Written after Nietzsche had ended his friendship with Richard Wagner and had been forced to leave academic life through ill health, Human, All Too Human (1878) can be read as a monument to his personal crisis. It also marks the point when he matured as a philosopher, rejecting the German romanticism espoused by Wagner and Schopenhauer and instead returning to sources in the French Enlightenment. Here he sets out his unsettling views in a series of 638 stunning aphorisms - assessing subjects ranging from art to arrogance, boredom to passion, science to vanity and women to youth. This work also contains the seeds of concepts crucial to Nietzsche's later philosophy, such as the will to power and the need to transcend conventional Christian morality. The result is one of the cornerstones of his life's work.
Friedrich Nietzsche was born near Leipzig in 1844, the son of a Lutheran clergyman. At 24 he was appointed to the chair of classical philology at Basle University, where he stayed until forced by his health to retire in 1879. Here, he wrote all his literature, including Thus Spake Zarathustra, and developed his idea of the Superman. He became insane in 1889 and remained so until his death in 1900. Marion Faber is Professor German at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. Her work includes publications on Kafka, Nietzsche and Weimar film.
Of first and last things; on the history of moral feelings; religious life; from the soul of artists and writers; signs of higher and lower culture; man in society; woman and child; a look at the state; man alone with himself.