Best secondary materials:

Deleuze’s Nietzsche and Philosophy
Klossowski’s Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle
Foucault’s Nietzsche, Freud, Marx and his Nietzsche, Genealogy, History

And a far superior companion to Zarathustra is Jung’s Seminar on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. It is, put simply, remarkable.

For biographical information, try: The Genealogy of a Moron, or How Nietzsche Stole all my Father’s Ideas and Why He Went Crazy and Died, and Why I’m Glad he Did, by Coco Werklempter.

Read closely Chapters One (The Birth is a Tragedy), Two (The Science Wasn’t the Only Thing that was Gay) and Fifty-eight (Twilight of an Idiot).

I sense ressentiment there, Faust; and I think that more than any plagiarism by Nietzsche besmirches the legacy of his father—who after all was a fell opponent of uptight seriousness.

True, Coco had some issues. He lived as a woman for several years, which was unusual for the time. Made all the more unusual by the fact that he lived with a woman, as well. When their belt buckle polishing salon failed, Coco blamed Nietzsche for making suffering fashionable among the local hipsters - it seems no one in Dungsdorf felt the need to have their buckles polished while they were still wearing them. Thus began Coco’s campaign against Nietzsche, culminating in Germany’s first drag queen show, the Mädchenhafterjungekabarett, which parodied Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and included such musical numbers as Open Your Fly in the Marketplace, Leave Your love on Your Neighbor, and On Child and Marriage (which has a deceptive title).

What happened to Ernst? Were they brothers, separated at birth?

Coco was the son of Ernst as his cousin Heidi from Vienna. Those of us in the Werklempter community wish to keep the details of that situation out of the public eye.

Strange that he wasn’t mentioned in the official Werklempter biography. I guess he must have been in hiding for quite some time, keeping his existence a secret from those desiring autographs.

Politics, my friend.


You will never understand Nietzsche if you trust in others’ pespectives on his views. I think his books are complicated and complex enough without the ‘interpretation’ of followers, admirers, worshippers, etc…

For instance, the first Nietzsche’s biography I read (in English) was Mencken’s. In his book (published in 1908 if I’m not mistaken), the great German freethinker is portrayed as a Nazi. Fortunately, I was wise enough to distinguish Nietzsche’s ideas from Mencken’s ‘interpretation’ of Nietzsche’s ideas. Though well-written, his book would make Nietzsche turn in his grave…

I appreciate this line of thought, but I think it’s mistaken, or if it’s not mistaken, then it would require an intense study of Fritz works as well as everyone and every historical event he talks about, and this is something I doubt I, nor any of you folks are capable of doing.

I don’t know about that, x. I do grant that he makes a lot of historical allusions. But I’m not sure it’s often all that important to know about each one in detail to get his point. But you do raise a good point. It’s helpful to know. But there’s a difference between knowing about those allusions and accepting a commentator’s philosophical judgments about Nietzsche.

Mencken is a particularly dreadful example.

Another and perhaps better recommendation than my first, xzc, is to first read Thus Spake Zarathustra on your own, without any intervention by anyone else, and then read Nietzsche’s Teaching. Or you could read more by Nietzsche himself on your own, but my main recommendation is that if you read a commentary (which I do recommend you do sooner or later, for the sake of getting an overview), you read Lampert.

Whose Nietzsche do you love more Sau? - yours, Lampert’s, Kaufmann’s, or Nietzsche’s?

Sau - I think your latter suggestion is the better one.

Though this “question” is unworthy of my reply, let it be known that I have no great respect for Kaufmann (as opposed to Nietzsche, Lampert, and myself).

I think we would never have time enough to read all the great books written by the great minds of our race (Plato, Nieztsche, Wittgenstein, etc) let alone to spend with all the works written in order to ‘explain’ or ‘interpret’ their work…

The reasoning is simple: why read a crappy biography like the one I mentioned if you can spend your time reading Nietzsche himself? Of course some REALLY good book about him would be a valid exception…

I’m beginning to think none of you besides Saw have actually read Nietzsche. And if you have read and understood him, then hell, I guess we’ve got some geniuses in this forum.

I’ve read every word, including the nutso letters and Zara, which is not very interesting. It doesn’t take a genius to understand Nietzsche. I’d offer to help you to understand him, but now that you’ve insulted me, you can pound sand.

And nothing of value was lost.

It’s because I’ve read Nietzsche that I’m telling you not to trust in his followers, admirers, worshippers, etc… :unamused:

For Nietzsche all worshippers were nothing but cattle. He despised them.