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More than a century after his death in 1900, Nietzsche remains a seminal figure in the history of European intellectual life. Celebrated as a liberator by some, maligned as a pernicious influence by others, he was the subject of controversy during his lifetime, pursuing a hedonistic individualism and espousing concepts such as the Superman and the Will to Power until he died after a decade of institutionalized insanity. In this groundbreaking biography, Joachim Kohler seeks for the first time to understand Nietzsche's philosophy through a reconstruction of his inner life. In a revealing reinterpretation of his letters, diaries, and writings, Kohler shows that Nietzsche's suppressed homosexuality, generating a hatred of Christianity and conventional morality, was a central influence on his work. Further, Kohler argues, his philosophical position was fundamentally compromised by the concealment of his forbidden sexual desire. Throughout his life, the unhappy genius was also plagued by horrible nightmares, stemming from his much-loved father's death, which led to a profoundly disturbed conscience and an intense loathing of metaphysics. Seeking to disguise the truth of his innermost torments, Nietzsche contrived the persona of Zarathustra. The story of the great Persian philosopher, contends Kohler, reveals Nietzsche's own suppression and dionysiac liberation, and presents the culmination of his secret yearnings in the new myth of the Superman who, in his naked beauty, resembled the gods of classical Greece.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780300092783
ISBN-10: 0300092784
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 164mm x 32mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 3-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Joachim Kohler

Joachim Kohler is a leading German writer, journalist, and former publisher. His previous books on Nietzsche have been translated into eleven languages. Ronald Taylor is the author of Berlin and Its Culture, published by Yale University Press.

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