Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.2 stars; 95 reviews)

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, using a distinctive German language style and displaying a fondness for aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism.

Thus Spake Zarathustra (Also sprach Zarathustra), is a work composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Overman, which were first introduced in The Gay Science. Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written", the book is a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy and morality, featuring as protagonist a fictionalized Zarathustra. A central irony of the text is that the style of the Bible is used by Nietzsche to present ideas of his which fundamentally oppose Judaeo-Christian morality and tradition. (Summary from Wikipedia) (12 hr 39 min)

Chapters

Zarathustra's Prologue 35:29 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: I. The Three Metamorphoses 5:20 Read by Seth Woodworth
Part 1: II. The Academic Chairs of Virtue 6:27 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: III. Backworldsmen 7:58 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: IV. The Despisers of the Body 5:04 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: V. Joys and Passions 4:31 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: VI. The Pale Criminal 4:39 Read by Connor Riley
Part 1: VII. Reading and Writing 3:23 Read by Connor Riley
Part 1: VIII. The Tree on the Hill 5:26 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Part 1: IX. The Preachers of Death 3:30 Read by Connor Riley
Part 1: X. War and Warriors 3:40 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Part 1: XI. The New Idol 5:34 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Part 1: XII. The Flies in the Market-place 5:52 Read by Connor Riley
Part 1: XIII. Chastity 2:21 Read by Connor Riley
Part 1: XIV. The Friend 5:13 Read by Gesine
Part 1: XV. The Thousand and One Goals 5:11 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Part 1: XVI. Neighbour-Love 4:21 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: XVII. The Way of the Creating One 7:06 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: XVIII. Old and Young Women 5:52 Read by Chris Masterson
Part 1: XIX. The Bite of the Adder 5:08 Read by GerryR
Part 1: XX. Child and Marriage 4:09 Read by Kirsten Ferreri
Part 1: XXI. Voluntary Death 7:41 Read by GerryR
Part 1: XXII. The Bestowing Virtue 13:49 Read by GerryR
Part 2: XXIII. The Child with the Mirror 6:00 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXIV. In the Happy Isles 6:32 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXV. The Pitiful 6:54 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXVI. The Priests 6:06 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXVII. The Virtuous 7:23 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXVIII. The Rabble 6:25 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXIX. The Tarantulas 7:36 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXX. The Famous Wise Ones 6:35 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXI. The Night-Song 4:45 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXII. The Dance-Song 5:50 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXIII. The Grave-Song 7:35 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXIV. Self-Surpassing 8:04 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXV. The Sublime Ones 5:54 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXVI. The Land of Culture 6:04 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXVII. Immaculate Perception 6:28 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXVIII. Scholars 4:26 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XXXIX. Poets 7:17 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XL. Great Events 8:32 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XLI. The Soothsayer 9:55 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XLII. Redemption 12:49 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XLIII. Manly Prudence 7:28 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 2: XLIV. The Stillest Hour 9:16 Read by Geoff Dugwyler
Part 3: XLV. The Wanderer 9:20 Read by Gesine
Part 3: XLVI. The Vision and the Enigma 14:06 Read by Gesine
Part 3: XLVII. Involuntary Bliss 8:21 Read by Dromiceius
Part 3: XLVIII. Before Sunrise 7:51 Read by Gesine
Part 3: XLIX. The Bedwarfing Virtue 12:57 Read by Gesine
Part 3: L. On the Olive-Mount 7:51 Read by Jordan Schneider
Part 3: LI. On Passing-by 7:27 Read by Jordan Schneider
Part 3: LII. The Apostates 12:29 Read by Jc Guan
Part 3: LIII. The Return Home 12:08 Read by Jc Guan
Part 3: LIV. The Three Evil Things 15:11 Read by Jc Guan
Part 3: LV. The Spirit of Gravity 10:44 Read by TimSC
Part 3: LVI. Old and New Tables 44:45 Read by TimSC
Part 3: LVII. The Convalescent 16:13 Read by TimSC
Part 3: LVIII. The Great Longing 7:22 Read by TimSC
Part 3: LIX. The Second Dance-Song 8:48 Read by TimSC
Part 3: LX. The Seven Seals 8:00 Read by TimSC
Part 4: LXI. The Honey Sacrifice 11:46 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXII. The Cry of Distress 9:54 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXIII. Talk with the Kings 10:26 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXIV. The Leech 9:24 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXV. The Magician 14:47 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXVI. Out of Service 13:37 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Part 4: LXVII. The Ugliest Man 14:43 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXVIII. The Voluntary Beggar 13:47 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXIX. The Shadow 9:57 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXX. Noon-Tide 8:54 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXXI. The Greeting 15:58 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXXII. The Supper 6:38 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXIII. The Higher Man 26:29 Read by Ashwin Jain
Part 4: LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy 8:55 Read by Leon Mire
Part 4: LXXV. Science 8:02 Read by Leon Mire
Part 4: LXXVI. Among Daughters of the Desert 10:11 Read by Leon Mire
Part 4: LXXVII. The Awakening 7:48 Read by The Purple Poodle
Part 4: LXXVIII. The Ass-Festival 10:03 Read by GerryR
Part 4: LXXIX. The Drunken Song 20:24 Read by TimSC
Part 4: LXXX. The Sign 8:32 Read by TimSC

Reviews

Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra


(5 stars)

This was the last book i needed to read to complete the Nietzsche collection and it didn't disappoint. i guess it's time to move on to a new Philosopher.

Try this alt free audio version


(2 stars)

https://archive.org/details/Thus_Spake_Zarathustra_Audiobook


(2.5 stars)

Some readings were good, though inconsistent in tone, volume and speed. Naturally, many are going to disagree with Nietzsche on two of his main premises without much reflection on the arguments. The “God is dead” proposition normally is phrased without its qualifications, namely, because He died of shame of his human creations’ shortcomings, or because all the gods laughed each other out of existence. There are very few arguments for atheism in the book, contrary to one’s expectations. Of course, the whole proposition is poetic parody, specifically made to stir up a great theological controversy, without which few would have ever heard the name Nietzsche. (Marketing. Let’s be real.) The real main proposition is that man must be surpassed, and that to do this, we must become harder, stronger and more evil. He disputes that our average definition of evil is undesirable and often asserts that much bad is done by the ‘good’ who suppress the individual interests, which halts progress. Perhaps this is true to an extent, but Nietzsche gives no account of how progress would be made in a world where individual interests are to be halted at every step by moral and civil chaos. A Higher Man would be nothing more than the strongest caveman, because organized society and would be impossible. The ‘good’ are the ones who aid the ‘great’ by making society, (and therefore their armies) work. Alone, even a very strong man is a middling animal, and even a tiger cannot always be unassailable. Ultimately, Nietzsche’s ideal human is unattainable, for an equal and opposite reason as Marx’s is unattainable. Nietzsche misunderstood and oversimplified human nature, putting too much faith in unquestioned aggression, where Marx put too much faith in unquestioned cooperation. Humanity falls between these two extremes, each person falling somewhere in that spectrum. Humanity will certainly evolve if it doesn’t destroy itself first, but whether you call them virtues or sins, both aggression and cooperation will remain. But all that nuance is not to found here. I feel Nietzsche is at his best when writing poetry to nature, less idealized than in Romantic poets of his time. There are several interesting moments, such as between the Last Pope and Zarathustra, and some genuinely good satire, such as the Ass-Festival. Much of the rest feels disconnected and occasionally even contrary to the central themes. It is essential reading for anyone studying Western philosophy, but to me, little more than a chore. (I was dared by a friend.) Sorry, that was a longer review than was intended.

Great book, Most Volunteers Adept


(3 stars)

This book is very interesting, but there are three different speakers who are so grating that it almost made me stop. There is a man who seems to be reading as if he's doing a false voice in Involuntary bliss but thankfully reads only once, a woman reading Three Evil Things who is not a native speaker and mispronounced so many words that were meant to be emphasized in a powerful way that it was a total dis-service to the passage's meaning and the worst of the entire book, and the speaker for The Greeting and a few before it is not only a non-native speaker but I could hear horns, construction, birds, and even what seemed to be voices in the background. Somehow, all these noises are still not as problematic as the speakers misunderstanding of English cadence and, obviously, pronunciation. I appreciate what volunteers do for Librivox, but maybe it's best if you don't volunteer for complex subject matter when the most basic of language is still beyond you. Aside from these, 85% of the volunteers are delightful.

What does it all mean??!


(5 stars)

Thank thanks to all the volunteers who read this. This work is a treasure trove of wisdom and thanks to Librivox, long trips in the car have become a lot more engaging. Nietzsche is like a Western Confucius. Compare the ideas and symbols in this novel with those of Twilight of the Idols, Beyond Good and Evil, and the Will to Power and common threads starr becoming apparent.

Mixed


(4.5 stars)

Mixed quality of readers, some with background street noise, or poorly read, but generally acceptable. The importance of the work for Nietzsche studies and the quality of the work though make it indispensable.

A noble effort, but a few of the readers were hard to follow.


(2.5 stars)

Great


(5 stars)

Although some of the recordings had some annoyances overall good reading.