Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

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George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1923. Fifth Edition of 2000 copies. 458 pages. Edited by Dr Oscar Levy. First Complete & Authorised English Translation. Boards have faded around spine and edges, minor shelf wear, otherwise a very good copy. 

'Nietzsche was one of the most revolutionary and subversive thinkers in Western philosophy, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra remains his most famous and influential work. It describes how the ancient Persian prophet Zarathustra descends from his solitude in the mountains to tell the world that God is dead and that the Superman, the human embodiment of divinity, is his successor. With blazing intensity and poetic brilliance, Nietzsche argues that the meaning of existence is not to be found in religious pieties or meek submission, but in an all-powerful life force: passionate, chaotic and free.

This astonishing series of aphorisms, put into the mouth of the Persian sage Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, contains the kernel of Nietzsche’s thought. ‘God is dead’, he tells us. Christianity is decadent, leading mankind into a slave morality concerned not with this life, but with the next. Nietzsche emphasises the Übermensch, or Superman, whose will to power makes him the creator of a new heroic mentality. The intensely felt ideas are expressed in prose-poetry of indefinable beauty.

Though misused by the German National Socialist party as a spurious justification of their creed, the book also had a profound influence on early twentieth-century writers such as Shaw, Mann, Gide, Lawrence and Sart.'