The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

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The book covers both wider and lesser known areas of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and philosophy, notable both for its suggestion of Mencken's still-developing literary talents at the age of 27 and for its impressive detail as a book written in the United States (on only the seventh year of Nietzsche's death) considering the lack of reliable interpretations of Nietzsche in the American sphere of letters at the time; Mencken prepared for writing this book by reading all of Nietzsche's published philosophy, including several works in the original German.
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About the author

H. L. Mencken 1880-1956 H. L. (Henry Louis) Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He considered Maryland to be his home despite his many years in New York. As a child he attended Professor Friedrich Knapp's Institute, a private school for children of German descent. He completed his secondary education at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, from which he graduated at the age of 16. Mencken wanted to be a writer but was obligated to work in his father's cigar factory. When his father died suddenly in 1899, Mencken immediately sought a job at the Baltimore Herald. Through he began with no experience in journalism, he quickly learned every job at the newspaper and at age 25 became its editor. Mencken went on to build himself a reputation as one of America's most brilliant writers and literary critics. His basic approach was to question everything and to accept no limits on personal freedom. He attacked organized religion, American cultural and literary standards, and every aspect of American life that he found shallow, ignorant, or false - which was almost everything. From the 1920's until his death, Mencken's sharp wit and penetrating social commentary made him one of the most highly regarded - and fiercely hated - of American social critics. He was later memorialized in the dramatic portrait of the cynical journalist in the play and film Inherit the Wind. Shortly after World War I, Mencken began a project that was to fascinate him for the rest of his life: a study of American language and how it had evolved from British English. In 1919 he published The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. To this and his publisher's surprise, the book sold out quickly; its wit and nonscholarly approach attracted many readers who would not normally buy a book on such a subject. In 1936, a revised and enlarged edition was published, and in 1945 and 1948, supplements were added. The work shows not only how American English differs from British English but how the 300 year American experience shaped American dialect. Thus the book, still considered a classic in its field, is both a linguistic and social history of the United States. Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956. He was interred in Baltimore's Loudon Park Cemetery.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 22, 2013
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Pages
189
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ISBN
9781627930901
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Nietzsche's influence upon European philosophy has been, and continues to be, profound. Indeed, recent years have seen Nietzsche scholarship become the battleground for debates over philosophical method between the analytic and continental traditions. This fresh introduction to Nietzsche's philosophical work provides students new to Nietzsche with an excellent framework for understanding the central concerns of his philosophical and cultural writings and why Nietzsche's ideas continue to spark controversy in philosophy and in allied disciplines. The book is divided into three parts. In the first section "Nietzsche Against the Tradition", the author shows why Nietzsche rejects wholesale certain components of the Western philosophical and religious traditions and examines the implications of rejecting them. Those components are considered under the headings of morality, religion and nihilism. In the second part "Nietzsche and the Tradition", the author explores Nietzsche's ambivalent and sophisticated reflections on some of the central topics in the Western philosophical tradition. These include Nietzsche's criticisms of metaphysics, his analysis of truth and knowledge, and his reflections on the self and consciousness. In the final section "Nietzsche Beyond the Tradition", Welshon discusses some of the ways in which Nietzsche does, or is thought to, transcend the Western philosophical tradition with chapters on the will to power, politics and education, artistry and the flourishing life. The book provides readers with balanced, clear analysis and is ideally suited as a companion resource for students tackling Nietzsche's challenging prose style.
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