The Twilight of the Idols

Read by D.E. Wittkower

(4.5 stars; 106 reviews)

Of The Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche says in Ecce Homo: “If anyone should desire to obtain a rapid sketch of how everything before my time was standing on its head, he should begin reading me in this book. That which is called ‘Idols’ on the title-page is simply the old truth that has been believed in hitherto. In plain English, The Twilight of the Idols means that the old truth is on its last legs.”

Certain it is that, for a rapid survey of the whole of Nietzsche’s doctrine, no book, save perhaps the section entitled “Of Old and New Tables” in Thus Spake Zarathustra, could be of more real value than The Twilight of the Idols. Here Nietzsche is quite at his best. He is ripe for the marvellous feat of the transvaluation of all values. Nowhere is his language – that marvellous weapon which in his hand became at once so supple and so murderous – more forcible and more condensed. Nowhere are his thoughts more profound. But all this does not by any means imply that this book is the easiest of Nietzsche’s works. On the contrary, I very much fear that unless the reader is well prepared, not only in Nietzscheism, but also in the habit of grappling with uncommon and elusive problems, a good deal of the contents of this work will tend rather to confuse than to enlighten him in regard to what Nietzsche actually wishes to make clear in these pages.
(Excerpt from A. Ludovici’s Preface) (4 hr 43 min)


Translator's Preface, Narrator's Note, Author's Preface 11:36 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Maxims and Missiles 12:00 Read by D.E. Wittkower
The Problem of Socrates 17:06 Read by D.E. Wittkower
"Reason" in Philosophy 15:14 Read by D.E. Wittkower
How the "True World" Ultimately Became a Fable 4:11 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Morality as the Enemy of Nature 16:15 Read by D.E. Wittkower
The Four Great Errors 27:29 Read by D.E. Wittkower
The "Improvers" of Mankind 13:09 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Things the Germans Lack 20:46 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 1 36:24 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 2 32:38 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 3 28:36 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 4 26:50 Read by D.E. Wittkower
Things I owe to the Ancients 21:01 Read by D.E. Wittkower


Alternate this with his other works

(5 stars)

I think this book can be a useful when read in parrallel with Nietzsche's other, more symbol-heavy works. The plainness of language he uses in this work, and the frankness of his tone, brings tremendous focus to his other work. This is the "sparknotes" of Nietzsche's entire body of work, written by the man himself. I recommend STARTING to read Nietzsche with this book, and reading this in parrallel with evereything else he wrote. Classic ideas like : "philosophizing with the hammer, as with a tuning fork", "shooting" at virtue to see it "sit more firmly on the throne", and "what does not kill me, makes me stronger" are all here. And the narrator does a marvelous job. So serious and forboding. 10/10

section 3 - translator's footnote

(5 stars)

This footnote is wrong. Nietzsche here negates the will itself, not the "freedom of will". This doesn't mean he negates will to power. These are two separate things: the former is like a direction, the latter more like inner energy or Jung's libido (which overflows in whatever way). (Will to power could perhaps be translated as velocity in gaining power, the latter in a meaning similar to physical.) The difference is better shown in La Gaya Scienza sect. 360. So he negates will (consciousness!) as cause, for this is a false unity (like with 'will to truth' or 'will to go out for a walk' or whatever). It is only our interpretation; he repeats this in The Antichrist sect. 14, where he spots individual short stimulis (and perhaps man's character formed in specific conditions) as real causes. Nietzschean criticism is deeper than just refusing the idea of free will, he negates the old psychology that sees everywhere a will (and if there is no man with such conscious will, it certainly must be the will of God...).

(4 stars)

I like how u read Nietzsche bro


(5 stars)

Very well read. Nietzsche gives greatly to anyone inspiring to wisdom who has studied many others, he is poetic and yet so very honest he seems to hold nothing back, yet I am sure there is so much written between the lines that can only be perceived after deeply studying his words. He rubs many the wrong way and why? He answers the question himself. It takes letting go to dive into Nietzsche like diving into a cold pool, but in the end it is quite refreshing even if you don't agree on every word and idea of his.


(5 stars)

I've read or listened to all of the books written by Nietzsche. I would have to say this is my Favorite. I am glad I saved this for last. You really have to understand him first in order to understand a lot of things in Twilight of The Idols... Good reader too !!!!!!

The Nazi Translator

(3 stars)

Ludovici (the translator) was a nazi supporter who's translation of Nietzsche was prior to Kaufman's recapture of Nietzsche from the Nazis - I would listen to it with a couple of grams of salt. the delivery of the audiobook reader seems good.

Excellent reading

(5 stars)

This is my favourite reading from the Librivox project. It is a great book and the reader really conveys the intensity of the content.

(5 stars)

A masterful reading with very helpful delivery style, emphasis, intonation and feeling (reflecting how Nietzsche wished his ideas to come across).