24 January 2008

Thus Spoke Zarathustra -- Friedrich Nietzsche

This book has been on my list of books that I should read for a long time. I am not entirely sure why, but I guess there was something in my mind that I could not quite put my finger on that told me that I should read this book. I am glad that I read it when I did and not when I was much younger.

It is an interesting work in philosophy, I disagree with a lot of his points, others he comes very close to what I think is correct and then takes massive right turns. Sometimes he does explicate what I personally believe and thus the entire book was interesting to read. It is always beneficial to broaden your knowledge and that is what I see this book doing. I am now more aware of certain classes of existentialist thought and I feel I understand how some people view the world much better.

The book is lyrical throughout and thus not entirely that easy to read unless you are focused. For example, here are some interesting quotes from throughout the book.

"It is terrible to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law. Thus does a star get thrown out into desolate space and into the icy breath of solitary being" (46).

"Indeed, not in satiety shall his yearning keep silent and submerge, but in beauty! Grace belongs to the graciousness of the great-minded" (92).

"Whoever has heart knows fear, but conquers fear; sees the abyss but with pride. Whoever sees the abyss, but with eagle's eyes, whoever grasps the abyss with eagle's talons: he has courage" (233).

The book is better than most philosophical books in that Nietzsche is actually a pretty good writer. He writes in a way that you can read if you put your mind into it. However, I would recommend to be constantly critical of all philosophy and to see it merely as his point of view and to determine logically from it what you actually find truth and value in. In sum, I would advise people to read this, but beware that it is not light and it can be odd at times.

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