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This superb edition of The Untimely Meditations by Friedrich Nietzsche contains the compelling translations of Anthony Ludovici and Adrian Collins.
These early writings by Nietzsche displays much of the promise which was to unfurl later in the philosopher's life. These four essays, all different in subject and tone yet tangentially related, are also known by the title Thoughts Out of Season, and were originally published in two parts between 1873 and 1876.
In each essay, Nietzsche examines aspects of modern culture and art. In the first, third and final essays he singles out a single personage as representative or influential upon of the present day, subjecting each to a philosophic critique. The first two essays are openly polemical and critical, whilst the final two offer a non-hostile and complimenting tone, with parts praising their subjects.
The first essay, David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer, sees Nietzsche polemically and scathingly criticise the theologian and author David Strauss, in considering Strauss's 1871 work The Old and the New Faith: A Confession as symptomatic of contemporary German thought. He then goes further, attacking Strauss as appropriating history in service of pseudo-cultural ends.
The second essay, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, has Nietzsche present a new and novel way of reading history, and attempts to discredit the idea that man is merely a product of the history which has so far happened. The essay exemplifies the growing attitude of elitism which would become more obvious in Nietzsche's later works.
In the third essay, Schopenhauer as Educator, Nietzsche praises and lauds the philosopher Schopenhauer and suggests that a revival in thought would likely occur thanks to this philosopher and his fine ideas. As well as what he wrote, Nietzsche praises the attitude which Schopenhauer had to life - jovial, forthright and honest, if pessimistic.
In the final essay, Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, Nietzsche examines the life and works of his contemporary - the composer Richard Wagner. At the time it was published, Nietzsche praising attitude to Wagner was changing - yet a friend, Peter Gast, saw value in its words and persuaded him to redraft and publish it. However some time after its publication, Nietzsche would split from Wagner and the two would conclude their friendship.