Meant to be read alongside Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, these notes by famous British polyglot and Nietzsche student Anthony Mario Ludovici are perhaps the most incisive and penetrating analyses of the German philosopher’s famous work ever committed to text.
Ludovici, a talented author and philosopher in his own right, was completely fluent in German, and studied Nietzsche’s works in their original German, and translated many of his major writings into English. There were therefore few, if any, English-speaking intelligentsia as familiar with Nietzsche’s works as Ludovici.
In this work, Ludovici provides a section-by-section analysis of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, providing along the way not only his interpretation in the light of his extensive knowledge of Nietzsche’s other writings, but also many helpful facts and explanations of obscure (to the English reader) references made in the text.
Ludovici’s main purpose in preparing these notes was however to provide readers with a guide to understanding Nietzsche’s works. As he wrote in the introduction:
“I have had some opportunities of studying the conditions under which Nietzsche is read in Germany, France, and England, and I have found that, in each of these countries, students of his philosophy, as if actuated by precisely similar motives and desires, and misled by the same mistaken tactics on the part of most publishers, all proceed in the same happy-go-lucky style when ‘taking him up.’
“Thus Spoke Zarathustra is taken home; the reader, who perchance may know no more concerning Nietzsche than a magazine article has told him, tries to read it and, understanding less than half he reads, probably never gets further than the second or third part…”
“Now, it is with the view of giving a little additional help to all those who find themselves in this position that I proceed to put forth my own personal interpretation of the more abstruse passages in this work. It represents an attempt on my part to give the reader help in surmounting difficulties which a long study of Nietzsche’s life and works has enabled me, partially I hope, to overcome.”
This new edition also contains a short biography of Ludovici’s life.
Anthony Mario Ludovici (1882–1971) was born in London, England. Educated privately, his high intelligence allowed him to become fluent in several languages, and he was a leading philosopher, sociologist, and author. His topics included art, metaphysics, politics, economics, religion, the differences between the sexes, race, and eugenics. In addition, Ludovici was a talented artist, and gained employment as a painter and book illustrator. Eventually he wrote full-time, producing over 40 books and translating 60 others.