"Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None" is a novel by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that was originally published in four parts between 1883 and 1891. The novel is a philosophical treatise on Nietzsche's ideals and his idea of the "overman". Several of the philosopher's most famous concepts … [Read more...] about Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15th, 1844 in Rocken, near Leipzig, Germany. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor and a former teacher who went on to have two other children. When Nietzsche was only five years old, his father passed away from a brain illness. His younger brother passed away only six months later. Nietzsche's family then moved to Naumburg to live with his maternal grandmother, later moving to their own house in 1856.
During his time in school, Nietzsche became interested in poetry and specifically in the works of more uncommon and looked down on poets like Friedrich Holderlin, a poet who committed suicide. Nietzsche graduated in 1864 and began studying theology at the University of Bonn. His intention was to become a minister like his father had been, however after one semester he decided that he no longer had faith and stopped his studies. Nietzsche than began studying philology under the professor Wilhelm Ritschl. Later, Nietzsche became the professor of classical philology at University of Basel at the age of only 24 years old.
In moving to Basel, Nietzsche had to renounce his Prussian citizenship. But he later served for the Prussian forces during the France-Prussian war for one year from 1870 to 1871. He served as a medical orderly. Nietzsche published his first book in 1872. 'The Birth of Tragedy' was not a great success until it was touted by fellow philologist Ulrich von Wilamowitz in his book.
In 1878, he published "Human, All Too Human" a book of aphorisms about morality and religion that the public responded to more positively. That same year, Nietzsche became ill and resigned his teaching post. He began traveling to climates that were said to be more conducive to his health like France and Switzerland.
For the next ten years, Nietzsche published many of his most popular books such as "The Gay Science" (1882) and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" (1883-1891). It was also during this time that Nietzsche became addicted to opium and chloral hydrate, a sedative. Throughout the 1880's, Nietzsche suffered many bouts with poor health both physical and mental. In 1889, he suffered a mental breakdown after which he had to be dealt with by two policemen.
During Nietzsche's time, his mental diagnosis was tertiary syphilis but many scholars today believe it to have been manic-depressive illness with periodic psychosis. In 1898 and 1899, Nietzsche suffered several strokes that partially paralyzed him and left him immobile. After another stroke on the night of August 25th 1900, Nietzsche died and was buried by his sister in Rocken, the town where he was born. His sister went on to publish many of his unfinished works posthumously.