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Twilight of the Idols

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  6,597 ratings  ·  420 reviews
Twilight of the Idols presents a vivid, compressed overview of many of Nietzsche’s mature ideas, including his attack on Plato’s Socrates and on the Platonic legacy in Western philosophy and culture. Polt provides a trustworthy rendering of Nietzsche’s text in contemporary American English, complete with notes prepared by the translator and Tracy Strong. An authoritative Introd ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published September 1889)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Götzen-Dämmerung oder Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophirt = Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche
Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer is a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in 1888, and published in 1889. Twilight of the Idols was written in just over a week, between 26 August and 3 September 1888, while Nietzsche was on holiday in Sils Maria. As Nietzsche's fame and popularity were spreading both inside and outside Germany, he felt that he needed a text tha
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I really wanted to philosophize with a hammer, but I said to myself, 'Who the heck will show me how?' As quickly as the word 'how' fell from my lips into the limitless void, I heard a motorized scooter being fired up and approaching at an alarming speed. (Alarming for a motorized scooter, anyway.) I turned around in my fluorescent yellow booth at Subway, where I was busy 'enjoying' a Veggie Delite [sic], only to see a deranged-looking man with enough mustache for the entire cast of a 1970s gay p ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Can you imagine how much fun Nietzsche must have been at parties?

Guest No. 1: Wow, these deviled eggs are delicious.
Freddy: The devil is a creation of the ultimate mishap upon humankind, and this egg is a desecration of the fruit of the first instinct.

Guest No. 2: Great music, huh?
Fred: I hate it.

And so on.

Obviously, Nietzsche had a titanic mind, and while his immoralisim is in direct conflict with my personal worldview, many of his ideas remain profound a century and a half late
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book frustrated me beyond comprehension. I hated him so vehemently for many different reasons:

He whines incessantly about things like the downfall of German intellectualism, yet offers no solution.

He "critiques" a great many other philosopher , writer, or artist, but offers little to no actual insight to the "idol;" he simply alludes to their "stupidity," much like a child with a chip on his shoulder.

His style of writing is disjointed and hard to follow (
Lindu Pindu
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upon reading the reviews here, it surprises me how many people misunderstand what Nietzsche is saying; he is definitely not a nihilist. Rather, he affirms life.

An example would be where he talks of freedom. You gain freedom by affirming life, in spite of the pain and suffering that comes with life (strikes me as Buddhist). Freedom is also gained by mastery of the instinct for ‘happiness.’ Much of what he says applies today- our ethics that support our weaknesses, our educational system that pro
Joseph Spuckler
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, foreign
“I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar”
فاروق الفرشيشي
-------------- My Review (I read an arabic version : غسق الأوثان and an English one to ensure it's a good translation)

Now I'm discovering Nieztsche, the real one, not like in "Die fröhliche Wissenschaft", he's giving much of him in this book, so much opinions here, so much contradictions, and confusing concepts, anarchy is out there in every word, in every text, he doesn't seem to give a f*** to how a book should be structured, he just writes when he wants, and about what he pleases.
Griffin Wilson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most excellent.

I could recommend this as a good place to start with Nietzsche. He wrote it at the end of his life and seems to bring a lot of ideas from different works together here: critiques of Plato and his impact on the Western tradition, of Christianity, and of "modernity" and various thinkers it produced along with bits and pieces of his solution.
You run ahead? Are you doing it as a shepherd? Or as an exception? A third case would be as a fugitive.
First question of conscience.

Are you genuine? Or merely an actor? A representative? Or that which is represented? In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor.
Second question of conscience.

Are you one who looks on? Or one who lends a hand? Or one who looks away and walks off?
Third question of conscience.

Do you want to walk along? Or walk ahead? Or walk by yourself? One must know what one wants an
Davide Orsato
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short & funny
May 11, 2011 marked it as to-read
The only reason I'm adding Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols" is because I had an extremely vivid dream last night that I was in the waiting room of a ruined, wrecked office building (with shattered windows, overturned furniture, chair and couch cushions splayed and torn and ripped, stuffing pulled out and strewn everywhere, bookshelves overturned, desks knifed and broken) and this waiting room was at the endpoint of a very long series of labyrinthine halls, and the receptionist was behind some ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy
I am most likely going to burn in reader's hell for this rating. I never really liked Nietzsche, his style always seems to influence the weak with rebellion, especially teenagers. His anger with Christianity is so big that I believe this guy is responsible for a third of today's atheists. Especially if you're in high school, this book is going to influence you a lot.

He focuses on how people trust and value much more their non-sensorial traits and how the real sensors are neglected an
Ali Gilani
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nietzsche writes in a vague prose, and there are multiple interpretations of his texts, but I will make it simpler for me and write my first impressions of the book. I believe it is a great piece of prose. And his aphoristic style is short and curt and as the name of the book suggests, it really feels like someone is pounding you with a hammer. The blows are swift and direct.

As I read an English translation much of the lyrical effect, the play on the words is left out, somewhere pointed out by
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it
This starts off with some almost funny (something even vaguely resembling humor is not something you expect to see in a Nietzsche book) observations from Nietzsche and goes from there into his critiques of Socrates. He later goes into critiques and observations about other philosophers, as well as critiquing Germans and Germany. This book has plenty of what I normally like and dislike about Nietzsche. Dislike, sometimes reading his work is about as exciting as watching paint dry and he comes off ...more
Ştefan Bolea
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I intend to write an essay about three of the books written in 1888 by Nietzsche: the most explosive, the "crazy" ones. What I have found out, re-reading them, is that Nietzsche wasn't crazy at all when he conceived "The Twilight of Idols" for instance (as some psychiatrists claim). His truths are more powerful, deeper and more energetic. There is an incredible tension but also a massive - almost unbelieveable - intuition. In his hidden, occult way (pre-psychanalytic), Nietzsche is almost always ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Hysterically irritated and contemptuous, this book of aphoristic observations and short philosophical essays is by turns incisive, obvious, witty, morose and self-congratulatory. Nietzsche here is like a hungover Voltaire the morning after a brawl at a gentleman's club. He's relentlessly dour, and his arguments seem at first like a bracing philosophical slap, then like a hilarious rant at a Bohemian open-mike night and finally like a tiresome uncle's after-dinner wheedling. The number of stars i ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philosophize with a Hammer!!! Love this concept because Nietzsche is usually vilified by those who either have never read his work or don't appreciate what he was trying to do. First and foremost Nietzsche is a penultimate cultural critic. He is trying to smash through powerfully entrenched paradigms in order that Westerners might better understand themselves.

It is obvious that the focus of the majority of his angst, the recently united Kingdom of Germany (1880s), comes from a deep f
I've been simultaneously reading this book in print form and listening to the audio recording from (also now uploaded to YouTube by user Emporium). The book is read by D. E. Wittkower who does an outstanding job presenting the text clearly and in a measured pace that allows for ideas to be completely processed by the listener. Even better, I dare to say this reader manages to capture the essence of Nietzsche himself (e.g. Nietzsche's sardonic intensity as well as the devastating precision of hi ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, owned
I loved the chapter “How the ‘True World’ Finally Became a Fable” - a full genealogy of metaphysics in a single page. By the end he is justly proud of his succinctness.
Mεδ Rεδħα
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Friedrich Nietzsche, like no other of the great philosophers, boldly destroys a multitude of ideals, idols and standards ever created by man, public institutions and individual famous people who in one way or another went down in history and left dogmatic and unnatural dogmas.

The book is sometimes difficult to understand and sometimes it is very difficult to understand the idea of the author. But one way or another, it justifies its name, and if many personal tenets of the reader are
Madalin Boboc
This book's appeal is that it is made as a collection of essays, so it's easier too read,thus recommended to someone who wants to get into Nietzsche.It's excellent for someone who wants to familiarize itself whit Nietzsche's ideas,yet they aren't to well developed so one could still want to read previous Nietzsche books to get more in the meat of Nietzsche's thoughts.Freddy had allot of fun in writing this and this means he can be very fun to read for the right person.So he managed to retain hi ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer

As Nietzsche explains, the Twilight of the Idols refers to (and I quote), "the old truth that has been believed in hitherto, in plain english, Twilight of the Idols means that the old truth is on its last legs."

Nietzsche expounds on issues such as the reason for philosophy, issues of morality, and philosophers who have fictionalized the world creating elements of doubt, and removing the 'real world' concept, he also e
Kinan Arous
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
The 2 stars are for not understanding it well although I have a philosophical background.I will read it again later.
By the way, many people complain about the translation, which leads me to think that Nietzsche's style of writing is like that.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
whew daddy Nietzsche can bring it. Wish he was more expansive beyond his aphoristic and non-linear style, which seems to be a staple among German philosophers, but that's a tiny complaint. Nietzsche really is a Christians best friend in the realm of atheist literature. I mean that with no irony. Why? He goes after atheists with such a fury with such ferocity it's any wonder atheists enjoy him. I mean, he understands why Christians believe, and he calls out how hypocritical atheists act and funct ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, nietzsche
You need to live several lifetimes to fully understand Nietzsche.
To understand this book's content, perhaps you need to read his other works, or be familiar with the other philosophers and writers.
The most brilliant, wise, mind-expanding, awesome, funny, sarcastic books you'll ever read is written by Nietzsche.
I'm satisfied and sad at the same time, because only one Nietzsche's book is left for me to read his entire bibliography. And then, I'll start all over again !!!
River Lewis
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"To live alone one must be an animal or a god – says Aristotle. There is yet a third case: one must be both – a philosopher."
Jack Fingal
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nietzsche's penetrating insights and his powerful voice make this a delightful intellectual romp, just like all of Nietzsche's books.

Will there ever be a genius of such a great magnitude as Nietzsche ever again?
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
“I fear we shall never be rid of God, so long as we still believe in grammar.”

Perhaps it’s just me, but that seems to be a very hopeful concept.
William Venneberg
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is the summery of Nietzsche's philosophy. he makes interesting and thought provoking insights throughout, and while I disagree with him on the position of morals being essentially wrong because they call for one to fight natural impulses (one can argue that that is the point; not to embrace the natural but to abstain from it for the spiritual), I believe that this book provides one with a sufficient introduction into modern philosophy.
Frankie Della Torre
This book is explosive - like a hammer that shatters a rock to a million little bits, as the subtitle might indicate. Fritz (the nickname his family gave him when he was young; it has caught on for me) calls for a "revaluation of all values" and this book is one of his many attempts to sketch a way forward after the "death of God."

Walter Kaufmann said that this book "furnishes a fine epitome of Nietzsche" and I think he is spot on. I recommend that readers looking for a place to star
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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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