Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are
"A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection." --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org
Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR. One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one of Outside's Best Books of Fall
A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche
Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Ar
Kaag, who is a philosophy professor in Massachusetts, does a nice job of explaining the basics of the great philosophers to a layperson. Which is to say that you don't need to be a philosophy major to enjoy his boo ...more
A really wonderful book. Very much enjoyed reading it. Here are some notes lifted from the text:
…At nineteen, on the summit of Corvatsch, I had no idea how dull the world could sometimes be. How easy it would be to remain in the valleys, to be satisfied with mediocrity. Or how difficult it would be to stay alert to life…
… The project of the Übermensch—is not to arrive at any fixed destination or to find some permanent room with a view.
…Nietzsche insists, “ ...more
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Notebook, 1873
‘I came to rest on a well-worn slab of granite and appreciated how far I’d come....
...Nietzsche was, for most of his life, in search of the highest, routinely bent on mastering the physical and philosophical landscape. “Behold,” he gestures, “I teach you the Übermensch.” ...more
On the first trip, Kaag was an angst-filled nineteen-year-old: the embodiment of the prototypical teenaged devotee of Nietzsche’s independent and iconoclastic Übermensch ideal. The second t ...more
The word it all comes down to: Huh?
So it was refreshing to read a "memoir-ish" exploration of a philosopher, in this case Nietzsche, by ...more
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this arc available through netgalley.
On the other hand, Kaag is exc ...more
I knew nothing a ...more
After the first couple of chapters, I believe I would have set this down if not for the obligation to the book club. The autho ...more
The return is a key concept of Nietzsche's work, and Kaag uses it to great effect as he tells ...more
That's the idea in John Kaag's writing, and he follows up his experience of falling in love (in his first book, American Philosophy: A Love Story) with a reflection on 'how to be a man'--in marriage, in fatherhood, approaching middle age.
In the book, Kaag revisits a sojourn he made as a 19-year-old college student, when he journeyed to the Swiss hamlet of Sils Maria to walk in the footsteps of Friedrich Nietzsche and live at " ...more
The author is a philosopher and a devotee of Nietzsche. He discovered Nietzsche, as I suspect most of us do, in his late teens. He seems to have been a rather unhappy teenager who went on to struggle with an eating disorder that he sti ...more
Sounds like a perfect trip to me and yes the human evolution is on guard.
I love this quote," what was once done for the love of god is now done for the love of money."
Is there anything more truthful than this ....
The challenge is of course to embrace life with all its suffering.
Revolution of values is the greatest contribution to history of ...more
Kaag notes his and Nietzsche's similarities: both their fathers were suicides; both took fasting and asceticism to extremes; both had difficulty in social relationships; both had control needs; both preferred solitary lives. At least, when Kaag was nineteen, he felt those similarities keenly.
The glaring difference between t ...more
The author of this book - and professor of philosophy - recounts his efforts to know Nietzsche and his thoughts by visiting and hiking in the very places Nietzsche formulated those thoughts. Tough to buy in to this, at times, but one does learn a lot.
I think if I knew more and was more familiar with philosophy, this book would have spoken to me more deeply. A lot of it went over my head ...more
You could think of this as a more readable version of Nietzsche, as told in the style of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which if you liked you’d probably like this too.
It's well-written, with many useful and followup-worthy references to othe ...more
Nietzsche as ...more
… as an angsty teen who idolized the Übermensch:
“Life is often painful or bothersome, but the hiker, at the very least, gets to determine how he or she is meant to suffer.”
… as a mountain lover who longs a chance to scramble again:
“When you read Nietzsche in a library or a coffee shop, it is possible to misinterpret this as hyperbole or the ravings of a madman. But not here. There is no such thing as hyperb ...more
Kaag is a dispirited young philosopher at sea in his marriage and his career when he stumbles upon West Wind, a ruin of an estate in the hinterlands ...more