Friedrich Nietzsche - A crash course

I want to read Nietzsche in my spare time. Any suggestions where to start?

The Anti-Christ. A Critique of Christianity.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

On the geanology of morals.

Ecce Homo

Beyond Good And Evil.

The Will To Power.

The Portable Nietzsche (Viking Library) is fine.

I tend to recommend The Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, and Genealogy of Morals, in that order.
But it doesn’t really fuckin’ matter, does it? Just pick something.

What do you hope to get out of reading him?

if you want to read him to understand him, you must read all of him. start at the beginning. birth of tragedy.

crash courses in nietzsche (or anyone) lead to misunderstandings.


I recommend getting the movie “A Fish Called Wonda” (or is it Wanda?) starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Her boyfriend, not the British lawyer but the American dude, I think his name was Ottto, was really into Nietzsche. And the movie shows him reading some of his books. I think in one scene he’s reading “beyond good and evil” and seems quite fascinated by it.

Anyway, the movie is a good place to start if your pursuing this in your spare time.

I found reading Kaufmann’s Nietzsche helped me a lot. When I agreed with him, that helped, and when I didn’t, that helped too. I haven’t read much of the earlier stuff, but of the one’s I’ve read I’d say the first half of Beyond Good and Evil is the best written. Zarathustra is nice and all, but some of it really is baffling, and other parts are plain silly. But if you just want to read a bit of him without going crazy, like me, the portable nietzsche others have recommended is excellent. So I’d say that, and Beyond Good and Evil, because parts of that are just brilliantly written.

It depends, Birth of Tragedy - accessible, Zarathustra - medias in res, Genealogy of Moral - to start your course with a crash.

Basically, I feel I might find some intellectual solace in his works - I think we agree, in that way.

I want to be introduced to more or less his entire philosophy, like a book which overviews his philosophy.

Bought “The Portable Neitzsche.”

How do you pronounce his name?

Just pronounce it as you’re currently doing, it’s always amusing to hear people talk about their cosy nietzschey

“Niet” like “neat”; “sche” like “sher” in “Sherlock”. The ‘z’ is actually a “ts” sound, so it isn’t pronounced. Accent on the first syllable.

The Portable Nietzsche contains Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols, the AntiChrist, Neitzsche Contra Wagner, and a bunch of bridged writings.

I’ve just ordered Beyond Good and Evil and A Geneology of Morals (am I getting all these titles right? #-o ) so I have a bloody good grounding.

So, I’ve been told a good order would be Geneology first and Zarathustra last…good idea?

Just read them whatever order, things will either fall into place or they won’t. What exactly are you looking for? Intellectual solace, what is that? Read Dostoyevsky instead.

I’d read Genealogy, Beyond Good and Evil, Gay Science, and Twilight, before Thus spoke Zarathustra. Zarathustra is a hard book if you aren’t familiar with Nietzsche’s core ideas; too much poetics and metaphoric imagery.


The Anti-Christ and Ecce Homo are both very easy to read, give Nietzsche’s mature views on many things and paint a good picture of his project.

Neitzsche is easy to pronounce. Try pronouncing these guys’s names:


Ch’eng Hao

Saadia Al-Fayumi

Pitirim Sorokin


Pierre Laromigiere (sure Pierre is easy, but Laromigiere?)

Shihab Suhrawardi

T’an Ssu-T’ung

Kazimierz Twardowski

Huai-Nan Tzu

Tadeusz Kotarbinski

Lucien Laberthonniere

Hsiung Shih-Li

Svetozar Markovic

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

J.B. Watson