The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
is a book by H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the...
, the first edition in 1907. The book covers both wider and lesser known areas of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and philosophy, notable both for its suggestion of Mencken's still-developing literary talents at the age of 27 and for its impressive detail as a book written in the United States (on only the seventh year of Nietzsche's death) considering the lack of reliable interpretations of Nietzsche in the American sphere of letters at the time; Mencken prepared for writing this book by reading all of Nietzsche's published philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...
, including several works in the original German.
Part 1: Nietzsche the Man
- Boyhood And Youth
- The Beginnings Of The Philosopher
- Blazing A New Path
- The Prophet Of The Superman
- The Philosopher And The Man
Part 2: Nietzsche the Philosopher
- Dionysus vs. Apollo
The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept, or dichotomy, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology. Several Western philosophical and literary figures have invoked this dichotomy in critical and creative works....
- The Origin Of Morality
- Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886.It takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but approached from a more critical, polemical direction....
- The Superman
The Übermensch is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche posited the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra ....
- Eternal Recurrence
Eternal return is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept initially inherent in Indian philosophy was later found in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently...
- Women and Marriage
- Crime and Punishment
- Sundry Ideas
- Nietzsche vs. Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...
Some of the book's biographical details, despite the best available information at the time, are now known to be false, yet Mencken's examination is accurate, as indeed are his personal translations of Nietzsche (for which one may see his translation of The Antichrist
The Antichrist is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1895. Although it was written in 1888, its controversial content made Franz Overbeck and Heinrich Köselitz delay its publication, along with Ecce Homo...
as a salient example); while his own feelings at times—and it would seem quite innocently and unintentionally — "muddy the water" of trying to interpret Nietzsche through
Mencken (due to, for example, Mencken's own social Darwinism
Social Darwinism is a term commonly used for theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, seeking to apply the principles of Darwinian evolution to sociology and politics...
), his study of Nietzsche is objective on the whole, even allowing for his enthusiasm for Nietzsche.
Due to this broad and close style of examination, The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
may very well be where "Nietzsche Studies
Friedrich Nietzsche's influence and reception varied widely and may be roughly divided into various chronological periods. Reactions were anything but uniform, and proponents of various ideologies attempted to appropriate his work quite early...
" earnestly began in America.