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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Quality and clarity have always been the hallmarks of the Penguin series, and they extend to this one also. Unlike the other translations, dense with tedious bombast and medieval suffixes, the Hollingdale translation is focused and one couldnt ask for a more keen choice of words. With this superb translation I could at least concentrate on the philosophy, rather than...
Published on Sept. 1 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Abridged Version
For the purposes of understanding Nietzsche's philosophy from his texts and not interpretations or analyses, I've compared three different translations and found that Kaufman's version was the easiest to digest.
However, I love how you can follow the original text with the translated one. Makes it more fun to read and inspires a little motivation to memorize words of...
Published 2 months ago by David Khaskin


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, Sept. 1 2003
By A Customer
Quality and clarity have always been the hallmarks of the Penguin series, and they extend to this one also. Unlike the other translations, dense with tedious bombast and medieval suffixes, the Hollingdale translation is focused and one couldnt ask for a more keen choice of words. With this superb translation I could at least concentrate on the philosophy, rather than trying to decipher the difficult language. While reading this, the words danced rather than gravitated, making reading this book all the more enjoyable.
As for the content and Nietszche's philosophy, it was intelligent and convincing. However one mustn't take this book literally. The transformation to Ubermensch is figuratively speaking, so is "dancing" and "laughter". In the context of this book one might interpret them as symbols of liberation and ascention. To best explain this one might take a scientist as an example. At first, the scientist burdens himself with study of the discoveries of his predecessors, in which he resembles a camel (1st transformation). After his vigorous study he must assert himself and his independence from others, in which he resembles a lion (2nd transformation). And thirdly, he must develop a distnctive personal style which will distinguish him from the others, in which he becomes like a child (3d transformation). In the 3d and final stage he is liberated from any signs of struggle, giving freedom to his spirit.
However engaging Nietzsche's philosophy is, it is at times vague and sadly laconic, e.g. his account on the battle of the virtues was not expanded enough and didn't explain what one might do when those battled for supremacy. Also, some might find his philosophy callous and ruthless, as it persuades leaving the helpless behind for the sake of the ascention of few. Ruthless it may be, but accurate and very relevant. In addition, some might find it especially offensive and absurd as it sorns mercy and pity. Regardless of this aspect of it, I would say this book is permeated with the influence of Enlightenment: striving to improvement and liberation. It is slightly atheistic which will deter fervent believers in god, but the atheistic thread is so subtle it would idiotic to sacrifice Nietzsche's philosphy for religious principles. Overall, an outstandingly written book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talk about translations!, May 8 2003
By A Customer
I only want to say one thing here, and I say it primarily because I already love this work. This is the translation to buy. Everyone seems to adore Kaufmann, but the truth is he's much more obtuse and difficult to read (and I don't believe it's necessary, as some may say). Hollingdale gets it right. I'll defend myself with one example from a class I took, where Kaufmann's translation was the required text. I had read both translations (cover-to-cover), and sold my copy of Kaufmann's translation, keeping only my Hollingdale. So, needless to say, I wasn't about to buy Kaufmann again, and went to class with Hollingdale. Slowly, but surely, as the other students read bits of the translation I had, or heard when I spoke pieces aloud, they overwhelmingly agreed with me: Hollingdale is simply more clear, more beautiful, more powerful (less academic, shall we say, which is pure Nietzsche). Ok, over and out, enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommending not to begin with Zarathustra, March 21 2002
By 
eric garrett (Evansville, Indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Thus Spake Zarathustra (Paperback)
I would like to advise new readers of Nietzsche to not read Zaruthustra until you have read a number of his other works. The book is cryptic, metaphoric, and employs heavy symbolism that will be easily misinterpreted by those who have not invested in Nietzsche's thinking.
Better to begin with Genealogy of Morals, or even Beyond Good and Evil (which recounts Zarathustra, but is more accessible), or Kaufmann's "Philosopher, Psychologist, Anti-Christ," or begin from the beginning with Birth of Tragedy and follow the chronology of his writings. A quick introduction to the style and nature of Nietzsche can be had through his Untimely Meditations, or the Gay Science.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "New" Repulic., Oct. 18 2003
The only other western philosophical text as importnat as this book is Plato's "Republic." We have once again arrived at the cross-roads of Heraclitus v/s Paramendides. I wouldn't recommended jumping into it without a good knowledge of the Western philosophical traditon and religious traditions. (Zarathutra himself calls learning ALL this backround information "the spirit of the camel" or first taking on the burden of knowledge before going about anything else. To not take on this "burden of knowledge" is the main flaw of most Nietzsche critics and mis-understanders.) Also, Nietzsche was an anti-systemic philosopher so it demands to be viewed/critiqued in a different way than traditional philosophy. To begin to grasp Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" I would to recommend first reading his earlier works starting with a couple of short essays. The first one is "Truth and Lie in a Non-Moral Sense" which is about human language, logic and the all-too-human need for these "lies." The other essay is "Homer's Contest" which reveals his legacy as starting from the early Greek tradition.
Some important things to know about this book to avoid the common misinterpretation that Nietzsche is just a Atheist/Nihilist with a superiority complex:
-pay very close attention to his critque of mind/body dualsism and what he proposes otherwise.
-The "Overman" is a conception that only looks toward the future. Later in the book Zarathustra supercedes the "Overman" idea with the cyclical concept of "Eternal Recourence." Even Zarathustra himself has a hard time confronting this view of life and existence. Also, don't make the mistake that eternal reccourence is just a "telos," it is not. Zarathutra speaks in parables not absolutes.
-One of Nietzsche's most favorite authors was Emerson (who also used the name "Zarathutra" in his some of his writings) and their ideas/project have mainy similarities.
-The idea of the world/life not being worthy without a metaphysical world behind it is exactaly what Nietzsche was aimed at overcoming.
-Don't over-simplify will-to-Power as will-to-Overpower.
-Think hard about this being a "book for all and none," think very hard.
-Plato's "Sun" is replaced with "sun" of the Self. This "sun" is the "dancing star." For some odd reason, I see few people mention the signifcance of Self-love in "Zarathustra." This is KEY in understanding where Nietzsche is going/taking us.
-Nietzsche isn't worldly political like the Republic, instead he symbolically speaks of the battle of modern human soul in political terms.
As far as translations go, I prefer Kaufmann over Holingdale because he pays more attetntion to the nuances of Nitezsche's word play. But I would recommend reading more than one translation and getting the best out of all of them.
I also would recommend getting some familiarity with the symbols of alchemy and other mystery traditions. Just as Nietzsche turns Plato's "Theory of the Line" and "Allegory of the Cave" upside-down, he also turns these "mystery" symbols inside-out. No longer is it a connection with anything "beyond" the world that makes it valuable. Instead,It becomes conections with body and the world. "The mind is a herald of the body." For example, consider the "ouroboros" as a symbol of "Eternal Recurrence." In some sense, Zarathutra was very much a prophet of holism as opposed to strict dualism. Carl Jung's 1,500+ page incomplete study of "Zarathura" is a testement to the richness of Zarathustra's symbolism.

If you can catch a deep enough glance, this book will change your life. And if you keep re-reading it, it will keep on changing your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, June 29 2002
This review is from: Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Paperback)
Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra is Nietzsche's only fictional piece to ever have been created. With prose that speaks more eloquently than the "word of God" does through his followers, Nietzsche reveals his philosophy (or rather masks it partially) through the story of Zarathustra. TSZ reads more like an epic than a modern novel and thereby, I would maintain, raises it far above the fiction pieces by Ayn Rand (whose heroes seem to lack a personality with any sort of complexity) and perhaps, not as far above, some works of Dostoevsky and Sartre. I too, would recommend at least reading Beyond Good and Evil before taking up TSZ, for Nietzsche, as I alluded to above, was one for masks and encryption in his philosophizing. However there shall be no worries in taking that extra step in understanding Nietzsche, as his non-fiction books are written with the same fiery passion and eloquence that pervades TSZ to the very end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Abridged Version, Feb. 14 2014
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For the purposes of understanding Nietzsche's philosophy from his texts and not interpretations or analyses, I've compared three different translations and found that Kaufman's version was the easiest to digest.
However, I love how you can follow the original text with the translated one. Makes it more fun to read and inspires a little motivation to memorize words of another language.

The reason for my rating being 3/5 and not higher is primary because this version of Thus Spoke Zarathustra is abridged.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ascension of the "overman", Jan. 8 2004
By 
James P. Gibb (Peoria, Il USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thus Spake Zarathustra (Paperback)
What a wealth of ideas Nietzsche presents, from a man with a excessively intense mind. Philosophical, poetic, psychological, sociological, and social Darwinism all juxposized into a amazing free flowing work of fiction from a philosopher and self proclaimed psychologist. I would warn anyone with a weak heart and subtle ideas not to read this book beacuse it will change you. Nietzsche had a torn yet brilliant mind, who along with Arthur Schopenhauer predicted and wrote about theories that Sigmund Freud later popularized. In fact, Freud did not want to read Nietzsche because he wanted to keep his psychoanalytic findings as pure as possible.
I have read this book three times and I never read a book more then once. Nietzsche was so full of angst and passion that I have to read Zarathurstra in short bursts in order to come down from the high he creates in my head.. I highly recommend this book for the srong willed those with "the will to power."
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect summary of Nietzsche's philosohy, and an enterteining read at that, Nov. 14 2010
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This review is from: Thus Spake Zarathustra (Paperback)
Hi there!

Despite being pretty hard to understand to newcomers, this is my favorite Nietzshe book so far. Unlike Beyond good and evil, which is extremely difficult stuff unless you are already familiar with Shopenhauer, Kant, Plato and various others philosophers, Zarathustra can be easily understood if you are familiar with Nietzshe's main ideas. The notes included at the end help understands the most obscure parts. Most of the book is written as a satire of the bible, meaning you will follow the adventures of Zarathustra as he encounters various persons, and Nietzshe's ideas are represented by those interactions. You will discover concepts of the will to power, the overman (or superman), the worth of solitude, transcendance, opinions on other system such as christianity or socialism, and a lot of other interesting stuff. Althought I disagree with Nietzshe's vision of women (of course) and his portrayal of pity and charity, I still like to discover the thoughts of great thinkers like him, not to mention that his ideas of transcendence and self growth are pretty neat.

definitely recommended, along with The antichrist and twilight of the idols.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Will Change Your Life!, April 1 2003
By 
Kevin - Mathematician (Yorba Linda, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This book is transfinitly excellent! Even if you don't agree with Nietzsche's conclusions or points of view this is still an interesting and worthwhile read. This book should be required reading for all inhabitants of planet earth!
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1.0 out of 5 stars outdated translation, Jan. 27 2003
By 
Eric Crawford (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thus Spake Zarathustra (Paperback)
This translation is quite old (now public domain) and fiddled with substantial errors. Have a look at the Kaufmann translation instead and spend a few extra bucks -- the book will make far more sense if you do! More enjoyable, too...
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Thus Spake Zarathustra
Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (Paperback - April 2003)
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