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F Nietzsche Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Biography • Books • Links


Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, writer, and harsh critic of Christianity and traditional religion, was born in a parsonage in the Prussian town of Röcken bei Lützen (Saxony) on October 15, 1844. His father, a Lutheran minister, named his son for the king of Prussia at the time, Friedrich Wilhelm. (Nietzsche later dropped the "Wilhelm.") His father died when Friedrich was still young and he was raised by his mother. Nietzsche attended university in Bonn and Leipzig. In April 1869 at the age of 24, he took a position as professor of classical (Greek) philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, where he remained for a decade. In 1879 Nietzsche retired from the university and began his independent work as a philosopher and writer. He then lived in various places where he could write in isolation and solitude, usually spending his summers in the Engadine region of Switzerland, the winters on the Riviera.

Nietzsche and the composer Richard Wagner at first became a mutual admiration society, but Nietzsche proved too independent a thinker for Wagner and the two later had a falling out. (See Der Fall Wagner by Nietzsche.) Never in good health, Nietzsche had a serious physical and mental breakdown in 1889. By the time of his death in Weimar, Germany in August 1900, Nietzsche had lost all touch with reality. After his death, Nietzsche's conniving sister, Elisabeth, secured the rights to her brother's works and proceeded to publish them in altered, falsified form. (She was an anti-Semite who had never forgiven her brother for his rejection of Wagner, another anti-Semite.) Elisabeth was not the only one to pervert her brother's writings. The Nazis claimed him, but only under false pretenses; in reality Nietzsche rejected anti-Semitism, biological racism, and German nationalism. Nietzsche's works – in their original unaltered form – continue to be a huge influence on Western thought and literature to this day. Friedrich Nietzsche's books include:

  • The Birth of Tragedy / Die Geburt der Tragödie (1872)
  • The Gay Science / Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882)
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra / Also sprach Zarathustra (1883)
  • Beyond Good and Evil / Jenseits von Gut und Böse (1886)
  • The Antichrist / Der Antichrist (1888)
  • Twilight of the Gods / Götzendämmerung (1888)
  • The Will to Power / Der Wille zur Macht (1888, incomplete)

Friedrich Nietzsche Books

Beyond Good and Evil
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback. > Compare Prices for this book.

Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche
by Bernd Magnus and Kathleen Higgins
An introduction to the philosopher, his works, and his great influence on the 20th century. Paperback.
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GerPhilos German Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche
by Roger Scruton, et al
A study of four of the most important German theorists, including Nietzsche. Paperback.
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The Complete Works: Unfashionable Observations
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Satnford Univ. press. Paperback. > Compare Prices for this book.

Good European The Good European: Nietzsche's Work Sites in Word and Image
by Donald Bates and David Krell
An interesting biographical exploration of Nietzsche's European world. Bates (photographer) and Krell (translator) mix over 200 photos with Nietzsche's writings to convey a powerful impression of the man and his works. "For Nietzsche, travel was a stimulus to thought, through solitude." Hardcover.
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Portable Nietzsche The Portable Nietzsche
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Penguin Putnam. Paperback.
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Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Friedrich Nietzsche
English translation of the original German "Also sprach Zarathustra." Dover Publ. Paperback.
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Friedrich Nietzsche on the Web

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - DHM
Biografie von dem deutschen Philosophen und Autor. Vom Deutschen Historischen Museum.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Information about Nietzsche and his works. In English.

Nietzsche im Internet
Good Nietzsche links from the Stiftung Weimarer Klassik. Click on "Nietzsche im Internet" in the menu.

Friedrich Nietzsche Society
Web site of the FNS at Swansea University (UK). In English.

Related Pages

Authors in German Literature 1
Our main page for German-language authors and their works.

Authors in German Literature 2
Our author index and link page for German-language authors.

Book Reviews
Reviews of books and materials for German.

Das Goethe-Institut
All about this indispensible resource for just about anything to do with German and German culture.

German Literature
Our links page for literature in German.

German proverbs, saying, and literary quotations on the Web.

Wort des Tages
What's today's German word of the day? From your Guide.

Zitat des Tages
What's today's German quotation of the day? With English translation.

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