Zarathustra’s Secret (Paperback)
The Interior Life of Friedrich Nietzsche
Yale University Press, 9780300219074, 336pp.
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
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In this groundbreaking biography, Joachim Köhler seeks for the first time to understand Nietzsche’s philosophy through a reconstruction of his inner life. In a revealing reinterpretation of his letters, diaries, and writings, Köhler shows that Nietzsche’s suppressed homosexuality, generating a hatred of Christianity and conventional morality, was a central influence on his work. Further, Köhler argues, his philosophical position was fundamentally compromised by the concealment of his forbidden sexual desire. Throughout his life, the unhappy genius was also plagued by horrible nightmares, stemming from his much-loved father’s death, which led to a profoundly disturbed conscience and an intense loathing of metaphysics.
Seeking to disguise the truth of his innermost torments, Nietzsche contrived the persona of Zarathustra. The story of the great Persian philosopher, contends Köhler, reveals Nietzsche’s own suppression and dionysiac liberation, and presents the culmination of his secret yearnings in the new myth of the Superman who, in his naked beauty, resembled the gods of classical Greece.