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Nietzsche in Turin: An Intimate Biography


Nietzsche in Turin: An Intimate Biography Cover

ISBN13: 9780312181451
ISBN10: 0312181450
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Publisher Comments:

During 1888 in Turin, Italy, Nietzsche wrote three of his most important works--Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and The Antichrist. In this accessible, moving biography, Lesley Chamberlain examines with passion and insight the mind of a genius at its creative pinnacle. In her account, Freidrich Nietzsche emerges as a gentle, tortured man, dominated by his rigorous mind and his love of music, and soothed by the strangely otherworldly city of Turin

About the Author

Lesley Chamberlain studied German and Russian at Exeter and Oxford, and speaks five languages. She has worked as a journalist in Moscow and has published books in the United Kingdom on food, travel, communism, and philosophy. She is a regular contributor on literature in The Times and The Times Literary Supplement (both of London).

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Daniel Raphael, May 6, 2006 (view all comments by Daniel Raphael)
Reading this small volume prior to beginning an arduous, first-time encounter with Nietzsche's texts would have greatly eased my way through his complex philosophy. Chamberlain does a very good job of explaining that more than most other philosophers, Nietzsche's work was something he lived into being: his books, correspondence, and other remnants of the man's life are the wake of a boat that has passed. Properly speaking, you won't find Nietzsche's philosophy at all; it's the old riddle of trying to get to the moon by climbing a signpost pointing towards it. Nietzsche's lessons were all lived, his grappling a personal journey reflected in his various texts, which cumulatively can be viewed as a philosophical diary.

Ms. Chamberlain stresses the important of music, both as presence and metaphor in Nietzsche's musings. Contrary to the National Socialist caricature cooked up by his "silly antisemitic goose" of a sister, he came to prefer music that was light and gay, reflecting his core optimism. It was Wagner's decadent High Romanticism that turned Nietzsche away from his former muse, causing their irreparable, famous split. Nietzsche wanted music--as with art in general and with all things in culture--that glorified and nurtured life.

Nietzsche is, like Heidegger, hard to access via translation because of his deliberate and extensive play with the meaning and tone of language. This accounts for some of the "scandalous" statements for which he is famous, but this volume does a great service in providing explanatory context for Nietzsche's often koan-like quips. Once his concerns and values are understood and his writing seen as an organic expression of his daily life, the obscurity of his thinking is disspelled.

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Product Details

An Intimate Biography
Chamberlain, Lesley
New York :
Nietzsche, friedrich wilhelm, 1844-1900
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Turin (Italy) Intellectual life.
Edition Number:
1st Picador USA ed.
Edition Description:
Picador USA
Series Volume:
no. 25a
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.58x5.83x.97 in. .93 lbs.

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Humanities » Philosophy » General

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