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Twilight of the Idols

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  8,218 ratings  ·  558 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 I ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1888)
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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 that wou
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 ...more
Nietzsche has a strange effect on me, in that his ideas resonate in my mind when I go through a bad day, otherwise - quite debatable.
The aura of negative theology has always accompanied Nietzsche's thinking.

Perceived as a destroyer of idols, as an opponent to the cultural tradition, as an iconoclast to any spiritual authority other than that of one's own spirit, as " the greatest assassin of God ", - he raises statues, in his work, to other new idols.

The values by which the philosophers wer
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 later. That he d
Kevin Shepherd
Originally titled “A Psychologist at Leisure,” Nietzsche pummels popular 19th century ideology and icons with exuberance; wielding his denunciations not like a surgeon with a scalpel, but rather like a lumberjack with an axe.

• Nietzsche on theologians:

“Fancy humanity having to take the brain diseases of morbid cobweb-spinners seriously! - And it has paid dearly for having done so.”

“...we recognize no more radical opponents than the theologians, who with their notion of ‘a moral order of things’
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 (this could be my translation too tho
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

One of Nietzsche's later albums, the synopsis on the back of my copy states, inauspiciously, that Twilight of the Idols was recorded in 1888, "the last sane year of Nietzsche's life"- inauspiciously that is unless you believe that great wisdom lies close to madness.

The first track here is just an intro called Foreword, not a song proper at all. Nietzsche tells us that "nothing succeeds in which high spirits play no part", and that he intends to conduct a revaluation of all values [italics his]..
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
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 and considered
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.
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.
I doubt thi
Davide Orsato
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short & funny
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 wh
Mar 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: philosophy
Nietzsche wrote 6 books in 1888, most of them in the latter half of the year. In January 1889 he suffered a mental breakdown (allegedly defending a horse that was being flogged in Turin). Excluding a few letters, he never wrote again. He spent the remaining 11 years of his life in the care of various relatives and psychiatrists before dying in 1900 at the age of 55. Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer was to be one of his last works.

At the time of Twilight Nietzsche was
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
Taylor Lee
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, german
Fascinating. The aphoristic format is sometimes fatiguing, but this reads like a compendium of Nietzschean wit and insight. This is a later work of Nietzsche’s, and at times a flicker of chaos casts briefly a shadow on the otherwise lucidity of these words. The fragmented nature of the work can be disorienting.
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
Nat Smith
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Subtitled 'how to philosophise with a hammer', Nietzsche wrote this as a synopsis of his philosophy in a flurry of productivity shortly before his descent into madness in 1889.

In short, Nietzsche launches an assault on much of his zeitgeist, especially Judeo-Christian morality and the exaltation of rationality as the sole domain of wisdom. I found it an exhilarating read: Nietzsche has this malice to his writing that never fails to provoke - utterly scathing stuff. Aside from the blood sport, h
beyond words. I am absolutely in love with this man. Nietzsche 'ranks among the most beautiful strokes of fortune in my life'
I have never read a book that so accurately worded my feelings. Page after page I was struck with awe at this man's genius. This is a book for every skeptic, every nihilist, every antichrist. I am in love.
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
Sandro Tarkhan-mouravi
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Purely as a literary work, Twilight of the Idols is a brilliant text - in his imaginative mastery of language Nietzsche is hardly surpassed by any writer of fiction.
This is however not a novel but a philosophical text, written unhesitatingly in the first person, and one is forced to judge it on substance.
Nietzsche's way of presenting his worldview is hardly thorough or systematic. Instead he is launching us on a wild, twisting path of outstandingly brilliant insights alternating with most horrib
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 frustration r
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.
Med Redha
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 not destr
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
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
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 explicitly criticiz
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.
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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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