Nietzsche's friend, the philosopher Paul RA(c)e, once said that Nietzsche was more important for his letters than for his books, and even more important for his conversations than for his letters. In Conversations with Nietzsche, Sander Gilman and David Parent present a fascinating selection of eighty-seven memoirs, anecdotes, and informal recollections by friends and acquaintances of Nietzsche. Translated from the definitive German collection, Begegnungen mit Nietzsche, these biographical pieces--some of which have never before appeared in English--cover the entire span of Nietzsche's life: his boyhood friendships, his arrival at the University of Bonn, his appointment to professor at Basel at age twenty-four, the impact of The Birth of Tragedy, his friendship with Wagner, his life in Italy, his confinement at the Jena Sanatorium, and his death. They present the philosopher in dialogue with friends and acquaintances, and provide new insights into him as a thinker and as a commentator on his times, recounting his views on some of the greats of history, including Burckhardt, Goethe, Kant, Dostoevsky, Napoleon, and numerous others. In his selections, Gilman has carefully balanced documents concerning Nietzsche's personal life with others on his intellectual development, resulting in an entertaining and informative book that will appeal to a wide audience of educated readers.
"An exceedingly interesting, and often touching, collection of memories."--The New York Review of Books
"An excellent exposition of the life of Nietzsche as seen from the outside looking in. A nice complement to his own views of himself from the inside looking out."--Manuel Davenport, Texas A&M University
"Indispensable for senior students of Nietzsche."--Mark Migotti, University of Ottawa
"What sort of life emerges from this reading? A richer life, I think, than his biographers have been willing to grant....Since hero worshippers and then fascists depopulated the Zarathustra landscape, one can only be grateful to Gilman and his capable translator, David J. Parent, for repopulating that world again."--American Historical Review
"Not for Nietzsche scholars only, this exemplary collection is for anyone interested in a unique man, one as unforgettable for the exquisite fineness of his outer life as for the fire within."--Kirkus Reviews