In this study of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Paul S. Loeb proposes a fresh account of the relation between the book's literary and philosophical aspects and argues that the book's narrative is designed to embody and exhibit the truth of eternal recurrence. Loeb shows how Nietzsche constructed a unified and complete plot in which the protagonist dies, experiences a deathbed revelation of his endlessly repeating life, and then returns to his identical life so as to recollect this revelation and gain a power over time that advances him beyond the human. Through close textual analysis and careful attention to Nietzsche's use of Platonic, biblical, and Wagnerian themes, Loeb explains how this novel design is the key to solving the many riddles of Thus Spoke Zarathustra - including its controversial fourth part, its obscure concept of the UEbermensch, and its relation to Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals.
Paul S. Loeb is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puget Sound. He is the co-translator and co-editor (with David F. Tinsley) of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in Volumes 7, 14, and 15 of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).
Preface; Texts and citations; Introduction: the clue to the riddles; 1. The eternal recurrence of the same; 2. Demon or god?; 3. The dwarf and the gateway; 4. The great noon; 5. The laughing lions; 6. The shepherd and the serpent; 7. Circulus vitiosus deus; 8. Post-Zarathustra; Bibliography; Index.