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The Portable Nietzsche

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  7,755 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
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 Nietzs ...more
ebook, 704 pages
Published January 27th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published 1954)
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Phillip That I am not sure…The Walter Kaufman translation is the authoritative copy for English readers though..
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Community Reviews

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Erik Graff
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Edward Erickson
Shelves: philosophy
My first two years at Grinnell College were conflicted. I was genuinely interested in study, but felt morally compelled to devote considerable time to political work and to the study of such subjects as history and political science which contributed to doing it intelligently. Then, having been at loggerheads with the DesPlaines draft board for some time for resistance, I was notified that proceedings against me were soon to begin.

Paying my own way through school, the prospect of being pulled fr
...more
Jee Koh
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," this weird hybrid of philosophy, biography, myth and poetry. The cross-breeding (or -bleeding) of genres makes the book sound like a monstrous plant from a hothouse or an alchemical tome from a monastery. It is not. It is a book conceived while striding over mountains. It is best read in the open air, as I did, much of it, in Central Park, American elms arching above the Literary Walk to form the vaulted ceiling of a cathedral.

From one perspective
...more
Matt
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people of all faiths
Recommended to Matt by: My brother
What does not destroy me, makes me stronger. Also, God is dead. The Portable Nietzsche is a collection of Friedrich Nietzsche's books. I was familiar with Nietzsche's blasphemous assertion before picking up the book. I was not aware of the fact that, according to Nietzsche, we killed God. He died of his pity for us. Nietzsche explains that christianity's emphasis on suffering, sin, and afterlife put it in opposition to life itself. Der Ubermann (The Overman) is Nietzsche's ideal, a final post-th ...more
Denis
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish it. Life is too short. His mother should have made him go play outside.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I went to the porch and had a smoke. A hare came zipping across my driveway and around the corner of the house. My cat spotted it, jumped off the window sill and rushed to the storm door where he bumped his head against the still closed window. Had Nietzsche been there he would have laughed, too, I just know it.
James
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, philosophers
Shelves: recently-read
For the most part, Nietzsche is not at all the philosopher that people think he is. He was the first relativist and "the last metaphysician" according to Heidegger. In many ways, Nietzsche finally said what was always implicit in Western philosophy - that truth and knowledge were simply a matter of concensus and control, and that freedom was the privelege of the rare few who could descend from the heights of man's "truth" and create their own values. His philosophy was not the sinister precursor ...more
Vanessa
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's like reading the ramblings of a mental patient
Vanja Antonijevic
This book is a great complement to "Basic Writings of Nietzche". The other book should be read first, however.

Please refer to my other review on Nietzche (as I do not have enough room to copy it) for a more complete analysis.

There were some additional points I wish to cover:

1. Nietzsche is very difficult to understand, and has hence been the most misinterpreted philosopher of all time.

The belief that he was a Nazi, that he is an anti-semite, and misinterpretations and misuse of his overman/sup
...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
I found his philosophy really fascinating.

He garnered a lot of controversy especially with the concept of the Übermensch. Which talks, from my understanding, about the superiority of the human race in the future. Some people and movements source this with the justification of eugenics, but I'm not too clear on Nietzsche views on eugenics.

In the Übermensch philosophy there is the often quoted and mostly misunderstood "God is dead." which pissed off a lot of Christians.

So Nietzsche was and is a v
...more
Bradley
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of the greatest philosophers in the Western Tradition. Set the stage for just about every political, or philosophical trend in the 20th century. From his misinterpretation by the Nazi's (he was not an anti-semite) to his inspiration of deconstruction, post-modern thought, and just about every subsequent thought in the continental tradition besides Marxism, this book is a must for anyone who wants to begin to understand how to live life. Probably the greatest psychologist that has ...more
Spoust1
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existentialism
Walter Kaufmann is the man responsible for Nietzsche studies in the English speaking world, and the collection he edited of Nietzsche's writings is outstanding. The book has several complete works: "Thus Spoke Zarathustra," Nietzsche's opus about the philosopher-king character Zarathustra; "Antichrist" and "Twilight of the Idols," both shorter, more mature works; "Ecce Homo," Nietzsche's exceedingly narcissistic study on himself; and "Nietzsche Contra Wagner," which is self-explanatory. The book ...more
Danny
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up years ago in a secondhand bookstore because it had the full text of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Little did I know I'd just bought the best introduction to Nietzsche that I've come across to date.

This contains excerpts and several full texts which span Nietzsche's entire writing career, which gives the person reading him for the first time a vastly more comprehensive feel for his philosophy than can be had from some other Nietzsche collections which are mostly a hodge-podge of
...more
Christian
Nietzsche is brilliant but not a fun or easy read. He, like many philosophers wrote essays on topics and not stories. I will argue that Zarathrustra while containing some interesting thoughts was a boring read. I am very interested by the man and his philosophical views but despise the style of essay that he wrote in.
Mirek Kukla
Review
“The Portable Nietzsche” is a hefty collection of Nietzsche’s writings, with a bit of commentary on the translator’s part. This compilation contains three entire works: “Twilight of the Idols,” “The Antichrist,” and “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” as well as a number of selections from his other works. The range here is certainly quite comprehensive, and gives you a good idea of what Nietzsche’s all about.

Well, what is Nietzsche all about? Sometimes, it’s hard to say. While I think I left with a
...more
Josh Anderson
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A poor title for such an organized work of importance of Nietzsche scholar, Walter Kaufman.
Michael
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nietzsche
"Toward a psychology of the artist. If there is to be art, if there is to be any aesthetic doing and seeing, one physiological condition is indispensable: frenzy. Frenzy must first have enhanced the excitability of the whole machine; else there is no art. All kinds of frenzy, however diversely conditioned, have the strength to accomplish this: above all, the frenzy of sexual excitement, this most ancient and original form of frenzy. Also the frenzy that follows all great cravings, all strong aff ...more
Dylan
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dylan by: Brent
my main observation: Nietzsche's philosophy is extremely difficult to encapsulate. i definitely know what people mean now when they say he has no system, although i saw ever-so-many teasing hints at one!

other thoughts:
*eternal recurrence?! what's up with that?

*my reservations about his antipathy toward "equality" and his embrace of hierarchy were never completely resolved, but, based on Zarathustra, i'm relatively sure that they are primarily intended as motivational devices with benevolent in
...more
Chris
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. Slave mentality. Survival of the fittest. God is dead. Hitler was inspired by his views, but Nietzsche does push you to think critically of your own beliefs and why people believe the things they do. The book is pretty dry though, so take these quotes of all you need to know of Nietzsche.

Here are some of my favorite Nietzsche quotes:
1) "What does not kill me makes me stronger."
2) "The vanity of others runs counter to our taste only when it runs counter to our vanity."
3) "There are no fact
...more
Guy M
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering the fact that Kaufmann is an exemplary Nietzsche scholar, the commentary here is sorely disappointing; though I suppose this can be attributed to the nature of the compilation itself. Otherwise, this is a great place to go for most of Nietzsche's thought wrapped into one volume. The inclusion of his magnificently insightful notebooks and lesser known, albeit incredibly significant pieces ("Truth and Lie in an Extramoral Sense", etc) make this worthy as well.
Brent McCulley
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, favorites
I have previously read, and also own, all of the complete Nietzsche texts included in this companion, but the notes and letters included in "The Portable Nietzsche" are a great way to really peak into the mind of the great existentialist of the 19th century. Also, the main reason I purchased this is simply because the Kauffman translations are invaluable.
Matt
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good, concise introduction to Nietzsche and his philosophy, from a commentator who actually understands his frequently misinterpreted writings. It's not hard to see why he has had such an influence on modern and post-modern philosophy. Essential reading for anybody with philosophical aptitude.
Matthew
Wow this guy is twisted, but has a lot of good perspectives. He's a kind of high colonic for certain superstitions and emotional constipation. Maybe an over-correction but sometimes thats what a species needs.
Edacheeky (Eda D)
A lot of things Nietzsche mentions are true and enlightening. This is another book that I've flipped through as it (I think) a collection of all of Nietzsche's books. I plan on sitting down and reading the book properly in the future. Definitely a great read.
Theron
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
-So far I've just read "The Anti-Christ" from this anthology.

-Just finished the essay "Truth and Lie in an Extra Moral Sense"
* * * Chata loves Eddie Veder * * *
I love this book
Nick Scandy
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a sentence: He's significantly more positive than I had initially thought.

(But still kinda grumpy.)
Bill FromPA
Oct 11, 2014 marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
Thus Spoke Zarathustra seems on the surface a work of Orientalism: the protagonist is a Persian prophet, the setting desert, mountains, oases, and marketplaces, the supporting players include a soothsayer, dancing girls, and camels, figs and lamb are eaten.

Why this fancy dress? In his previous books Nietzsche was content to speak in the voice of a thoroughly modern 19th century scholar and thinker. Are these robes and this antique-inflected speech meant to impress us with the wisdom and power of
...more
Dustin Pickering
I especially loved "Twilight of the Idols" and "The Anti-Christ". This book stayed in my backpack at school for two years as I picked it apart. I finally committed to reading it from start to finish. The most illuminating sections are at the beginning. "Truth and Lie in an Extra Moral Sense" and "Homer's Contest" reveal just how serious Nietzsche's thinking gets. In few words, he manages to express a thing we all fear. Nietzsche has been called a nihilist, although such a word has no set definit ...more
Tam Sothonprapakonn
Perfect introduction to the absolute mad man. Kaufmann provides insightful commentary and prepares you before each reading with the necessary frameworks and biographical backgrounds.

Presents four works in full:
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Twilight of the Idols
The Anti-Christ
Nietzsche Contra Wagner

Some letters, notes, and selections here and there from other works.

Perfect deal, almost a steal, considering the price.
Veronica Gimenez Bermudez
hands down FAVORITE ENGLISH TRANSLATION and ANTHOLOGY of his work <3
krad
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got 2/3 of the way through, but ... it's a DNF. I dig the commentary here (and might pick up the other books) - just don't have the bandwidth to parse through the real meat at this point.
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Kaufmann translations 10 43 Sep 18, 2012 04:41PM  
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1938
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
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“Sensuality often hastens the "Growth of Love" so much that the roots remain weak and are easily torn up.” 109 likes
“God is dead, but considering the state the species man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown.” 39 likes
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