Ecce Homo also forcefully repudiates those interpretations of his previous works purporting to find support there for imperialism, anti-Semitism, militarism, and Social Darwinism.
Nietzsche strives to present a new image of the philosopher and of himself as a philosopher. He expounds upon his life as a child, his tastes as an individual, and his vision for humanity. On these grounds, some consider Ecce Homo a literary work comparable in its artistry to Van Gogh's paintings.
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being a friedrich nietzsche fan, i have to say this is a curious book. he's always got the hammer close when he's writing, but in this book all tricks of literary veneer are gone and he's fully bombastic, and without any trace of irony as he lays out chapter and verse why he is: clever, wise, a great writer, pure blooded, virtuous, etc. you could trot out a few of these gems without context, but the reader would find it hard to believe.
this book reads like a diary of self adulation. i find not a lot of "philosophy" happening here , although, of course, he's a rich writer and can pack an axiom into half a sentence - ie. "that which does not kill you, makes you stronger" - found herein.
unlike his other books, this one is vertiginously self referential. he's settleling scores with newspaper critics from 1870, and telling you why you'll care in 2010 - the balls on this guy!
Nietzsche is the 19th century philosophical bete noire, and he bashes his way through your head with more lacerating truth in a sentence than you'll find in a volume of his contemporaries. read twilight of the idols / how to philosophize with a hammer if you're new to Nietzsche. and read it again!
this book is interesting mostly as a (not flattering) window to his inner personality... interesting but bizarre.
This cannot be what Nietzsche sounded like! This chirpy reading captures none of the grit and anger of Nietzsche. I've tried to stick with it by pretending it's an underpaid graduate student reading N's notes, but it's painful. Will someone else please record this book?
Mountain biking, surfing, skiing, literature, philosophy, psychology, theology and my ipod.
It is interesting how this is also a summary of his own works, a commentary on Nietzsche by Nietzsche. It is not only a summary of the minute daily observations and habits he has worked out for his well being (despite incredible physical suffering), but how he is, in the face of suffering, nevertheless affirmative of life. However, far from focusing on the minutia of his life, he is actually founding the value of life on a revolutionary view of life as independent of classic morality which had dominated society in the form of Christianity (the dominant force of moralism at his time), and in the form of German Idealism (rationalism and moralism as reflected in the Kantian categorical imprerative). In place of historical and religious false valuation, Nietzsche advocates the spirit of Dionysus (versus Apolo), to live creatively, energetically and courageously in the spirit of Zarathustra, his magnus opus.
"Watched a Turkish lad buy this from a market stall"
....and thought to myself I really should give this one a go. Although it purports to be a late summary and justification for all of his earlier work, the autobiographical elements in terms of the day to day narrative of his life seem at times to take precedence.
It is not so bad for all of that, however. He is laudatory of Richard Wagner but even this giant of European art and culture seems to play a very muted second fiddle to Nietzsche’s fine opinion of himself. And that’s what principally comes through - most pointedly in the chapter titles - “Why I write such brilliant books,” “How do I manage to stop thinking about the ordinary things in life, in the face of such indifference and intolerance from my family and the local community and get on with being such a beacon of brilliant thought.” Along the way there’s “Isn’t Turin a nice place to live,” and “Aren’t the Germans a bunch of hypocrites and philistines.”
All told, it is good to get down to the original manuscripts and read the text behind the title - a good exercise, but not especially rewarding since so much of this is derivative of the earlier words and this is, in total work at an apologist stage of the cycle.
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