The Birth of Tragedy (1872)

The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music is a work of dramatic theory that was first published work by Nietzsche in 1872. It was reissued in 1886 with the title The Birth of Tragedy, Or: Hellenism and Pessimism. In it, Nietzsche examines Ancient Greek tragedy as a reflection and affirmation of the human condition. Nietzsche makes it clear in The Birth of Tragedy that he is discussing aesthetics on his own terms. He creates a new frame of reference for his readers to understand art and the artistic process, that is, the dualistic opposition between Apollo and Dionysus.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for None and All is a philosophical novel written by Nietzsche that was published in four volumes between 1883 and 1885. Considered one of the most peculiar works in the Western philosophical tradition, Thus Spoke Zarathustra follows a mock-gospel style that conveys the sayings and doings of the title character as he attempts to spread his message to humanity. Among the topics explored in this discursive work are Nietzsche’s concept of the will to power and his famous contention that “God is dead.”

Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

Beyond Good and Evil is a comprehensive overview of Nietzsche’s mature philosophy that was published in 1886. Nietzsche presents his worldview in a series of 296 two-dimensional aphorisms—ranging in length from a few sentences to a few pages—each approximating a more complex worldview. Beyond Good and Evil is Nietzsche’s concept of perspectivism in practice: we can read every aphorism as one different perspective from which to look at Nietzsche’s philosophy. The work also includes Nietzsche’s well-known idea of the Will to Power.

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