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The Gay Science

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  10,135 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God -- to which a large part of the book is devoted -- and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence.

Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his ph
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Mass Market Paperback, Vintage Books, 398 pages
Published January 12th 1974 by Random House (first published April 1st 1882)
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Grant Pierce That is a great question. The answer is complicated and gets at the heart of Nietzsche's philosophy but I will do my best to explain it.

When Nietzsche…more
That is a great question. The answer is complicated and gets at the heart of Nietzsche's philosophy but I will do my best to explain it.

When Nietzsche writes "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him" he does not literally mean that God has died, rather he means that the idea of God and by extension Judaeo/Christian morality and even the idea of morality have been destroyed by humanity's scientific, cultural and philosophical development. However, this often quoted line is misunderstood by many.

This is why understanding the madman is important. The madman in the parable is essentially Zarathustra (from Nietzsche's later work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra) and a representation of Nietzsche himself. He is a "madman" because he holds views and opinions that are far removed from those of common people (atheists included). He is prophetic. The beginning of the parable explains that the villagers standing in the market are common atheists who scoff at and mock the madman (Nietzsche) for his frantic search for God (morality, purpose, meaning, truth). They trivialize his desperate search and assume that the madman is either scared of atheists, a proselytizer from another land, or a religious fool.

None of these assumptions is correct. Because the villagers do not understand what he is doing and saying, the madman "jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes" and attempts to convey to the villagers how deep and profound the death of "God" is. He likens "God's" death to the earth being unchained from the sun, the wiping away of the horizon, continuous night, falling through an infinite nothing, etc.

In the next paragraph, the madman uses rhetorical questions to attempt to explain to the villagers why "God's" death is as calamitous as he just described. "Who will wipe this (God's) blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games will we have to invent?" These questions are really just one big question: Given the destruction of objective morality, meaning, and purpose, what principles can we believe in, what morality can we follow, what purpose can we live for, and do principles, morality, and purpose even mean anything anymore? Essentially, it is the question of nihilism.

The villagers do not understand what the madman means because although they do not believe in God, they have (unknowingly) retained the morality, principles, and purpose of people who do believe in God. But God is dead, so morality, principles, and purpose die with him. Because of their lack of understanding the villagers simply stare at the madman in silence. Seeing this, the madman smashes his lantern and says that he "has come too early" because the people have yet to grasp the implications of atheism.

The madman and Nietzsche himself were both confronted with the void of nihilism upon understanding the implications of their atheism. Nihilism, when lived or really understood, feels, as Nietzsche wrote, like "straying, as through an infinite nothing" or "plunging continually... backward, sideward, forward, in all directions." Understandably, this is not a pleasant experience and is potentially even less pleasant that extreme physical and emotional pain. Given this realization (nihilism) and the experience associated with it, no wonder the madman began desperately searching for some way to escape, to find objective morality, truth, meaning, and purpose.(less)

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Zawn Villines
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
If you read Nietzsche while not in the midst of some variety of emo existential crisis, Nietzsche is hilarious and insightful. If, however, you choose to read Nietzsche in high school in order to be counter-culture, odds are good Nietzsche will temporarily turn you into a horrible, pompous ass. Nietzsche is the first philosopher I ever read; I stole The Gay Science from my cousin's book shelf when I was nine because I wanted to read "what smart people read." Ever since then, Nietzsche and I have ...more
فرشاد
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
حکمت شادان، اگر هنوز، یکی از آنان باقی مانده باشد.
Emma
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
What makes us heroic? - confronting simultaneously our supreme suffering and our supreme hope. - Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Aphorisms! Tons of 'em! All in a seemingly random miscellaneous structure. Important epistemological questions are asked, profound observations are made and Nietzsche's key themes are introduced.

The aphorisms are anywhere from one sentence to several paragraphs in length and each has a title and number, with the original German on the opposite page. They kinda feel off-the-
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Roy Lotz
The more mistrust, the more philosophy.

How to review Nietzsche? His writing is so rich, so overabundant, so overflowing, that evaluating his works is like trying to drink up a waterfall. I cannot even decide whether Nietzsche was a philosopher, or something else. Perhaps he can be better described as an essayist, a poet, a sage, a neurotic, a raving madman, a prescient visionary? The title hardly matters, I suppose; although without some benchmark of comparison, I am left in the dark for a way
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David
Dec 19, 2013 marked it as eventually-read
NOT GAY ENOUGH.
Jonfaith
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Seemita Pooja
Recommended to Jonfaith by: see
Shelves: theory
For believe me! — the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon the age will be past when you could be content to live hidden in forests like shy deer!

While this wasn't my point of departure into
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Maryam
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
عنوان کتاب حکمت شادان اشاره ای است به شاعران و رامشگران جنوب فرانسه که در قرن دوازدهم میلادی حرکتی را در ستایش عشق، جوانمردی و شاد زیستن را آغاز می کنند. و مکتبی تاسیس می شود به نام مجلس حکمت شادان. که در آنجا علاقه مندان به شعر و موسیقی جلساتی تشکیل می دهند و در زمینه قواعد زبان و سخنوری بحث و جدل می کنند. رامشگران و عیاران این محفل اشعاری را که برای حضرت مریم یا بانوی محبوب خود می سرایند حکمت شادان می نامند.


 حکمت شادان نوشته ای است که به شاعر و هنرمند ارج می نهد. نیچه در این کتاب از آفرینش، هن
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Martin
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you in your loneliest loneliness and say to you:
"This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence—even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this m
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Marts  (Thinker)
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, philosophy
The Joyful Wisdom or the Gay Science, is to me, a bit different from the other Nietzsche books I've read. The general philosophies of the writer are present yet the volume creates in the reader a sense of power, fulfilment, achievement... Upon all he postulates are reasons to overcome such and conquer.

Here he also presents his philosophy, 'God is Dead', as stated in section 108:
After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is d
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Summer
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Epic Nietzsche. My favorite Nietzsche text (and Nietzsche is my most favorite thinking creature of all time, so this means a lot) - somehow managing to be provocative, meditative, accessible, and entertaining in one stroke! One of those rare books that you can actually pick up, flip to any page, and read, without wondering all that much about what came before. I utilized many ideas presented in this book as jumping off points in my master's thesis, and were it not for the constrictions of time, ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
زندگی میتواند برای آنهایی که در جستجوی دانستن هستند یک تجربه باشد و نه یک وظیفه، جبر یا فریب
Gilgamesh  Nabeel
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
هو أول كتاب متكامل أقرأه لنيتشه، فقد قرأت في السابق كتابا عن فلسفته بصورة عامّة وقد رأيت في الكثير من التحامل وقلّة الحياديّة. في هذا الكتاب عشقت أشعار نيتشه وعباراته القصيرة بشكل يفوق ما وجدته في نثره، أراه يبرع في التعبير عن أفكاره بإيجاز وإقتضاب.

يناقش الكتاب الفلسفات المختلفة كهيغل وكانط وأبيقور وغيرها من مدارس الفلسفة اليونانيّة، يتكلّم عن الموسيقى، عن فاغنر وروسّيني وغيرهم، عن اللغة الألمانية وإسم الشعب الألماني، عن الفن في كثير من المواضع، عن الممثّلين والنساء واليهود. يناقش إغتراب المفكّ
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Jonathan

So far in my philosophical venture into the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, I have read both this work and his Beyond Good and Evil. However, while I gave Beyond Good and Evil 3 stars, I feel that this is a better work academically and so give it the higher 4 star rating. In this The Gay Science, many of Nietzsche's key ideas come together in a much clearer manner, and it is easier to understand his views on concepts I feel he lacks more ignorance (religions for instance).

The title of this work st
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Mike
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another book that doesn't need a review and probably shouldn't be reviewed by anyone today (one wonders if Nietzsche would look at the terrain of the world today and wonder if his "free spirits" and "philosophers the day after tomorrow" would ever arrive), but here it is! We didn't read this back in the seminar I took in college, focusing more on his other "major" works. But I think I like this one best of all, not only for its levity and joy, but because it contains kernels of all of his major ...more
Naele
این خودخواهی کورکوچک وحقیراست که قضاوت خود رابه عنوان قانونی جهان شمول درنظرگیریم چون نشان می دهد که هنوز برای خود ارمانی شخصی پیدانکرده اید./نیچه عقایدی داره که منطقی و قابل قبول هس عقایدی هم داره که از جنونش بر خاسته نه منطق. او زنان و انسان رو پست می دونه و اینکه از یک طرف خدارو تحسین می کنه از یک طرف اون رو مرده می پنداره از یک طرف انسان رو محکوم می کنه به اینکه خدا رو کشت و در اخر خودش به جنونش اعتراف می کنه در کتاب حکمت شادان زوال عقل نیچه کاملا مشهود هست ...more
Catherine
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
While certain parts of this book are overtly misogynistic and anti-Semitic, I appreciate some of his writings on artistic creation and seeking knowledge. The best part of my experience with this book was the looks I would get from other people while I was reading it on the train. People don't quite know what to do with someone who reads Nietzsche in his or her spare time.
Matt

This is one of those very-hard-to-categorize books. Poor Fred really did go to the outer limits of what could be possible, what can be thought, how far humans could go morally, aesthetically, etc.

Forget the stoned, peach fuzz'd, wild-eyed undergrad or high school kid with bad breath who reads this stuff all day and thinks he's a nascent ubermensch.

Nietzsche's the real deal and this is one of the books that sort of shows him stretching himself as far as he can. It's actually almost kind of a
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Marius
Dintre cărţile lui Nietzsche Ştiinţa Voioasă îmi place cel mai mult. Chiar dacă ideile principale ale filosofiei sale se regăsesc din abundenţă şi în această lucrare, ele sunt expuse mai calm, mai vesel, mai prietenos - mai mediteranian. Dacă am reţinut bine, cartea a fost scrisă pe când autorul se afla în Genova, deci aşa se explică poate luminozitatea stilului.

Citind Ştiinţa Voioasă mi-am dat seama că Nietzsche este tăticu' lui Freud şi al lui Adler. Pulsiuni, instincte, primatul inconştientul
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John Hamer
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I go back to this book again and again, but I've yet to plumb its depths or exhaust its riches. You don't read Nietzsche the way the pious read holy books; you read him the way tired undergraduates drink Red Bull. Reading Nietzsche is like taking a bolt of lightning to the head; it's like a bucket of ice cold water to the face first thing in the morning. Nietzsche forces you to wake up and think. He can make you mad sometimes. Really mad. He can make you laugh out loud. And he can make you cry.
Samira Rastegar panah
در كتاب هر دانشمند تقريبا هميشه چيزي ثقيل پيدا مي شود كه نفس گير است، در اين يا آن فراز آن بناچار با فردي متخصص روبرو مي شويم متخصصي كه با غيرت، جديت،غضب و شكوه و جلال خيالات و اوهامش چمياتمه زده است و بالاخره با قوزش - چون هر متخصصي قوز خود را دارد- كتاب يك دانشمند همواره منعكس كننده روحي قوزدار است: هر حرفه اي انسان را خميده و قوزدار مي كند.
Bogdan Raț
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the only place in Nietzche's work where he explicitly says "In my opinion..." or "I believe that..."
Really liked the tone and language he used here. I enjoyed some of his poems aswell.
Miquixote
One of the great philosophical works. Do yourself a favor and realize right off the bat that it's quite unimportant whether you agree with him or not. He will challenge you and he will get you thinking.

Nietzsche can certainly be seen as too individualistic, too violent, too aristocratic, too condescending of democratic principles, too disrespectful of the little people, and only respectful of the individual 's will to power. That is his strength and his weakness.

Should we write him off as so ma
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باحث
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفة
العلم المرح من دار أفريقيا الشرق
يقع الكتاب في 278 صفحة

الكتاب غارق في الخواطر الذاتية ولا تعجبني هذه المباحث لأنها غير نافعة أو مفيدة
أقرب ما تكون دردشة في محل لشرب القهوة السوداء الساخنة ثم تم تفريغها في كتاب
ولعل هذه ضريبة الفلسفة القارية ككل
سوف أقول بعضها لا كل الفلسفة القارية تجنباً لنقيض الكلية الموجبة وهي الجزئية السالبة

سوف أتحلى بالانصاف بقدر المستطاع مع وجود كتب لنيتشه أفضل من هذا
ككتاب "هذا الإنسان" وسبق وأن راجعته

بخصوص الترجمة فهي مترجمة من الفرنسية إلى العربية
رغم كون الأصل هي الألمانية

ولس
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Asmaa
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
العلم المرح هو مجموعه من الخواطر التي حاول نيتشه بلوفها كما فعل من قبل في هكذا تكلم زرادشت ، وربما الفارق ان هكذا تكلم زرادشت قد اصتبغ بنوع من القداسه حين يرويها نيشته علي عكس الافكار التي تأخذ طابه النصائح او الخواطر المنتقاه هنا ، رغم ان جميعها يناقش الحياه بشكل عام من حساسيه مفرطه للفلسفه او بؤس الحياه او حتي الخرافي ورجل الدين، فان نيتشه بذل مجهود في اكتشاف اسرار الاخرين حين يملكون مقدارا من السعاد وحين يملكون نفس القدر من التعاسه ، عند شعورهم بالحب وافتقارهم اليه وهروبهم حتي منه عندما يشعرو ...more
Sam K
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
آه يا نيتشه العظيم! بلا إذعان أو أمل يكتب دون حماسة : ''إنكم لا تعرفون إطلاقا ما يتفق لكم أن تعيشوه، تهرولون كما لو أن الوجود أسكركم، وإن سقطتم أسفل السلم من حين لآخر. لكن أعضاءكم تبقى سالمة بفضل سكركم، جد واهنة هي عضلاتكم وجد معتمة هي رأسكم لكي تحسوا مثلنا بصلابة هذه الدرجات !! أن نحيا، بالنسبة لنا هو في غاية المخاطرة: فنحن من زجاج ـ وويل لنا عند أدنى صدمة! سقطة واحدة وتكون نهاية كل شيء''.
Christopher
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a spent a year studying this book and after all that effort I feel at once that I know less and that my life has been enriched - interesting; not unlike reading Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms. If you want the challenge of reading a difficult book rich in ideas, filled with images, and vibrant in its lust for life - then, read this book.
ArEzO.... Es
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب حكمت شادان ژرف اما روشن و مهربان است
يعني تقريبا در هر جمله ي آن جارت طلبي و ژرف نگري را مي توان حس كرد شعري ست از دانش و حكمت
در اين كتاب بازگشت ازلي ابر انسان و اراده معطوف به قدرت مطرح ميشود
عكس نيچه در شانزده سالگي روي جلد كتاب است
چشمهايش و طرز نگاهش گويا مرد چهل ساله پخته اي را نشان مي دهد
Kit
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recentlyread
5 stars, but only if you skip the poetry.
Blair
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Will to Truth

“The ‘will to truth’ is more than, ‘I will not allow myself to be deceived,’ it must be ‘I will not deceive, not even myself.’ Thus we have reached the realm of morality.”

Here, the truth is willed into existence as a stream of consciousness, unsullied by any editor or second thought. One chapter amounts to a Happy New Year greeting from Genoa. Sometimes the chapters trail off into… [I guess he went out to think in the open air. Whatever, publish it anyway.] Maybe it is best read
...more
Mack Hayden
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read from one of the most mischaracterized thinkers I know. This one is notable for how many key, famous concepts of his it lays out: eternal recurrence, amor fati, God is dead, etc. But again, the greatest delight in reading Nietzsche is that his strengths as a wrecking ball are surpassed by his full throated affirmation of life. His is not a gloomy philosophy, although it certainly would look that way to someone clinging on to the traditions he attacks with such mischievous vigor ...more
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  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Either/Or, Part I
  • Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche
  • Nietzsche, Volumes One and Two
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 2
  • The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism
  • Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Practical Philosophy
  • Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle
  • The Blue and Brown Books
  • On Nietzsche
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
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
More about Friedrich Nietzsche...
“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.” 1466 likes
“Love, too, has to be learned.” 129 likes
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