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The Portable Nietzsche

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  8,787 ratings  ·  200 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
Paperback, Revised Edition, 692 pages
Published January 27th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published June 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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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
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was ok
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.
Jee Koh
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
John Morgan
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This still remains the best one-volume introduction to Nietzsche that has been produced in English to date. Although Walter Kaufmann's scholarship and Nietzsche translations have long since been superseded by better versions (the recent Cambridge and Stanford editions prominent among them), they remain eminently readable, and the range of Nietzsche's work that is covered here, from his early to his late work (and you get the complete texts of "Zarathustra," "The Antichrist," "Twilight of the Ido ...more
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Melting Uncle
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Friedrich Nietzsche is arguably the most famous philosopher of the last 200 years, maybe even the most famous since Plato in ancient Greece. When he published his most influential works in the 1880's he was barely known and lived a hermit's existence. His views are difficult to briefly summarize but I almost always find his writing interesting and very perceptive, even when I disagree with him. I would recommend his books to anybody interested in emotions, relationships between individuals, rela ...more
Vanja Antonijevic
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mirek Kukla
Sep 16, 2011 rated it liked it
“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
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Tom Schulte
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third time I have read this anthology. That last time was around 1990. It is worth reading again. But now the cover is gone, and the first pages have drifted away. Over the years I have, of course, I have read other Nietzsche in other editions, but nothing has ever risen to the level of translator and editor Kaufmann’s insights, notes, and arrangement. Even this could be improved by me. I would like more help as I read and Nietzsche refers to contemporary events and personages like D ...more
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 08, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Taylor Lee
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Broad collection. Complete works of Zarahustra, Twilight of the Idols, Antichrist, and Nietzsche Contra Wagner. Selections from others. Kaufmann’s translations have spirit and rhythm, though they’ve been displaced by others for academic purposes. Read it straight through and immediately after Beyond Good and Evil: dipping into the frothy waters of Nietzsche’s writing— a curious and often enjoyable experience that is not without its fatigue. Such shards of brilliance in his writing, glimpses of w ...more
Ted Prokash
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It feels kind of strange to give a star rating to the collected works of Friedrich Nietzsche, but whatever. If these big shot philosophers tryna be dead in two-thousand nineteen, they just asking to get roasted by goodreads nation. Or repped hard. Real hard.

I found Fred's raving-crank writing style very entertaining. I'm not a philosophy student, so I didn't read this (this collection includes the complete texts of most of his major works and selections of several others) looking to dissect it o
Antonio Delgado
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nietzsche, the sane of the philosophers of life, is necessary for our humanity. His anti-political stances, his disdain for the morality of the few, his support for the arts are still needed today. This reader is not a basic one, it contains full texts, letters and important excerpts.
Josh Anderson
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A poor title for such an organized work of importance of Nietzsche scholar, Walter Kaufman.
Adam Schrecengost
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A (mostly) curated chronological selection of Nietzsche's major works, in addition to less formal notes. The chronological notes in particular are fascinating, if only because we know Nietzsche eventually went insane. My one knock on Kaufmann is that Zarathustra could have used some editing and I wish there was more commentary for the longer works. ...more
Jacob van Berkel
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: tribune
Not as good as Kaufmann's other big collection, The Basic Writings of Nietzsche. Both in term of the selection of Nietzsche's works (in my opinion of course, Bob) and Kaufmann's own additions to them (Basic Writings is richly annotated, this book hardly at all). ...more
Michael Kress
The Portable Nietzsche is a comprehensive collection containing excerpts as well as some of Friedrich Nietzsche's full works, translated by Walter Kaufmann. I've been reading this for a while, occasionally taking breaks to read other things. Jumping back into the book after a long break isn't really a problem because you don't always have to rely as much on what you previously read. Despite being commonly misunderstood, Nietzsche is one of the most quotable philosophers, full of great one-liners ...more
Guy M
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Brent McCulley
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Apr 04, 2007 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
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. ...more
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 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 idea of “life- ...more

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