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Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche Library Binding – Nov 1996

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co Inc; 2nd Revised edition edition (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087220359X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872203594
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,921,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Friedrich Nietzsche was, arguably, the most important philosopher of the 19th century. His works include Beyond Good and Evil, Ecce Homo, Human, All Too Human, and Thus Spake Zarathustra."

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Format: Paperback
If you want to gain insight into Nietzsche's thinking outside of his usual philosophical writings, or follow his chain of thought throughtout his life, this collection of letters is somewhat helpful, but he does not seem to engage in the manner in which he does in his formal philosophical works. One of the features I found surprising in his letters is the courtesy he showed to his recipients. It is evident that Nietzsche treasured the friendships he had, and this is very apparent in his letters. And interestingly, I did not find any hostility in any of the letters addressed to Richard Wagner, considering the history of their relationship.
The book is well-edited, and there is an index of recipients near the end of the book. The editor also includes a general index with subentries that allow the reader to scan an entire topic. This is a helpful aid for amateur readers of Nietzsche, such as myself, but could also be helpful I think to dedicated scholors of Nietzsche.
I was only disappointed that more letters did not address more of Nietzsche's thinking on Dionysus and Apollo. It would have been interesting to read what he had to say about them via the "freestyle" of letter writing. Nietzsche's philosophical writings are actually the most frank and unrestrained of all in nineteenth-century philosophy. He is very honest with himself, and because of this he might be viewed as somewhat narcisstic by some readers. This may be true to some degree, but Nietzsche is refreshing in his style of writing, and actually it is quite entertaining to randomly move through his books and read his maxims and opinions.
The most interesting letter is the one addressed to Carl von Gersdorff on April 6, 1867.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x970b12d0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97320228) out of 5 stars Interesting reading Dec 28 2002
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you want to gain insight into Nietzsche's thinking outside of his usual philosophical writings, or follow his chain of thought throughtout his life, this collection of letters is somewhat helpful, but he does not seem to engage in the manner in which he does in his formal philosophical works. One of the features I found surprising in his letters is the courtesy he showed to his recipients. It is evident that Nietzsche treasured the friendships he had, and this is very apparent in his letters. And interestingly, I did not find any hostility in any of the letters addressed to Richard Wagner, considering the history of their relationship.
The book is well-edited, and there is an index of recipients near the end of the book. The editor also includes a general index with subentries that allow the reader to scan an entire topic. This is a helpful aid for amateur readers of Nietzsche, such as myself, but could also be helpful I think to dedicated scholors of Nietzsche.
I was only disappointed that more letters did not address more of Nietzsche's thinking on Dionysus and Apollo. It would have been interesting to read what he had to say about them via the "freestyle" of letter writing. Nietzsche's philosophical writings are actually the most frank and unrestrained of all in nineteenth-century philosophy. He is very honest with himself, and because of this he might be viewed as somewhat narcisstic by some readers. This may be true to some degree, but Nietzsche is refreshing in his style of writing, and actually it is quite entertaining to randomly move through his books and read his maxims and opinions.
The most interesting letter is the one addressed to Carl von Gersdorff on April 6, 1867. He is writing about what he has called "the scholarly forms of disease", and tells of a story about a talented young man who enters the university to obtain a doctorate. He puts together a thesis he has been working on for years, submits it to the philosophical faculty. One rejects the work on the grounds that it advances views that are not taught there. The other states that the work is contrary to common sense and is paradoxical. His thesis is therefore rejected, and he does not therefore earn his doctorate. Nietzsche describes the "not humble enough to hear the voice of wisdom" in their negative judgment of his results. Further, the young man is "reckless enough", in Nietzsche's view, to believe that the faculty "lacks the faculty for philosophy. Nietzsche uses this story to emphasize the virtue of independence: "one cannot go one's own way independently enough. Truth seldom dwells where people have built temples for it and have ordained priests. We ourselves have to suffer for good or foolish things we do, nor those who give us the good or the foolish advice. Let us at least be allowed the pleasure of committing follies on our own initiative. There is no general recipe for how one man is to be helped. One must be one's own physician but at the same gather the medical experience at one's own cost. We really think too little about our own well-being; our egoism is not clever enough, our intellect not egoistic enough."
He's right.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x973b9768) out of 5 stars What a strange but brilliant fellow... Dec 10 1999
By ODB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is real fun to have, and shows a side of Nietzsche that is hard to come across in his formal works and the countless biographies. You can read first-hand the conflicts with his sister's anti-semitic husband, read his own giddyness about finishing a new book, and follow his decline into a state of insanity (during which he wrote the strangest letters of all). His wierd sense of humor is much more visible in his letters, which helps one to recognize when he is humoring himself at the expense of the suprised reader in his other works.
"Dear Professor: Actually I would much rather be a basel professor than God; but I have not yet ventured to cary my private egoism so far as to omit creating the world on his account. You see, one must make sacrifices, however and wherever one may be living..." (Jan. 6 1889, To Jacob Burkhart, from Turin).
Also, the index in the back of this book is very thorough, making it easy to find any person or concept that he deals with.
Note: If you are looking for other writers that write as intangible and beautiful as Nietzsche's works but less harsh on the world, try reading some Emmanuel Levinas, a briliant French Jewish Philospher who died in 1995, (Good book: Dificult Freedom)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b844d98) out of 5 stars Readers would also like "Jenna's Flaw" Nov. 26 2015
By Lee Tasey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of two hundred letters offers another fascinating glimpse into Nietzsche's world, a world he doesn't always reveal in his philosophical works. Here we see Nietzsche's good manners on display, his odd sense of humor, his writing process, his excitement at finishing a book as well as his growing isolation and creeping insanity. The seeds of many of his philosophical ideas can also be seen in these letters, even as early as his student years. These letters show us a genius in the making. Endlessly fascinating.

Readers of these letters may also like "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about Nietzsche, the death of God, the crumbling of Western civilization, and what the West can do to stop it.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x973b9828) out of 5 stars Five Stars Feb. 3 2015
By claude autret - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
perfect!


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