Thus Spake Zarathustra


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Item#: 127511 price:$9,800.00

Thus Spake Zarathustra
Thus Spake Zarathustra


NIETZSCHE, Friedrich. Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. London: H. Henry, 1896. Octavo, original dark blue cloth. $9800.

First edition in English, English issue, of Nietzsche's magnum opus—"the first comprehensive statement of his mature philosophy" in original cloth.

Nietzsche's powerful, philosophical prose-poem ranks as "perhaps the most wonderful 'mine of ideas' in existence" (Seymour-Smith, 100 Most Influential Books 79). In its pages Nietzsche announces the "death of God" and heralds the advent of the übermensch, the "superman"—"not the 'blond beast' of later fascism; it is a human being who has mastered passion, risen above the senseless flux and given creative style to his or her character" (Blackburn, 262). Zarathustra is "an elaborate riddle seamlessly blending elements of Nietzsche's philosophy, his pysche and his personal life into a seductive invitation to dance" (Schaberg, 87). Although it would become his most famous work, Nietzsche's philosophical prose-poem was largely unnoticed when it first appeared. Having published Parts 1-3 in 1883-84 at his own expense, the greatly discouraged author privately published only a few copies of Part 4 in 1891. The complete work, "the first comprehensive statement of his mature philosophy" (Edwards V:509), was first published in 1892. This is volume number eight (though only the second published) in an 11-volume series of separately issued English translations of Nietzsche's texts, prepared under the supervision of the Nietzsche-Archiv in Naumburg, Germany; it was also issued in New York by Macmillan in the same year, priority undetermined. (Though no specific publication dates can be confirmed, contemporary newspapers began to announce it as published and received at the end of June in Britain, and from the middle of July in the U.S., implying that this British edition was published slightly earlier.) First issue binding, with H. Henry & Co.'s imprint on the spine; T. Fisher Unwin later purchased and bound the remaining sheets with their imprint. Translation by Alexander Tille. With eight pages advertisements at rear. See PMM 370. Date inscription (1903) to front flyleaf; partly removed Melbourne bookseller's ticket to front pastedown; early ownership stamp to title page and crossed-out signature to contents page.

Text generally clean, aside from offsetting from a laid-in leaf to pages 8-9; cloth lightly rubbed and with faint discoloration. A very good copy.

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