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Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Trans. By Thomas Common
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God is dead, and the superman is nigh! Nietzsche couched this ultimate expression of his philosophy (1883-91), not as a closely reasoned treatise, but as the passionate utterances of an ancient Persian prophet, Zarathustra, couched in a pseudo-biblical German. In this recording, brief glosses introduce sections of the text, while bits of the Strauss tone poem of the same name bridge major transitions. The narrators speak clearly and with comprehension, but they're stuffy; whereas, the book is anything but. Y.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart changed,--and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the sun, and spake thus unto it: Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest! For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine eagle, and my serpent. But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow and blessed thee for it. Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it. I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches. Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the nether-world, thou exuberant star! Like thee must I GO DOWN, as men say, to whom I shall descend. Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest happiness without envy! Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss! Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again going to be a man. Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Original Language: German
I used to have a copy of the Portable Nietzche from Penguin or whoever. Most of part three from Zarathustra was gone, replaced by a repeated big chunk from part II, then went straight to part IV. You won't have that problem.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
, also translated as Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Treatise by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in four parts and published in German between 1883 and 1885 as Also sprach Zarathustra. The work is incomplete, but it is the first thorough statement of Nietzsche's mature philosophy and the masterpiece of his career. It received little attention during his lifetime but its influence since his death has been considerable, in the arts as well as philosophy. Written in the form of a prose narrative, Thus Spake Zarathustra offers the philosophy of its author through the voice of Zarathustra (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster) who, after years of meditation, has come down from a mountain to offer his wisdom to the world. It is this work in which Nietzsche made his famous (and much misconstrued) statement that "God is dead" and in which he presented some of the most influential and well-known (and likewise misunderstood) ideas of his philosophy, including those of the Ubermensch ("overman" or "superman") and the "will to power." Though this is essentially a work of philosophy, it is also a masterpiece of literature. The book is a combination of prose and poetry, including epigrams, dithyrambs, and parodies as well as sections of pure poetry.
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