Dear readers – This is a post written by a new contributor: Nour Shurbaji. Nour decided to review a book called “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. She is an avid reader. We are eager to more contributions from Nour. If you are interested in sharing your book reviews, email us!
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Do you want to meet the man who killed God? Then sit to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra. It is known to be Frederick Nietzsche’s most read book, which he wrote “for every one and nobody”.
Zarathustra questions the postulates, what is good and what is evil, bestowing and receiving, joy and woe, revering and despising, mortality and eternity. In a world where “the good” strive for preserving humanity, Zarathustra calls his listener to overcome humanity. To Zarathustra, the human is a bridge between animal and “overhuman”. Human is a state to overcome.
In this book, Nietzsche explores how “will” and “eternal recurrence” are greatly intertwined. If you knew every moment of your life is to be repeated forever, wouldn’t you take every coming moment more seriously? When we believe in eternal recurrence, we will will to power over every moment. We will say yes to joy and yes to suffering. Zarathustra explains why he believes religion invites us to run away from suffering by despising our body and the earth.
To look away from himself was what the creator wanted – so he created the world.
A few pages into the book, you would definitely remember Gibran’s Almustafa if you had read The Prophet. After a quick research, I could validate that Khalil Gibran was immensely influenced by Nietzsche’s style and concepts. Although the books are similar in structure and character, Zarathustra and The Prophet would definitely disagree about religion, and particularly, about Jesus.
Whoever praises him as a God of love does not think highly enough of love itself. Did this God not want to be a judge as well? But the true lover loves beyond reward and retribution.
As you read more, the spectre of William Shakespeare comes closer. Nietzsche chooses the Shakespearean poetic style to narrate Zarathustra’s stories, songs, and dialogues. Thanks to the translator Graham Parkes, the beauty of language is not lost in translation, as rhyme and music are well preserved. In fact, Nietzsche himself was influenced by Shakespeare as well as some of his most famous characters, like Hamlet and Julius Caesar. As a teenager, he performed several of his plays on stage, and as an academic, he wrote papers on his tragedies. Shakespeare’s influence on Nietzsche is not limited to style, but extends to philosophy and theater. If you are interested about this subject, you can learn more in this article.
“It is true: we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving.” Thus spoke Zarathustra.
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