Nietzsche's writings have been interpreted, misinterpreted, translated, mistranslated and mutated to serve many individual interests - from the evils of the Third Reich to the man's only sister, 'editing' his work to suit her personal, social and political gains. Like Freud, Nietzsche has been used and abused as a platform in the creation of 'new' philosophies, some citing his work as inspiration, while others, in a fit of intellectual dishonesty, claim his ideas as their own. It has been said many times that he is the most misunderstood philosopher of the modern age. From my readings and experience, this claim is not far from the truth. This brilliant book, however, in a single brush of elegance and heart, re-examines Fredric Nietzsche and his work in a gentle, unpretentious though concise way, and attempts to introduce or re-introduce readers to this intriguing, inspiring and highly complex mind.
Chamberlain writes with passion and intuitive insight about the last sane year of Nietzsche's life while he lived and worked in the beautiful city of Turin. This was more than any other a happy and productive time in the professor's life. This is much more than a biographical narrative, but a brave exploration by Chamberlain into the sights, sounds, thoughts and relationships of this fragile though contradictory philosopher. This book is not so much a cerebral approach to the man and his thought, but an emotional, visceral appraisal of a unique thinker striving to understand the human condition.
Of the many biographical narratives about Nietzsche's descent into madness, Chamberlain is the most sensitive without the sentimentalism or coldness similar to the many other descriptions I've encountered. It strikes at the heart with precision and leaves a lasting impression.
If you are a philosopher or merely interested in a unique approach to telling the story of a thinker who has shaped modern philosophy in the twentieth and twenty-first century, read this text. It will be well worth the time, money and effort.