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Nietzsche: A Selected Annotated Bibliography
Friedrich Nietzsche's (1844-1900) influence on the present age is all pervasive. In 1955, Martin Heidegger wrote, it is “Nietzsche, in whose light and shadow all of us today, with our ‘for him’ or ‘against him’ are thinking and writing…” 2 This is even more evident today. Stanley Rosen has called him the most influential philosopher in the western world; and for Charles Taylor, all contemporary philosophy is neo-Nietzschean.
This influence is reflected in the enormous secondary literature about Nietzsche. The International Nietzsche Bibliography, published in 1968, listed over 4,500 entries in 27 languages; since then more than 3,000 books on Nietzsche have been published. The Weimarer Nietzsche-Bibliographie, published 2000-2002, includes over 20,000 entries in 42 languages.
Initially, Nietzsche’s influence was primarily literary and artistic. Thomas Mann, Herman Hesse, André Gide, William Butler Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, George Bernard Shaw, Eugene O’Neill, August Strindberg, to name but a few, were all influenced by him. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud admired him. Freud stated “that he had a more penetrating knowledge of himself than any man who ever lived or was likely to live.” 3 And Freud stopped reading him because he feared Nietzsche had anticipated many of his own ideas. Interest in Nietzsche as a philosopher, however, only became widespread after World War II. Although important works about him were published in the thirties by the German philosophers Karl Jaspers, Max Scheler, and Karl Löwith, their influence was limited by the rise of Nazism. It was Martin Heidegger’s lectures on Nietzsche from the 1930’s and 1940’s, but published only in 1961, that was decisive in developing interest in Nietzsche as a philosopher. Heidegger's interpretation shaped the image of Nietzsche in Europe until the 1970’s, when it was challenged in France in what has become known as “the new Nietzsche” or “the French Nietzsche.” Like Heidegger in Europe, Walter Kaufman’s interpretation of Nietzsche, in Nietzsche:Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (1950), as well as his many translations of Nietzsche, and their accompanying introductions and commentary, determined how Nietzsche was understood in North America up to the 1970’s. 4
If you have any questions or comments about this guide, e-mail email@example.com.
This research guide is created and maintained by Jack Sherefkin.
More than any other philosopher, Nietzsche has been read in vastly different and contradictory ways. He has been appropriated by both the right and the left; read as a fascist and a socialist, a conservative and a revolutionary, a religious thinker and an atheist. And interpretations of him continue to multiply. “Thus the contemporary world is characterized by apparently mutually incompatible claims as to whose Nietzsche is the ‘true’ Nietzsche.” 5
Ironically, one difficulty with understanding Nietzsche is that he is too easy to read. Readers are easily carried away by his brilliant style, by the way he dramatizes and personalizes ideas, and by his passionate intensity. Nietzsche cautioned, with little effect, against reading him quickly: he wrote, I am “a teacher of slow reading… Nowadays it is not only my habit, it is also to my taste…no longer to write anything which does not reduce to despair every sort of man who is ‘in a hurry.’…it is more necessary than ever today…in the midst of an age of ‘work’, that is to say of hurry…which wants to ‘get everything done’ at once…learn to read me well!” 6
The biggest obstacle, however, to understanding Nietzsche is that his ideas were never systematically developed (he distrusted all systems), but are scattered thoughout his writings and often seem to contradict each other. As Jaspers writes, “For nearly every single one of Nietzsche’s judgments, one can find an opposite. He gives the impression of having two opinions about everything. Consequently it is possible to quote Nietzsche at will in support of anything one happens to have in mind.” 7 Add to that, Nietzsche’s exaggerated rhetoric, “exaggeration or hyperbole [is the] single most pervasive feature of his writing…” 8 and the result are texts with seemingly endless possible meanings and interpretations.
Consequently, any interpretation of Nietzsche needs to confront the problem of Nietzsche’s many contradictory views. Many have tried to harmonize these contradictions by organizing Nietzsche’s work around a central idea. For Ernst Behler, whether Nietzsche’s thought can be systematized is the “central question that perhaps every interpretation of Nietzsche must raise; namely, whether the philosopher’s aphoristic and fragmentary text, which apparently rejects final principles and systematic coherence, nevertheless can be read in the style of traditional metaphysics.” 9 The attempt to systematize Nietzsche’s thought is best exemplified by Heidegger, who based his interpretation of Nietzsche on the idea of the will to power (as do Schacht and Kaufmann, although their interpretations are vastly different). Other scholars have tried to organized Nietzsche’s thought around nihilism (Danto), or eternal recurrence (Lowith, Magnus).
The French Nietzscheans, e.g., Foucault, Derrida, Kofman, Deleuze, and their followers, by contrast, tend to resist this effort to unify his thought, arguing that Nietzsche’s shifting meanings and contradictions resist systematization. “[M]uch of the French work on Nietzsche can be seen as a refutation of Heidegger’s [metaphysical] interpretation by insisting on the metaphorical character of Nietzsche’s writings, his style, his irony, and his masks.” 10 How Nietzsche writes, his use of aphorisms, metaphors, and wide range of literary styles is seen as important as what he writes about. Nietzsche’s style is not seen as obscuring or concealing his meaning, as has often been argued, but as inseparable from and expressive of it. Nietzsche’s style expresses, in an important way, his philosophy. For example, Alexander Nehamas argues that Nietzsche “depends on many styles in order to suggest that there is no single, neutral language in which his views, or any others can ever be presented.” 11
Yet, I would argue, there is a unity or a narrative to Nietzsche’s thought. Central to his thinking is the idea of the “death of God” and the impending cultural catastrophe, which he called nihilism, that is its consequence. Nietzsche devoted much of his life to thinking through the consequences of “this greatest event in history.” As Löwith argues, “Nietzsche’s actual thought is a…system, at the beginning of which stands the death of God…the ensuing nihilism, and at its end the self-surmounting of nihilism in eternal recurrence.” 12
The problem for Nietzsche, and one that exemplifies the contradictory character of his thought, is that although he argues that belief in God has devalued this world, the death of God leads to the belief that life is meaningless. As Walter Kaufmann writes, “To escape nihilism-which…involved both asserting the existence of God and thus robbing this world of ultimate significance, and also in denying God and thus robbing everything of meaning and value-that is Nietzsche’s greatest and most persistent problem.” 13
The Nietzsche Archive
The New York Public Library has facsimiles of all of Nietzsche’s papers (except the letters) held in the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar, Germany. These unpublished papers are usually referred to as Nietzsche’s Nachlass. There are 45 bound volumes. Volumes 1-5 contain the manuscripts for his published works; volumes 6-8 Nietzsche’s lecture notes; volumes 9-32 philosophical notebooks; volumes 33-42 memoranda; volumes 43-45 musical compositions. *KF 2000 (Nietzsche, F. Fotokopien aus dem Nietzsche-Archiv)
As Linda Williams describes it, the “Nachlass can be divided roughly into three different kinds of work. The first…comprises the works Nietzsche was editing right before his collapse. These works are Ecce Homo, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and The Antichrist…The second…are Nietzsche’s early, finished pieces that were never published, the so called Schriften-primarily his lectures and writings while he was employed at Basel…The third…consists of Nietzsche’s notes. These notes vary from near essay length and form, to extremely sketchy outlines of various projects, to single sentences or sentence fragments…there are passages lined out, words jotted in the margins, and some overwriting.” 14
Although the Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke by Colli and Montinari contains more of Nietzsche’s Nachlass than any previous edition of Nietzsche’s works, there is still much that is not included. Bernd Magnus estimates that “there is perhaps as much as 25% more material-excluding Nietzsche’s letters, letters to him, and personal effects—than exists in even the very best edition of Nietzsche’s works, the monumental Colli-Montinari edition…The reasons for this…may include the following facts…Montinari, often did not produce the pages and the notations Nietzsche himself crossed out in his handwritten manuscripts…Montinari…excluded…matters he considered ‘personal’…and many editors have excluded all marginalia…” 15
Scholars have taken four basic positions towards the Nachlass. For Martin Heidegger, the Nachlass is where Nietzsche’s true philosophy is to be found. “What Nietzsche himself published during his creative life was always foreground…His philosophy proper was left behind as posthumous, unpublished work.” 16 On the other hand, R.J. Hollingdale argued that the notes in the Nachlass that were never incorporated into the published works, were ideas Nietzsche rejected, as should we. There are other scholars, like Karl Jaspers, Arthur Danto, and Richard Schacht, who use both the published and unpublished material without differentiating between them, not seeing a problem in giving equal weight to writings that were never published. That is not a problem for material that appeared in the published writings with only minor revision. But “writings that did not find their way into publication in any form are problematic. Are they rough drafts of some future work which Nietzsche was unable to complete due to his illness…Are they ideas that Nietzsche entertained but ultimately rejected? If so, we should not place them on par with the ideas in his published works.” 17
Lastly, there is the position of scholars like Bernd Magnus, and Linda Williams who take the “position of carefully differentiating between the two sets of writings….[and] treat the Nachlass entries as thought experiments…they do not advise ignoring the Nachlass entries altogether, but they also do not treat the entries with the same degree of confidence as the works Nietzsche authorized for publication.” 18
How much importance is given to the Nachlass has consequences on how Nietzsche is interpreted. For example, it can lead to differences “over the importance of the concept of the will to power (which is mentioned rarely in published works) and the cosmological version of the doctrine of eternal recurrence (which appears only in unpublished works).” 19
History of the Nietzsche Archive
Hoffmann, David Marc. Zur Geschichte des Nietzsche-Archivs. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1991) JFD 92-1543
Considered the best history of the Nietzsche Archive.
Bibliothek Nietzsches (S) *Z-9994
This is the microfilm of the approximately 900 books in Nietzsche’s library. About 170 of the books are annotated, many heavily, by Nietzsche. It should be noted “less than half of the books he read are…found in his library.” Thomas Brobjer, p. 680 (see below).
Bibliothek Nietzsches: Verzeichnis in systematishcher Anordnung nach Oehler. (Weimar: Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, 1997) (S) *Z-9994+ [Index]
A one-volume index to the microfilm of Nietzsche’s library. (This index is also on microfilm.) Titles are arranged by subject, author, and by the call numbers used at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar.
Brobjer, Thomas H. “Nietzsche’s Reading and Private Library, 1885-1889.” Journal of the History of Ideas 58.4 (1997) 663-680 *ZAN-4694 also available on the database, Project Muse
This is a study of what Nietzsche read, his reading habits, and the books he owned. Brobjer thinks it’s important to know both what Nietzsche read and the annotations he made in his books.
Campioni, Giuliano et al. Nietzsches persönliche Bibliothek. (Berlin; New York: W. de Gruyter, 2003). (S) *Z-9994+ [Notation Guide]
This study attempts to reconstruct all the books that were in Nietzsche’s library, many of which no longer exist. Also, it lists the pages, in the books Nietzsche owned, where he underlined passages or wrote comments in the margins. (A valuable aid when using the microfilm of Nietzsche’s library.)
Collected Editions in German
Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke. ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. 40 vols., (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967- ) L -11 2506
The Colli-Montinari edition supersedes all earlier Nietzsche editions. Forty of the projected fifty volumes have been published.
It is also available electronically through Past Masters, a database available on our Selected Electronic Resources. This makes possible word and phrase searches of Nietzsche’s complete works.
Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Briefwechsel. ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. 24 vols., (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1975-84) JFL 75-286 Also available, in part, electronically, through Past Masters on our Selected Electronic Resources.
This edition supersedes all earlier editions.
Der musikalische Nachlass. ed. Curt Paul Janz. (Basel: Bärenreiter, 1976). JMG 77-297
Nietzsche’s Published Works in English
The following are English translations of books that Nietzsche published or intended to publish. It does not list all the English translations of Nietzsche.
Complete Works. ed. Oscar Levy. (New York: Russell & Russell, 1964) D-1 2617
Walter Kaufmann wrote, “ These translations…are thoroughly unreliable. None of the translators were philosophers, few were scholars…” Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, p. 486.
Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. ed. Bernd Magnus. (20 vols., (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995 onwards).
Three volumes have appeared to date in what will be the first complete, critical, and annotated English translation of all of Nietzsche’s published work and selected notebooks. This will correspond with the Kritische Studienausgabe (KSA), which is a shorten version of Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke.
The Antichrist (Der Antichrist, 1888). trans. Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche (New York: Penguin, 1982). JFD 02-3631
Beyond Good and Evil (Jenseits von Gut und Böse, 1886). trans. Walter Kaufmann. (New York: Vintage, 1966). JFD 00-11292
Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragödie, 1872). trans. Walter Kaufmann. (New York: Vintage, 1966). JFC 00-1638
The Case of Wagner (Der Fall Wagner, 1888). trans. Walter Kaufmann, with The Birth of Tragedy (New York: Vintage, 1966). JFC 00-1638
David Strauss, the Confessor and the Writer (David Strauss der Bekenner und der Schriftsteller, 1873). trans. R.J. Hollingdale in Untimely Meditations (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983). JFD 84-1883
Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (Morganröthe, 1881). trans. R.J. Hollingdale. (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982). JFD 83-3580
Dithyrambs of Dionysus (Dionysos-Dithyramben, 1892). Bilingual ed., trans. R.J. Hollingdale. (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1984). JFL 79-247 no. 16
Ecce Homo (Ecce Homo, completed 1888, first published 1908) with On the Genealogy of Morals. (New York: Vintage, 1967). trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin, 1979). JFD 00-19363
The Gay Science (Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, Books I-IV, 1882; second edition with preface and Book V, 1887). trans. Walter Kaufmann. (New York: Vintage, 1974). JFD 74-7467
Human, All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, first volume, 1878; first part of second volume Assorted Opinions and Maxims, 1879; second part of second volume, The Wanderer and His Shadow, 1880). trans. R.J. Hollingdale. 2 vols. in 1, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). JFD 86-8517
Nietzsche contra Wagner (Nietzsche contra Wagner, completed 1888, first published 1895). trans. Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche. JFD 02-3631
On the Genealogy of Morals (Zur Genealogie der Moral, 1887). trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. (New York: Vintage, 1967). JFD 00-19363
On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life (Von Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben, 1874). trans. R.J. Hollingdale in Untimely Meditations (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983). JFD 84-1883
Richard Wagner in Bayreuth (Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, 1876). trans. R.J. Hollingdale in Untimely Meditations. JFD 84-1883
Schopenhauer as Educator (Schopenhauer als Erzeiher, 1874). trans. R.J. Hollingdale in Untimely Meditations JFD 84-1883
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Also Sprach Zarathustra, Parts I and II, 1883; Part III, 1884; Part IV, 1885). trans. Walter Kaufmann. in The Portable Nietzsche. JFD 02-3631
Twilight of the Idols (Götzen-Dämmerung, 1889). trans. Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche. JFD 02-3631
Untimely Meditations (Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen, 1873-76). trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). JFD 84-1883
Nietzsche’s Unpublished Works in English
The following are English translations of Nietzsche’s unpublished works.
“The Birth of Tragic Thought.” (Die Geburt des tragischen Gedankens). trans. Ursula Bernis, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 9, no. 2, Fall 1983, 3-15. JFL 94-647
“The Dionysian Worldview.” (Die dionysische Weltanschauung). trans. Claudia Crawford, Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 13, 1997, 81-97. JFL 01-623
“Fate and History.” (Fatum und Geschichte). trans. George J. Stack, Philosophy Today 37, 2, 1993, 154-156. *ZAN-4425
“Freedom of the Will and Fate.” (Freiheit des Willens und Fatum). trans. George J. Stack, Philosophy Today, 37, 2, 1993, 156-158. *ZAN-4425
Friedrich Nietzsche on Rhetoric and Language. ed. and trans. Sander L. Gilman, Carole Blair, and David J. Parent. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). JFD 00-11179
“My Life.” (Mein Leben). trans. R.J. Hollingdale, Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 3, 1992, 5-9. JFL 01-623
“On Moods.” (Über Stimmungen). trans. Graham Parkes in Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 2, 1991, 5-11. JFL 01-623
“On Music and Words.” (Über Musik und Wort). trans. Walter Kaufmann, in Carl Dahlhaus, Between Romanticism and Modernism: Four Studies in the Music of the Later 19th Century. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980) 106-19. JMD 81-43
“On Schopenhauer.” (Zu Schopenhauer). trans. Christopher Janaway in Willing and Nothingness: Schopenhauer as Nietzsche’s Educator. ed. Christopher Janaway. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) 258-265. JFE 99-2530
“On the Future of Our Educational Institutions.” (Über die Zukunft unserer Bildungsanstalten). trans. Michael W. Grenke. (South Bend, Ind: St. Augustine’s Press, 2004) JFE 04-10757
“On the Relationship of Alcibiades Speech to the Other Speeches in Plato’s Symposium.” (Über das Verhältnis der Rede des Alcibiades zu den übrigen Reden des platonischen Symposions). trans. David Scialdone, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, v.15. no. 2, 1991, 3-5. JFL 94-647
“On Teleology, or Teleology since Kant.” trans. Paul Swift, Nietzscheana 8, 2000, 1-20. JFF 03-87 no. 8
“On the Theory of Quantitative Rhythm.” (Zur Theorie der quantitierenden Rhythmik). trans. James Halporn, Arion, 6, 1967, 233-243. K-10 3730
"On Truth and Lie in a Nonmoral Sense." (Über Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinne," 1873). trans. Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche *R-YBX (NIETZSCHE) 02-270
Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks (Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen, 1870-73). trans. Marianne Cowan. (South Bend, IN: Gateway, 1962). JFD 01-14699
Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsche’s Notebooks of the Early 1870s. ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale. (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1979). JFE 80-99
The Poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche. trans. with commentary by Philip Grundlehner. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). JFE 87-2331
Prefaces to unwritten works ( Fünf Vorreden zu fünf ungeschriebenen Büchern) trans. and ed. by Michael W. Grenke. (South Bend, Ind: St. Augustine's Press, 2005) JFE 05-8009
The Pre-Platonic Philosophers. trans. Greg Whitlock. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001) JFE 01-13267
“Time-Atom Theory.” (Nachgelassene Fragment, early 1873). trans. Carol Diethe with modifications by Keith Ansell Pearson, The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 20, 2000, 1-4. JFL 01-623
Unpublished Writings from the Period of Unfashionable Observations, The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. vol. 11. trans. Richard T. Gray. (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 1999) JFC 02-1211
We Classicists (Wir Philologen, 1875). trans. William Arrowsmith in Unmodern Observations. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990). JFE 90-3192
The Will to Power (Der Wille zur Macht published in editions of increasing size in 1901, 1904, and 1910-11). trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. (New York: Vintage, 1967). *R-YBX (Nietzsche) 99-11018
Although described by Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche, Nietzsche’s sister, as Nietzsche’s magnum opus, this is not one of Nietzsche’s books. It is a collection of notes from Nietzsche’s notebooks that was selected and arranged by Nietzsche’s sister and Peter Gast after Nietzsche’s death.
Writings from the Late Notebooks. ed. Rüdiger Bittner and trans. Kate Sturge. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003). JFE 03-12965
Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche. ed. and trans. Christopher Middleton. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969). E-13 7544
Nietzsche: A Self-Portrait from His Letters. ed. and trans. Peter Fuss and Henry Shapiro. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971). JFD 72-4854
Weimarer Nietzsche-Bibliographie. comp. Susanne Jung, et. al. (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000-2002). JFL 00-502
This is the most comprehensive bibliography on Nietzsche including over 20,000 citations dating from 1867 to 1998. Volume 1 lists Nietzsche’s works, including translations into 42 languages, and volumes 2 through 5, the secondary literature.
International Nietzsche Bibliography. ed. Herbert W. Reichert and Karl Schlechta. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968). *RB-YBX (Nietzsche)'
An important guide to the secondary literature, listing more than 4,500 titles in 27 languages. An expanded edition for the period 1968-72 was published in Nietzsche-Studien, v.2, 1973: 320-39. This has been superseded by the Weimarer Nietzsche-Bibliographie.
Babich, Babette. “Nietzsche and Music: Selective Bibliography.” New Nietzsche Studies, 1:1/2, 1996, 64-78. JFK 00-74
Babich, Babette. “Nietzsche, Classic Philology and Ancient Philosophy: A Research Bibliography.” New Nietzsche Studies, 4:1/2, 2000, 171-91. JFK 00-74
Hollingdale, R.J. “‘The Birth of Tragedy’: A Checklist of Criticism, 1872-1972.” The Malahat Review, 24, 1972, 177-182. L -11 2431
Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 4th ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980). *R-YBX (Nietzsche) (Kaufmann, W.A. Nietzsche)
Kaufmann’s book includes a useful annotated bibliography.
Kummel, Richard Frank. Nietzsche und der deutsche Geist. (Berlin; New York: de Gruyter, 1998. (Monographien und Texte zur Nietzsche-Forschung, 3, 9, 40). 3 vols. JFL 99-85
An exhaustive, annotated, three-volume bibliography which traces the influence of Nietzsche’s works on German thought from 1867 to 1945. Newspaper articles, diaries, and correspondence are included in the almost 5,700 items listed.
Löwith, Karl. “On the History of the Interpretation of Nietzsche (1894-1954).” in Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Eternal Recurrence of the Same. trans. J. Harvey Lomax. (Berkelely: University of California Press, 1997). JFE 99-9334
An annotated bibliography limited to those authors who have focused on the problem of the eternal recurrence in Nietzsche.
Schaberg, William H. The Nietzsche Canon: A Publication History and Bibliography. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). JFE 96-2609
Schaberg gives a detailed publication history of Nietzsche’s works and his relationship with his publishers. He also provides a detailed bibliography of all the editions of Nietzsche’s works that Nietzsche had published.
Vattimo, Gianni. Nietzsche: An Introduction. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001). JFD 02-17513
An excellent introduction to Nietzsche that includes a fine, international bibliography of works about him.
Haase, Marie-Luise & Jorg Salaquarda, “Konkordanz. Der Wille zur Macht: Nachlass in chronologischer Ordnung der Kritischen Gesamtausgabe.” Nietzsche-Studien, (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1980) 9: 446-490. JFL 73-382
The definitive concordance to Der Wille zur Macht.
Simmons, Scott. “A Concordance Indexing The Will to Power with the Critical Editions of Nietzsche’s Collected Works (KGW & KSA)” New Nietzsche Studies, 1:1/2, Fall/Winter 1996, 126-53. JFK 00-74
This index enables the scholar to move between Der Wille zur Macht and its English translation, The Will to Power.
Andreas-Salomé, Lou. Nietzsche. (Redding Ridge, CT: Black Swan Books, 1988) JFD 88-9117
Written in 1894, by this Russian-born woman of letters, to whom Nietzsche had proposed marriage through a third party. Salome ties Nietzsche’s philosophy to his illnesses and concludes that Nietzsche’s madness was the result of his philosophical views.
Binion, Rudolf. Frau Lou: Nietzsche’s Wayward Disciple. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968). E-13 5168
A fine study of Nietzsche’s relationship with Lou Salomé.
Gilman, Sander L., ed. Conversations With Nietzsche: a Life in the Words of His Contemporaries. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987) JFE 87-6031
Accounts of conversations, anecdotes, and recollections of Nietzsche, by people who knew him personally.
Hollingdale, R.J. Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy, rev. ed. (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1999). JFE 00-1342
Considered by many to be the best biography of Nietzsche in English. Hollingdale’s understanding of Nietzsche’s thought is strongly influenced by Walter Kaufmann (see below).
Hollinrake, Roger. Nietzsche, Wagner, and the Philosophy of Pessimism. (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1982). JFD 83-179
A good account of Nietzsche's involvement with Wagner's music and ideas. Concentrating on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Hollinrake argues that it was Nietzsche’s reply to Wagner.
Janz, C.P. Friedrich Nietzsche: Biographie, rev. ed. (Munchen: C. Hanser, 1993) 3 v. JFD 94-7021
The definitive biography in German.
Safranski, Rudiger. Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography, trans. Shelley Frisch. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002). JFE 02-20934
In this major new biography, Safranski, who has written excellent biographies on Schopenhauer and Heidegger, traces the background and development of Nietzsche’s thought. Details of his life are provided only in so far as they illuminate his thought.
Allison, David B. Reading the New Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and On the Genealogy of Morals. (New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2001). JFE 01-4401
Focusing on a few themes, Allison provides a lucid reading of these four major works of Nietzsche. He is especially good at using the events of Nietzsche’s life to illuminate his thought. Allison’s reading of Nietzsche is influenced by the French Nietzscheans, e.g., Bataille, Derrida, Deleuze and Foucault.
Conway, Daniel W., ed. Nietzsche: Critical Assessments. (London: Routledge, 1998), 4 vols. JFE 01-2807
A four-volume compilation of the best in Nietzsche scholarship.
Danto, Arthur C. Nietzsche as Philosopher. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005). JFD 05-4460
An influential book for Nietzsche studies in America. Danto shows how Nietzsche’s ideas foreshadowed many of the problems of analytic philosophy. For Danto, the problem of nihilism is at the core of Nietzsche’s thought.
Fink, Eugen. Nietzsche’s Philosophy, trans. Goetz Richter. (London; New York: Continuum, 2003). JFE 03-13081
Fink agrees with Heidegger, his teacher, that Nietzsche’s will to power is the culmination of western metaphysics. But for Fink, it is Nietzsche’s idea of the world as a play of forces, derived from Heraclitus, that is the core of Nietzsche’s philosophy, and takes him beyond traditional philosophy.
Heidegger, Martin. Nietzsche, trans. David Krell. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979-1987) 4 vols. *R-YBX (Nietzsche) 80-1742
This is a compilation of Heidegger’s lectures and articles on Nietzsche from the 1930s and the 1940s. For Heidegger, Nietzsche’s main idea is the will to power, although it must be thought together with the eternal return. Since the idea of the will to power is rarely mentioned in Nietzsche’s published writings, Heidegger relies heavily on Nietzsche’s unpublished writings, especially those collected under the title of The Will to Power.
_____. “Nietzsche’s Word: God is Dead,” in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. trans. William Lovitt. (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 53-114. JFD 91-11380
This essay summarizes much of what Heidegger said in his five semesters of lectures on Nietzsche (see above). For Heidegger, Nietzsche’s statement, “God is dead”, represents the death of the transcendent realm and hence of metaphysics.
Jaspers, Karl. Nietzsche: An Introduction to the Understanding of His Philosophical Activity, trans. Charles F. Wallraff and Frederick J. Schmitz. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997). *RR-YBX (Nietzsche) (Jaspers, K. Nietzsche)
An important work by a major German philosopher. Jaspers tends to discount the value of Nietzsche’s ideas, all of which he finds hopelessly contradictory. He believes that Nietzsche offers no teaching or worldview; rather, it is his philosophizing, his thinking, that questions everything, which is of most importance.
Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche:Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 4th ed. rev. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980). *R-YBX (Nietzsche) (Kaufmann, W.A. Nietzsche)
This is probably the best introduction to Nietzsche’s philosophy. Kaufmann’s interpretation has long dominated the picture of Nietzsche in North America. For Kaufmann, “will to power”, understood as a psychological principle, and “self-overcoming” form the center of Nietzsche’s thought.
Montinari, Mazzino. Reading Nietzsche, trans. Greg Whitlock. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003). JFE 03-5727
This collection of essays and lectures by Montinari grew out of his work as coeditor of the critical edition of Nietzsche’s collected works in German. The “essays collected here-have no other purpose than as instruction on reading Nietzsche.” p. 5. An important work.
Muller-Lauter, Wolfgang. Nietzsche: His Philosophy of Contradictions and the Contradictions of His Philosophy, trans. David J. Parent. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999). JFE 99-6424
Muller-Lauter, writing in 1971, attempted to challenge Heidegger’s influential reading of Nietzsche, especially the idea that the will to power is a metaphysical principle. For Muller-Lauter, the contradictions in Nietzsche’s philosophy become understandable when Nietzsche’s philosophy of contradiction is understood.
Nehamas, Alexander. Nietzsche, Life as Literature. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985). JFE 85-4601
In this influential book, Nehamas argues that Nietzsche understands the world “as if it were a literary text.” For Nehamas, Nietzsche’s aestheticism and his perspectivism (that all views, including his own, are just one of many possible interpretations) are intimately related, and provide the key to resolving the contradictions and paradoxes of his thought. For “literary texts can be interpreted equally well in vastly different and deeply incompatible ways. Nietzsche…also holds that exactly the same is true of the world itself.” p. 3.
Richardson, John. Nietzsche’s System. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996). JFE 96-5712
In spite of Nietzsche's rejection of all systems of philosophy, Richardson argues that Nietzsche's thought forms a system organized around the principle of the will to power. Like Heidegger, Richardson relies heavily on Nietzsche's Nachlass to support this interpretation.
Schacht, Richard. Nietzsche. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983). *R-YBX (Nietzsche) 99-11013
Schact provides detailed and lengthy analyses of many different aspects of Nietzsche’s thought, treating him as a traditional philosopher with opinions on all the traditional philosophical questions.
Schacht, Richard. Making Sense of Nietzsche: Reflections Timely and Untimely. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995). JFE 95-6934
This collection of essays is divided into two parts. In the first, Schacht refutes some contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche. In the second, he offers his own views on specific texts of Nietzsche. A good guide to current Nietzsche scholarship.
Aschheim, Steven E. The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 1890-1990. (Berkeley: University of Californina Press, 1993). JFE 93-12857
Aschheim makes no attempt to explain what Nietzsche means, but rather restricts himself to tracing all the different ways Nietzsche has been understood. To this end, he examines the history of Nietzsche’s reception in Germany and the adoption of his ideas by every major social, political and intellectual movement.
Behler, Ernst. “Nietzsche in the twentieth century,” The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche. ed. Bernd Magnus and Kathleen Higgins. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 281-322. *R-YBX (Nietzsche) 96-6086
A lucid history of how Nietzsche has been interpreted by philosophers in the 20th century.
Nietzsche repeatedly called into question the value of truth. Scholars have ascribed every major theory of truth to him, while others have claimed he has no epistemology nor was he interested in one.
Clark, Maudemarie. Nietzsche On Truth and Philosophy. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). JFD 91-4468
The most comprehensive book on Nietzsche’s theory of truth. Clark is critical of scholars such as Derrida, DeMan, and Nehamas who claim that Nietzsche is a nihilist, who believes there is no truth. For Clark, the belief that there is no truth is an early position that Nietzsche gave up in his later writings.
Cox, Christoph. Nietzsche: Naturalism and Interpretation. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).
For Cox, the “death of God” is what gives unity to Nietzsche’s seemingly fragmentary thought and is the foundation for his naturalism, i.e., his rejection of metaphysical principles to explain how we know. Clear and concise, this is a superb account of Nietzsche’s theory of truth. Also, the footnotes, often with a dozen citations, provide excellent overviews of the conflicting interpretations among Nietzsche scholars.
Nietzsche & Political Thought
Nietzsche's politics are probably the most controversial aspect of his thought. After World War II, Walter Kaufmann helped rehabilitate Nietzsche in the English-speaking world from his reputation as a Nazi, fostered by Nietzsche’s sister and the Nietzsche archive that she founded. For Kaufmann, Nietzsche was uninterested and contemptuous of politics; his concern was, rather, with “the anti-political individual who seeks self-perfection far from the modern world." 20 This view of Nietzsche, and long the accepted opinion, has been challenged in recent years. Those who argue that Nietzsche was a political thinker take two main approaches. One is to argue that an aristocratic order is the political solution to Nietzsche’s despair over the leveling effects of democracy and his hope for higher men. The other is to claim that in spite of Nietzsche’s contempt for democracy, a progressive and democratic politics can built upon his ideas, usually by arguing that his politics doesn’t follow from his philosophy.
With the revival of interest in Nietzsche’s politics, there has also arisen fresh interest in his relationship to Nazism. Nietzsche’s elitism and fierce rejection of equality and democracy places him on the right, politically. But as Harold Bloom argues, “Elitism is not protofascism. Elitism is the condition of the spirit…” 21 Also, attempts to make him a proto-Nazi stumble against Nietzsche’s hatred of anti-Semitism, his rejection of nationalism, his condemnation of the German Reich, and “his break with Wagner and all that it signifies [since] Wagnerian ideology foreshadowed…a good deal of the völkisch tenets of National Socialism.” 22
Ansell-Pearson, Keith. An Introduction to Nietzsche as Political Thinker: the Perfect Nihilist. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). JFD 94-18211
A good introduction that surveys the wide range of interpretations of Nietzsche’s political thought, from conservative and authoritarian to liberal and left wing.
Bergmann, Peter. Nietzsche, “The Last Antipolitical German”. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1987). JFE 87-1719
Nietzsche referred to himself, in Ecce Homo, as “the last anti-political German.” Bergmann’s biography tries to explain Nietzsche’s statement in light of the historical and political controversies of his time.
Conway, Daniel W. Nietzsche and the Political. (New York: Routledge, 1996). JFE 97-3024
“Political perfectionism” is how Conway describes Nietzsche’s politics. Nietzsche’s primary goal is self-perfection through self-overcoming. The aim of politics is to promote that goal and to create the conditions for the development of genius.
Detweiler, Bruce. Nietzsche and the Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990). JFD 90-4770
Detweiler argues against scholars such as Walter Kaufmann and Peter Bergmann that Nietzsche was apolitical. Contempt for liberal democracy and the belief in an aristocracy of “higher men” is central to Nietzsche, according to Detweiler.
Hatab, Lawrence. A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy: An Experiment in Postmodern Politics. (Chicago, Ill: Open Court, 1995) JFE 96-2855
Hatab believes that a democratic politics can be created out of Nietzsche’s thought. Nietzsche’s belief in the need for a multitude of perspectives, and the necessity of competition or contest to promote excellence is, Hatab argues, best promoted by democracy, not aristocracy.
Strong, Tracy. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000). JFE 00-8370
Strong argues that Nietzsche was not advocating a politics of domination, but of transfiguration. In arguing this, he focuses on how Nietzsche understood the Greeks, especially Greek tragedy, whose essence, for Nietzsche, is transfiguration.
Thiele, Leslie Paul. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: A Study of Heroic Individualism. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
For Thiele, Nietzsche doesn’t reject politics, rather he internalizes it. Nietzsche understood the soul to be a multiplicity of conflicting forces best described in political terms. This “politics of the soul” is where Nietzsche’s politics is to be found.
Nietzsche’s Moral Philosophy
Despite his denunciations of traditional morality, Nietzsche is no hedonist or libertine. This self-described immoralist is an advocate of a high and severe morality. As Nietzsche wrote to Paul Ree in 1882, “She told me herself that she had no morality-and I thought she had, like myself, a more severe morality than anybody.”
Berkowitz, Peter. Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995). JFE 95-8728
For Berkowitz, Nietzsche is primarily an ethical thinker concerned with what is the best life and the creation of a severe, aristocratic ethic. This is contrary to the views of many current scholars, including Derrida and Deleuze, who stress Nietzsche’s theory of interpretation and language.
Leiter, Brian. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Nietzsche on Morality. (New York: Routledge, 2002). JFD 03-9088
This is considered by many to be the best full-length account of the Genealogy of Morals. Leiter first offers a naturalistic interpretation of Nietzsche’s approach to morality followed by a detailed commentary of the text.
Nietzsche and Psychology
For Nietzsche, psychology is the “queen of the sciences [and]…the path to fundamental problems.” 23 And above all, he saw himself as a psychologist. Often, rather than refuting an idea or doctrine, he thought it enough to uncover the ignoble motives and emotions behind them. Furthermore, he thought it impossible to separate a philosopher’s life from his thought, and he saw all great philosophy as involuntary and unconscious autobiography.
Parkes, Graham. Composing the Soul: Reaches of Nietzsche’s Psychology. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). JFE 95-166
This is the most exhaustive study of Nietzsche’s psychology. Parkes argues that Nietzsche anticipated modern depth psychology and psychoanalysis. Considerable attention is given to the idea of a ‘multiple soul,’ which Parkes believes is “the most revolutionary aspect of Nietzsche’s psychology.” p. 18.
Staten, Henry. Nietzsche’s Voice. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990) JFE 91-1307
“Most of the conscious thinking of a philosopher” Nietzsche writes, “is secretly guided and forced into certain channels by his instincts.” 24 Taking Nietzsche at his word, Staten gives a psychological reading, tracing the influence of instinct, drive, and desire on Nietzsche’s thought. This is a subtle and illuminating work.
The eternal recurrence, the belief that everything that has happened and will happen, will happen again, an infinite number of times, has been treated as a cosmological doctrine, while others have stressed its psychological aspect.
Lowith, Karl. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Eternal Recurrence of the Same, trans. J. Harvey Lomax. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997). JFE 99-9334
A major interpretation of Nietzsche first published in Germany in 1935. The eternal recurrence is the fundamental idea of Nietzsche’s philosophy, according to Lowith, who argues that with this idea Nietzsche hoped to overcome nihilism and return man to nature.
Magnus, Bernd. Nietzsche’s Existential Imperative. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978). JFE 78-2655
For Magnus, the eternal return is Nietzsche’s central idea, representing the highest affirmation of this life as embodied in the most life affirming person, the Übermensch.
Stambaugh, Joan. Nietzsche’s Thought of Eternal Return. (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1972). JFE 02-3378
Stambaugh analyzes the idea of the eternal return by examining its conceptual parts, i.e., eternity, recurrence, and the same. Like Heidegger, she sees the concepts of will to power and the eternal return as inseparable.
The “New Nietzsche” (Nietzsche & the French)
Allison, David B., ed. The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation. (New York: Dell Publishing, 1977). JFD 80-1009
An influential anthology with essays by Heidegger, Deleuze, Derrida, Kofman, Klossowski, and others.
Behler, Ernst. Confrontations: Derrida, Heidegger, Nietzsche. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991). JFD 92-9712
Derrida's reading of Nietzsche as a thinker of infinite interpretations is contrasted with Heidegger's metaphysical interpretation of Nietzsche.
Derrida, Jacques. Spurs: Nietzsche’s Style, trans. Barbara Harlow. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979). JFE 80-426
In contrast to Heidegger’s metaphysical interpretation of Nietzsche, Derrida argues that Nietzsche’s fragmentary and contradictory writings have more than one meaning. For Derrida, “there is no such thing as the truth of Nietzsche or of Nietzsche’s text.” p. 53.
Deleuze, Giles. Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983). JFD 83-2646
First published in 1962, this study helped to create interest in Nietzsche in France and influenced thinkers such as Derrida and Foucault. Deleuze emphasizes the multiple meanings and indeterminacy of Nietzsche’s thought. For Deleuze, Nietzsche understands life as a contest between “active” (life affirming) and “reactive” (life denying) forces.
De Man, Paul. Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979). JFE 80-389
An important book for French and postmodernist readings of Nietzsche. For de Man, “the key to Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics…lies in the rhetorical model of the trope…in literature as language grounded in rhetoric.” p. 109. De Man’s essay is based almost exclusively on Nietzsche’s lecture notes on rhetoric and his unpublished essay, “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense.”
Foucault, Michel. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977). JFD 78-1452
This influential essay was important for identifying Nietzsche with postmodernism. Foucault’s genealogies of psychiatry, sexuality, and the prison are indebted to Nietzsche’s idea that there are no fixed meanings or essences behind things, only interpretations.
Klossowski, Pierre. Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle, trans. Daniel M. Smith. (London: Athlone, 1993). JFD 98-3548
For Klossowski, the many contradictions in Nietzsche’s philosophy reflected his understanding of the soul as a multiplicity of forces.
Kofman, Sarah. Nietzsche and Metaphor, trans. Duncan Large. (London: Athlone Press, 1993). JFD 95-10444
For Kofman, Nietzsche’s use of metaphor is not only literary, but also reinforces the belief that concepts are dead metaphors as expressed in Nietzsche’s unpublished essay, “On Truth and Lie in a Nonmoral Sense.” According to Nietzsche, it is the forgetfulness of the metaphorical origin of concepts that leads to the mistaken belief that concepts literally represent reality. The metaphorical character of Nietzsche’s concepts serves to foil any definitive reading of his philosophy.
Schrift, Alan D. Nietzsche’s French Legacy: A Genealogy of Poststructuralism. (New York: Routledge, 1995) JFE 95-18849
Schrift provides a good overview of the French reception of Nietzsche. He shows how the thought of Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, and Cixous made use of Nietzsche in developing their own ideas.
The Birth of Tragedy
“I found the turning point in the modern understanding of early Greek thought to be the publication just a hundred years ago of Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy.” 25
Porter, James I. Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000). JFE 01-9290
With careful readings of Nietzsche’s early, mostly unpublished philological writings, Porter argues for the continuity between them and the Birth of Tragedy. (This is contrary to the views of many scholars who see the Birth of Tragedy as a decisive break in Nietzsche’s development.) Porter also argues that the problems that Nietzsche wrestled with in his later writings are to be found in these early writings.
Silk, M.S. and J.P. Stern. Nietzsche on Tragedy. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). JFE 81-2696
The most detailed study of Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy.
Soll, Ivan. “Pessimism and the Tragic View of Life: Reconsiderations of Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy” in Reading Nietzsche, eds. Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 104-131. JFD 89-2052
Soll asserts that Schopenhauer’s influence on the Birth of Tragedy was considerable and that Nietzsche’s assessment that it was minimal should be rejected. The problem of the inevitably of suffering in life, central to the Birth of Tragedy, led Nietzsche to a Schoperhauerian pessimism in spite of his efforts to overcome it.
Wilamowitz-Möllendorff, Ulrich von, “Future Philology! A Reply to The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche,” New Nietzsche Studies 4: 1/2, 2000, 1-32 JFK 00-74
A translation of the famous attack on Nietzsche’s first book.
The Gay Science
Schacht, Richard. “Nietzsche’s Gay Science, Or, How to Naturalize Cheerfully,” in Reading Nietzsche, ed. Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 68-86. JFD 89-2052
For Schacht, the Gay Science is Nietzsche’s most comprehensive attempt to trace the consequences of the “death of God.” The results are the “de-deification of nature” and the naturalization of humanity.
Allison, David B. Reading the New Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, Thus Spake Zarathustra, and On the Genealogy of Morals. ( Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 71-110. JFE 01-4401
Allison is superb at weaving in incidents of Nietzsche’s life and his letters to show us why Nietzsche thought The Gay Science was his most personal work.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
For Mazzino Montinari, editor of the complete critical edition of the works of Nietzsche and the leading scholar of the Nachlass, “[Nietzsche’s] notebooks from autumn 1882 to winter 1884-85 constitute the absolute necessary supplementary background of the four parts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Better than does any commentary to this work, the Zarathustra fragments and plans elucidate Nietzsche ’s intentions…” 26
Heidegger, Martin. “Who is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra?” trans. Bernd Magnus, in The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation, ed. David B. Allison. (New York: Dell, 1977), 64-79. JFD 80-1009
For Heidegger, the doctrine of the eternal return is the path to the übermensch and a life free from the spirit of revenge.
Higgins, Kathleen Marie. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987). JFD 88-149
Although Nietzsche considered Thus Spoke Zarathustra his most important work, many scholars believe it has little philosophical importance. Higgins challenges this in a reading that focuses on its literary structure, seeing parody (of both the Platonic dialogues and the New Testament), tragedy, and Bildungsroman as literary models that operate throughout the book.
Lampert, Laurence. Nietzsche’s Teaching: An Interpretation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986). JFE 87-2277
Considered the best commentary on Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Lampert provides a detailed, chapter by chapter, analysis. Lampert wants also to demonstrate that Zarathustra is central to understanding all of Nietzsche’s philosophy.
Beyond Good and Evil
Lampert, Laurence. Nietzsche’s Task: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil. (New Haven: Yale University, 2001). JFE 02-5730
For Lampert, Nietzsche is, above all, a political philosopher. His detailed, section by section, commentary of Beyond Good and Evil also serves to support his interpretation that Nietzsche is arguing for a creation of a higher culture ruled by his new philosophers. It is a reading strongly influenced by Leo Strauss (see below).
Strauss, Leo. “Notes on the Plan of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil,” Interpretation 3 (Winter 1973), 97-113. JFL 95-120
Lawrence Lampert, in his book Leo Strauss and Nietzsche (which is essentially a detailed commentary of this essay) argues that this is “the most comprehensive and profound study ever published on Nietzsche.” p. 2.
Nehamas, Alexander. “Who are ‘The Philosophers of the Future’?: A Reading of Beyond Good and Evil” in Reading Nietzsche, ed. Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 46-67. JFD 89-2052
Nehamas argues that we still don’t know how to read Beyond Good and Evil. It has often been read as a collection of brilliant, but disconnected essays and aphorisms. For Nehamas, it must be read “as a long, sustained, sometimes rambling and disorganized, but ultimately coherent, monologue.” p. 51.
Genealogy of Morals
Ridley, Aaron. Nietzsche’s Conscience: Six Character Studies from the Genealogy. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998). JFE 99-1250
Ridley gives a series of character studies on the six personality types discussed in the Genealogy of Morals, i.e., the master, slave, priest, philosopher, artist, scientist, and the nobleman. For Ridley, it is through these personalities that the arguments of the Genealogy are developed.
Schacht, Richard, ed. Nietzsche, Genealogy, Morality: Essays on Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). JFE 00-5934
A broad range of interpretations On the Genealogy of Morals is offered in this superb collection of essays.
Nietzsche and Schopenhauer
Nietzsche was deeply influenced by Schopenhauer although he downplayed and even concealed (whether consciously or unconsciously) this influence. In Nietzsche's writings, there are more references to Schopenhauer than to any other philosopher. And since "Nietzsche often simply appropriates Schopenhauer's concepts and categories without much explanation...the reader who is unacquainted with Schopenhauer will be at a loss to understand why a certain connection was made, or how one step follows on from the previous one." 27 For example, Nietzsche's ideas of the Apollonian and the Dionysian in the Birth of Tragedy are largely based upon Schopenhauer's distinction between representation and will..
Janaway, Christopher, ed. Willing and Nothingness: Schopenhauer as Nietzsche’s Educator. (Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press, 1998). JFE 99-2530
This collection of essays explores the influence of Schopenhauer on Nietzsche’s thought.
Nietzsche and Women
“You are going to women? Do not forget the whip!” These well-known lines from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, along with many others, have led many to dismiss Nietzsche as a misogynist and to claim, like Walter Kaufmann, that his remarks about women are irrelevant to his philosophy. Serious study of the feminine in Nietzsche’s thought began in the 70’s, in France, with Sara Kofman’s “Baubô” and Jacques Derrida’s Spurs: Nietzsche’s Styles.
Burgard, Peter J., ed. Nietzsche and the Feminine. (Charlottesville: University Press of Viriginia, 1994) JfE 94-8343
This collection of essays examines Nietzsche’s deep ambivalence towards women and considers this ambivalence central to his thinking.
Oliver, Kelly and Marilyn Pearsall, eds. Feminist Interpretations of Friedrich Nietzsche. (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998) JFE 98-9626
This excellent collection includes important essays by Kofman and Derrida.
Nietzsche and Religion
Although an avowed atheist, who proclaimed that “God is dead,” and who railed against the ill effects of Christianity, Nietzsche was in many ways a religious thinker, preoccupied with religious themes. “Has it ever been really noted [observed Nietzsche] to what extent a genuinely religious life…of self-examination…requires a leisure class…I mean leisure with a good conscience…And that consequently our modern, noisy, time-consuming industriousness, proud of itself, stupidly proud, educates and prepares people more than anything else does, precisely for ‘unbelief.’” 28
Lippit, John and Jim Urpeth, eds. Nietzsche and the Divine. (Manchester: Clinamen Press, 2000). JFD 02-20688
This collection of essays explores Nietzsche’s relation to Greek, Jewish, Christian, Asian, and mystic religion.
Roberts, Tyler T. Contesting Spirit: Nietzsche, Affirmation, Religion. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998). JFE 99-1839
Roberts understands Nietzsche’s philosophy as a spiritual practice that uses ascetic and mystical exercises to cultivate and transfigure the self. Nietzsche’s affirmation of this life is based on the most severe self-discipline and renunciation. And Roberts argues that many of these practices have close affinities to those developed in the Christian tradition that Nietzsche attacked.
Santaniello, Weaver. Nietzsche, God, and the Jews. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994). *PPF 95-222
An examination of Nietzsche’s critiques of Christianity, Judaism, and anti-Semitism.
Yovel, Yirmiyahu. Dark Riddle: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the Jews. (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1998). *PPX 98-1915
The “dark riddle” is the attraction and repulsion that both Hegel and Nietzsche felt towards the Jews. Yovel argues that in Nietzsche's attitude towards Judaism "three stages are to be distinguished: Old Testament Judaism, whose ‘grandeur’ Nietzsche adored; the ‘priestly’ Judaism of the Second Temple, which he profoundly despised…as the parent of Christian culture; and the…Jews in the Diaspora…whom he…admired…” p. 117.
Nietzsche and the Classical Tradition
O’Flaherty, James, Timonthy Sellner, and Robert Helm, eds. Studies in Nietzsche and the Classical Tradition. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1976). RKA (North Carolina. University. Studies in the Germanic languages and literatures, no. 85)
Most of the fifteen essays are comparative studies contrasting Nietzsche’s interpretation of the classical tradition with such thinkers as Augustine, Aquinas, Goethe, Schiller, Byron, and Heine.
Bishop, Paul, ed. Nietzsche and Antiquity: His Reaction and Response to the Classical Tradition. ( Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2004). JFE 04-4449
A collection of essays examining Nietzsche’s relationship to the classical tradition, primarily Greek, and a section devoted to Nietzsche and German Classicism.
Philosophy of Art
Kemal, S., Gaskell, I., and Conway, D. eds. Nietzsche, Philosophy and the Arts. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). JFE 99-2407
A broad range of essays examining Nietzsche’s aesthetic understanding of philosophy.
Schacht, Richard. “Making Life Worth Living: Nietzsche on Art in The Birth of Tragedy” in Making Sense of Nietzsche: Reflections Timely and Untimely. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995). JFE 95-6934
Schacht argues that for Nietzsche, the task of art is to transform the horror and meaninglessness of life by spreading, in Nietzsche’s words, a “veil of beauty” over it, thereby making life worth living.
Young, Julian. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Art. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) JFE 92-3892
Young see Nietzsche’s changing views of art as a long argument against Schopenhauer’s pessimism. Young argues that Nietzsche’s final view, that art makes life bearable, is a return to the idea of art expressed in his Birth of Tragedy, and a view that fails to overcome Schopenhauer’s pessimism.
Nietzsche and Science
Babich, Babette E. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science: Reflecting Science on the Ground of Life and Art. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994) JFE 00-6822
Babich argues that Nietzsche is a philosopher of science and that his theory of perspectivism is crucial to it. Following Nietzsche, Babich tries to construct a philosophy of science from a philosophy of art and life.
Lampert, Lawrence. Nietzsche and Modern Times: A Study of Bacon, Descartes and Nietzsche. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993) JFE 93-7565
Lampert argues against the widely held view that Nietzsche is an enemy of science. Rather it is Bacon-Cartesian science and its mechanistic view of the world that Nietzsche opposes. Nietzsche is an advocate of a “gay science” based upon a new conception of nature.
Moore, Gregory. Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002) JFE 02-4413
Moore examines how nineteenth-century debates about evolution and the degeneration of man shaped Nietzsche’s thinking, especially his understanding of morality and art. This influence is reflected in Nietzsche’s frequent use of biological metaphors such as degeneration, decadence, sickness and health, in his cultural criticism.
International Studies in Philosophy. (Binghamton, NY: Scholars Press, 1979-). JFL 75-260
The fall issues are devoted to papers delivered at meetings of the North American Nietzsche Society.
Journal of Nietzsche Studies. (Norwich, U.K.: The Nietzsche Society, 1991-). JFL 01-623
Official journal of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, published twice a year. It is available online through Project Muse from 2002 to present.
New Nietzsche Studies: the Journal of the Nietzsche Society. (New York, NY: The Society, 1996-). JFK 00-74
Concentrates on publishing contemporary European scholarship on Nietzsche.
Nietzscheforschung. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1994-). JFL 95-557
Official annual journal of the Nietzsche-Gesellschaft society.
Nietzsche-Studien. (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1972-). JFL 73-382
A yearbook of essays and book reviews in German and English devoted to philosophical discussions of Nietzsche. There is an index to volumes 1-20, 1972 to 1991, which lists the papers published, along with indexes of keywords and personal names.
The Nietzsche Page at USC
A scholarly site devoted to promoting scholarship about Nietzsche. Includes Nietzsche societies, bibliographies of Nietzsche’s writings, discussions boards, e-mail lists