Thus Spake Zarathustra, Ecce Homo, Superman
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Friedrich Nietzsche biography

  Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Röcken, Prussia. Both his grandfathers had been ordained into the Lutheran Church. His father Ludwig, also a minister, died in 1849, at the age of thirty-six, having sustained head injuries through a fall about a year previously. Nietzsche was five years old at the time of his father's death and was raised by his mother in a home that included his grandmother, two maiden aunts, and a sister. 

   During his childhood he seems to have developed an aversion to such things as piety, nationalism, bourgeois provincialism and  domineering women. From 1858 he attended the academically distinguished Pforta boarding school where he began to suffer from the migraine attacks that were to be a burden to him for the rest of his life. He was also affected by having poor eyesight. Pforta had turned out many famous men in the past and was run along "Prussian" lines of discipline, piety, and hard work. 

   After (gladly) leaving Pforta in 1864 he studied theology and classical philology at the university of Bonn he was, however, turning away from the religious atmosphere in which he had been raised. He transferred his studies to Leipzig the following year and this time was commited to the study of classical philology only. Arthur Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea greatly influenced him during his time at Leipzig! 

   Nietzsche was considered to be a most particularly brilliant student and was appointed professor of classical philology at the University of Basel at the young age of 24 - at which time he had not yet been awarded a doctoral degree! When his doctoral degree was awarded it was actually awarded without examination!!!

   Ill-health forced his retirement from the University post at Basel in 1879 - his life was despaired of at this time but he did make a recovery. That being said he himself believed that his close brush with mortality had, in fact, enhanced his abilities and deliberately set out to present a culminating view of his philosophy and perceptions in two works later published as The Gay Science and Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-5).

    In 1889 he suffered a mental breakdown from which he never recovered to anything like full sanity. The critical breakdown occured in Turin where he collapsed with his arms about the neck of a horse that had just been cruelly whipped by a coachman. 

   It happened however that, with Nietzsche being affected by his health problems, his "opinions" were often sought from his sister Elisabeth who, in response, tended to introduce a fair amount of her own ideas. It would seem that The Will to Power (1901) is in fact assembled from various sources amongst the her brother's writings - the selection being made by Elisabeth!!!
  She also witheld his autobiographical work Ecce Homo (1889) from publication and published some of his letters after editing them in ways that altered their meaning.

   Friedrich Nietzsche died in Weimar on August 25, 1900.

  For some fuller mention of major works please follow the link below:-

Friedrich Nietzsche
Major Works

Introductory quotations
Kierkegaard &
Friedrich Nietzsche biography
God is dead
Spirituality & the wider world



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Friedrich Nietzsche biography