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Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are [Paperback]

Friedrich Nietzsche
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2009 Oxford World's Classics
I am not a man, I am dynamite.' Ecce Homo is an autobiography like no other. Deliberately provocative, Nietzsche subverts the conventions of the genre and pushes his philosophical positions to combative extremes, constructing a genius-hero whose life is a chronicle of incessant self-overcoming. Written in 1888, a few weeks before his descent into madness, the book sub-titled 'How To Become What You Are' passes under review all Nietzsche's previous works so that we, his 'posthumous' readers, can finally understand him aright, on his own terms. He reaches final reckonings with his many enemies - Richard Wagner, German nationalism, 'modern men' in general - and above all Christianity, proclaiming himself the Antichrist. Ecce Homo is the summation of an extraordinary philosophical career, a last great testament to Nietzsche's will.

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Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are + On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. By way of clarification and supplement to my last book Beyond Good and Evil
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About the Author

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), was a nineteenth-century German philosopher and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morailty, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, using a distinctive German language style and displaying a fondness for metaphor and aphorism.

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By sean s. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ecco Homo: How One Becomes What One Is was published in 1888. It is Nietzsche's intellectual autobiography, in which he reflects on the trajectory of his iconoclastic thought.

Nietzsche on his role:

«Overcoming ideals is my craft. One has deprived reality of its value, its meaning, its truthfulness, to precisely the extent to which one has mendaciously invented an ideal world. The "true world" and the "apparent world" - that means the mendaciously invented world and reality.

The lie of the ideal has so far been the curse on reality; on account of it, mankind itself has become mendacious and false down to its most fundamental instincts - to the point of worshipping the opposite values of those which alone would guarantee its health, its future, the lofty right to its future."

On active thinkers vs. reactive scholars:

"A counsel of prudence and self-defence is to react as rarely as possible, and to avoid situations and relationships that would condemn one to suspend one's freedom and initiative and to become merely reactive.

As a parable I choose association with books. Scholars who at bottom do little nowadays but thumb books ultimately lose entirely their capacity to think for themselves. When they don't thumb, they don't think. They respond to a stimulus (a thought they have read) whenever they think, they do nothing but react. Scholars spend all of their energies on criticism of what others have thought - they themselves no longer think."

On his book the Birth of Tragedy:

"Taken up with some degree of neutrality, The Birth of Tragedy smells offensively Hegelian, and the cadaverous odour of Schopenhauer sticks only to a few formulas.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dionysus versus the Crucified May 21 2010
By Luc REYNAERT - Published on Amazon.com
This book is some sort of an autobiography of F. Nietzsche with his own short comments on his books, his literary and musical preferences, Christianity and the future of mankind. He also explains why he is a true immoralist.

Nietzsche stresses the all important influence of Schopenhauer in his life: `I very earnestly denied my `will to life' at the time when I first read Schopenhauer.'
His preferred authors are H. Heine, Byron, Stendhal, P. Loti, P. Mérimée, A. France and G. de Maupassant. In music, he likes Rossini, Chopin, Schütz, Haendel, Liszt, Bizet and Bach.

A true immoralist
A true immoralist confirms a double negation; first, of the so-called supreme, good, benevolent and beneficent man, and secondly, of the altruistic Christian morality.
He calls for `a revaluation of all values'. Concepts like God, soul, virtue, sin and eternal life are mere imaginings and lies prompted by the bad instincts of sick natures. All the problems of politics, social organization and education have been falsified because one mistook the most harmful men for great men.

Blindness to Christianity is the crime par excellence, the crime against life. Its morality is vampirism. It is the most malignant form of the will to lie. It is a gruesome fact that anti-nature received the highest honors and was fixed over humanity as law and categorical imperative. It invented a `soul' to ruin the body. The Bible is a product of the will to suppress the truth. Its saints are slanderers of the world and violators of man.

But, F. Nietzsche remains a fundamental optimist, because men strive for the forbidden. Therefore, his philosophy will triumph one day, because that what was forbidden has always been the truth. Dionysus will be stronger than the doctrine of the Crucified.

This book is a good introduction to the raging style, the reasoning with a hammer, the main themes, the Homeric battles and the `immoral' obsessions of a fascinating, integer, but in some aspects, controversial philosopher with a too egoistic agenda for mankind.
A must read for all Friedrich Nietzsche fans and lovers of Western philosophy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quite frankly Nov. 7 2009
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
The painting on the cover is very good. I have often looked at the picture as if the Christ in the painting is ashamed of each and every one of the people tormenting him. The painting ECCE HOMO by Quentin Massys from 1515 is in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The book itself is, as Nietzsche says about his Twilight of the Idols: "A great wind blows through the trees, and all around fruits drop down--truths." It takes a society that is seriously going wrong to get a thinker going in the "And in all seriousness, no one before me knew the right way" direction. Nietzsche had several cultures to learn from, and sharing an interest in Schopenhauer with Richard Wagner was merely a bit of good luck compared to the depth of insight that Nietzsche was able to gain on human culture as a need to make new discoveries. Each time I read this book, I am astounded at how profound the point of view that gave Nietzsche his own distinctions ended up being his literary autobiography instead of The Will To Power.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical autobiography Oct. 12 2011
By Serge Ledan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must admit: this review will be biased... Nietzche happens to be my favorite philosopher so any book by him will be higly praised automatically by me.Perhaps the sole warning about this book I would give to a prospective buyer is this: Ecce Homo is not an objective autobiography. If one is looking for objectivite and exactitude in the description of life events, look elsewhere. This book is not for you. It is more of a psychological autobiography. The author explains who he is, why he is how he is and what makes him so special as well as providing glimpses about what he thought his real legacy would be. In a nutshell, if Nietzsche is already your hero,and you would love to know him more and get a glimpse of what made him tick, then, by all means, rush and buy this book. Otherwise, don't.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Raw Look At Life & The Beyond Dec 8 2010
By Paige - Published on Amazon.com
Nietzsche's autobiography, in summary:

"I have never given any attention to the concept of god, not even as a child. Perhaps I was never childish enough for it?"

"The concept of 'The Beyond' the real world invented as to deprive value from the only world in which one exists."

"God is a crude answer, a piece of indelicacy against us thinkers."
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