Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Synopsis

A considerable part and parcel of Nietzsche's genius is his ability to make hislanguage dance, and this is what becomes extraordinarily difficult to translate.Some have failed in the attempt while others have hardly tried. Our present translator, Thomas Wayne, is himself an aphorist of palpable genius if not yet repute, with several collections to his credit which I have been privileged to edit. Heknows that wordplay is the thing wherein he'll catch the conscience of the reader.I have seen him wrestle with particularly intractable word or phrase of Nietzsche's masterwork and snatch an exasperated success from the jaws of failure.While the great tendency among earlier translators has been to smooth outthe rough edges, cut corners and sometimes omit troublesome passages outright, this one honors and respects the original as no other.

Excerpt

Friedrich Nietzsche may well be the most misunderstood philosopher of all time. Apologists for Nazi doctrines are only the most obvious case among those who have wrongly appropriated him for their own. “No, no,” we can almost hear him complaining, “I didn’t mean that at all!” And yet, honest attempts to systematize his thought, to get it just right, haven’t done much better, so that the ordinary reader can’t be sure what he was really getting at. Bits and pieces of his ruined edifice lie all around us, and they don’t always fit together. And then there is the problem of translation.

A considerable part and parcel of Nietzsche’s genius is his ability to make his language dance, and this is what becomes extraordinarily difficult to translate. Some have failed in the attempt while others have hardly tried. Our present translator, Thomas Wayne, is himself an aphorist of palpable genius if not yet repute, with several collections to his credit which I have been privileged to edit. He knows that wordplay is the thing wherein he’ll catch the conscience of the reader. I have seen him wrestle with a particularly intractable word or phrase of Nietzsche’s masterwork and snatch an exasperated success from the jaws of failure. While the great tendency among earlier translators has been to smooth out the rough edges, cut corners and sometimes omit troublesome passages outright, this one honors and respects the original as no other.

He has gone into the thicket of Nietzsche’s offering with all its nettles and thorns and pestiferous stinging insects to pluck those deliciously tart red and purple berries which are practically the whole reason for such an exercise. Every now and then he comes into a clearing where blinding sun or a blast of fresh . . .

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