Neujahr
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Anti-Christ is quite fascinating simply from the perspective of its blatant vehemence poured out upon Christianity. Nietzsche's hubris is astounding as he lays claim to a greatness of life, strength, and thought that very few may obtain. And yet within this book I see the seeds of modern culture's disdain for the faith, for revelation, for humility. Eye-opening as it is revealing.
Mar 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nietzsche was an angry man. Wow.

That's all I've got. I'm completely taken aback by this read.
Taylor Storey
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From sections 32-42:
“the life of the redeemer was nothing else than this practice...a new way of living, not a new belief....nothing is more un-Christian than the ecclesiastical crudities of a God as a person, of a 'kingdom of god' which comes, of a 'kingdom of heaven' in the beyond...all this, a fist in the eye--oh in what an eye! -- of the Gospel.... the 'kingdom of god' is not something one waits is an experience within a heart.... this 'bringer of glad tidings' died as he lived, as
Roslyn Ross
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I just made a great new friend!

Thought: Nietzsche wants to worship what is strong and healthy and alive. He despises Jesus for calling us to worship what is weak and dying. But what if humans need both? What if Joseph Campbell is right that all religious stories are psychological stories? This makes more sense, that humans have a life-drive and a death-drive, that both are part of every human psyche. I wrote about this before (in a way):

Nov 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While I could not follow Nietzsche's narrative, I think I could grasp what he was doing. I think that he was rebelling against so much that people look at as already defined. When in truth, everything is always in flux. He wanted and wants people to be critical of their thoughts. Back then and even now, that's a hard thing to come by. And although I may not like the book, or just not follow what he writes, hopefully my copy will go to someone who will understand or cherish or at least be open to ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-non_fiction
Somehow, in adding books to goodreads, I forgot I read this. Several times.

I read this first in high-school, and it's a perfect book to be introduced to Nietzsche with. The aphorisms have a lot of punch and they're easy to get something out of - and even more if you're not a high-schooler reading them. I still enjoyed these books years later, and if I only give it five stars, it's because there's better Nietzsche to read.
Michael Coca
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense book. Dense, aggravating, energizing. The book is a collection of insights, each less than a page so it is easy to pick up and go over a few and put it back down again with something to think about.
Christopher Hansen
Nietzsche was wrong about a lot of stuff, but at least he was on the right track. 130 years after he finished writing, the world has yet to catch up to him.
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  • Philosophical Fragments
  • The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?
  • The Blue and Brown Books
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • What Is Philosophy?
  • Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology
  • Conversations of Socrates
  • Minima Moralia: Reflections from a Damaged Life
  • The Accursed Share 1: Consumption
  • Philosophical Hermeneutics
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) 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 id ...more
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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.” 35 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.” 16 likes
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