Talk:Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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Wikisource Zarathustra[edit]

Where did the Wikisource contributors obtain this Zarathustra translation? From what I can see it is a modified version of the Thomas Common translation, some parts more altered than others.

== people come to a link wanting to know what the item is about, an exec summary, not the details but thats not what they get! and you dare ask for money? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Complaints about the Style section[edit]

First and foremost, this 300 page poem is not an example of Nietzsches PROSE style!!! Not2plato 03:59, 10 April 2006 (UTC)


In what way may Zoroastrianism have been inspired by Judaism? Does anyone even bother with sources anymore? --jenlight 12:55, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

There may not be a specific source for this comment, but it is fairly common knowledge that Zoroastrianism shares a lot of similarities with many of the other major monotheistic religions; specifically Judaism and Christianity. The best source would probably be the article on Zoroastrianism. Tev 04:56, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure if this has anything to do with the book. Did Nietzsche make the claim that the historical Zoroaster/Zarathustra was inspired by Judaism? This would probably be more suited to the Zoroastrianism article mentioned by Tev, rather than this article.

Judaism is probably older than Zoroastrianism.

A New Question[edit]

Does "said by his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, that the notes to the fifth and sixth parts exist in her introduction of the text" mean to imply that she has included the notes in the text's introduction? I suspect not, but not knowing I did not want to rewrite the sentence for proper grammar. Someone who knows ought to clarify.

Why is half of this article totally unrelated to Nietzche's work? 02:15, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)


This subject heading is titled "Also Sprach Zarathustra" as a general work and does not focus on Nietzsche's contribution exclusively as he is not the sole creator of such a titled work. ~Scot

The book and the movie[edit]

"It is best known for its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey (which is postulated to have also been inspired by the book, at least in part)." I had to read this sentence a couple of times again after laughing at what I thought was a silly joke... then I understood it was Nietzche's book it was referring to, not Clarke's. Should there be a change?

Video Game Reference[edit]

having stumbled upon this by accident, i thought i would bring to light another work influenced by this. The game series Xenosaga(ps2) and Xenogears(ps1) seem heavily influenced by this work.

I stumbled upon this article while searching for the meaning of the title for "Xenosaga 3:Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)


I'm splitting this article into two. I'd appreciate any help in changing the articles that link to this page so that they will link to the correct one. The people at the Wiki project for musical pieces want to keep the titles of classical music pieces in the original language, so the redirect pages (such as Thus Spoke Zarathustra) should all continue to point to this article. Thank you. -Acjelen 03:51, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Naming conventions[edit]

Is there a reason we are listing this under the German title rather than the English translation? This is unusual and I think inappropriate. The Stranger (novel) has L'Étranger as a redirect rather than the other way around; Cien años de soledad is similarly a redirect. You can expand the point: why is the Long March rocket not listed as 長征火箭? Because this is the English wiki and things should be placed under their English titles. Marskell 10:52, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

The move has been done. Other than that, what is needed is a disambig for the original German title, and I am still unfamiliar with that and how it is done, so if anyone knows how to proceed further to fix Also Sprach Zarathustra, then please do so. Ref: and .--Glyphonhart 02:27, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

This article is rambling, inconcise and overly verbose. While a strong vocabulary is commendable, the kind of language used in this entry will be unappealing to the vast majority of Wikipedia users. Using seven words where one will suffice seems both precocious and elitist. I'd recommend the article is rewritten using clearer and more understandable terminology.

Pedantry is obfuscation by another name. Je me demand: why is the Magnum Opus of this exceptional exegesisist rendered recondite by abstruse verbiage. Wherefore, I concur and ipso facto let there be light ;). Marskell 13:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is being edited by an anon so I can't talk directly to them. It is NOT more "taut" and often far from readable. For example "A unique experimental actualization is notable passim, demonstrable by, for example, the newly invented..." is just stupid. I suggest whoever is editing save flaunting their vocabularly for tutorial and not clutter up the page. Marskell 14:58, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
OK, that could be biting a new-comer but there does appear to be a desire to use verbosity just for the sake of it which should be avoided. Marskell 15:09, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Correct name translation[edit]

I've most frequently seen Also Sprach Zarathustra translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra, is there a reason wikipedia decided to buck the trend and go with "spoke" over "spake"? Does anyone know why it's almost always translated elsewhere using the more archaic term? Should we change the title? -Lommer | talk 06:35, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Kaufman's titles seem to get primacy is all I can suggest. Marskell 17:46, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is the title of the excellent Thomas Common translation. Aside from "Spoke" being used in the Hollingdale and Kaufmann translations, one might argue that insofar as we are to title the article with an English version of the German phrase "Also Sprach Zarathustra", it is more appropriate to use the modern "Spoke" rather than the old "Spake".
"sprach" can be translated as either, "spake" and "spoke" are in the same tense, why not use modern words? why not write "thee" everywhere we could when we now use "you"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:54, 21 February 2007 (UTC).

Well, the right translation is "So said Zarathustra". Nietzsche is having some fun throughout the whole book writing "also" (ger. for thus) where it should be "so" (ger. for so), the english equivalent would be "all so" wherever it should be "so". A truely litteral translation would be "All so spoke/spake Zarathustra", but the meaning is "So said Zarathustra". 12:14, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV bolding[edit]

I removed the bolding and extra spacing from two of the large quotes by N. I think it would be fair to say that 'shouting' the quotes across the page is a little POV. :) Cheers --Bookandcoffee 17:43, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

POV aside, BookAndCoffee, the bolding and spacing make the quotes, and the article, more readable. The spacing makes it easier to distinguish the separate lines in the Prologue quote; and the bolding, by separating the quotes from the article's body text, grants the page an immediate sense of structure and textual flow.
Unfortunately, I also hold the POV that Thus Spake Zarathustra is the greatest book ever written. If you haven't done so, try reading it yourself and see what I mean.
I have read it Anon - and BGE, and Ecce Homo, etc. But being a fan of N. doesn't change my opinion. I agree with User:Marskell's history comment that the bolding is not wikipedia style. See Manual of Style --Bookandcoffee 00:54, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I was supporting it for the aesthetic effect, as I explained. One might presume to allow valuable innovation to override repressive rule-systems, what do you think?

Nazi and Aryan thought in Thus Spake Zarathustra[edit]

It is misleading to claim that Zarathustra in some way 'conjured up' anything specifically Hitlerean, as Hitler's ideology came after Nietzsche wrote the book. Any conflation of Nietzsche with this ideology is not careful work. Certainly, some of the racial and ethnic ideas began to form in and perhaps before Nietzsche's time. In Curtis Cate's biography on Friedrich Nietzsche (Overlook Press NY 2005), Cate does mention anti-semitism in Nietzsche's day. It seems that the philosopher had a more complex relationship to these issues than this article might mislead one to believe. It is not that the article leaves no opening for another possibility, but it almost needs to mention this possibility outright to avoid a misperception. Nietzsche's dicta against the state in the mouth of Zarathustra constitute a hurdle for a political and social superiority, as do his calls for a variegated nobility: Vieler Edlen nähmlich bedarf es und vielerlei Edlen, dass es Adel gebe! Oder wie ich einst im Gleichniss sprach: ‚Das eben ist Göttlichkeit, das es Götter, aber keinen Gott giebt! (Kritischer Ausgabe, eds. Georgio Colli und Montinari, Mazzino, Division 6, vol. 1, 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' 250). This, in my translation, reads: 'Many noble persons, and many sorts of noble persons are needed that there might be nobility! Or as I once said in an allegory: 'this, percisely, is divinity that there are gods, but no God!'. Such a call for diversity and not uniformity seems to conjure up the opposite of Aryanism. --Aschenglut 22:09, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Not necessarily. We know that within the White race, there is much variation, for instance the numerous different White European nations. Thus Nietzsche's command for a diversified nobility is achievable with White noblemen only. Furthermore, although Nietzsche did decry the state, and although he would as such have regarded the Hitlerian Nazi state as necessarily imperfect and limited, we note that the Aryan White race is not constrained or bound to any one state or any state-based existence, and thus it escapes Nietzsche's criticism in this regard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
"After I read the name Zarathustra in the anti-Semitic Correspondence my forbearance came to an end. I am now in a position of emergency defense against your spouse's Party. These accursed anti-Semite deformities shall not sully my ideal!!" [1]
To associate Nietzsche with "Aryan" or Nazi doctrine has always struck me as either a naive, incomplete reading of Nietzsche, or just malevolent racist provocation. DBaba (talk) 19:22, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Name of Zarathustra[edit]

The article says " "Zarathustra" (/tsaratuʃtra/) is the German version of the name of the Persian prophet Zoroaster".

I do not think it is the German translation. See Zarathustra, that happens to be the Persian/original name of the prophet. Zoroaster is just the name more familiar to Europeans due to how the historians traditionally spelled it. I think Nietsche used the original spelling rather than a German version. I think we should remove the reference to calling it a "German version". -- Sud 11:18, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


In the article, there is a wiki-link to a Dionysus-Dithyrambs article, but as can be seen from the red colour of the link, that article has not yet created. I think that someone should initiate that article, about the Dionysus Dithyrambs. Hopefully someone could form a stub at Dionysus-Dithyrambs, in order to commence that article.

One more complaint about Style section[edit]

The Style section doesn't look serious, especially the notes regarding comics "Superman". This way it makes the whole article look not very professional.

It's not prosaic at all, spake I[edit]

There was a highly suspect claim that the title "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is more prosaic than "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". Not only is this entirely POV and unreferenceable, but it doesn't even really make sense ("prosaic" is a synonym for "dull", which "spake" is most certainly not). I've removed the statement in question. Ckerr 23:16, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


I wanted to add a "themes" section to the page to briefly summarize the more salient points Nietzsche makes, but I saw that this article has been worked out for some time, so I thought I'd raise the point here first.--Loodog 03:12, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

concerns about this article[edit]

i am a undergraduate student at Seattle University, WA, and from several of the classes i have had on Nietzsche and Zarathustra specifically, this article does not cover some critical aspects of this text. being a student, i don't feel comfortable making these changes myself, given my limited knowledge, but if someone more qualified pays attention, check these out:

- the introductory paragraph not only discredits the profundity and influence of Zarathustra on objectivism and psychology. additionally, quotes such as "a dense and esoteric treatise on philosophy" simply represents an insufficient reading. dense it is certainly not, being a concise book composed in short chapters which are focused and clear. additionally, the text would seem esoteric only for someone looking to read a novel. poetic it might be, but to label it esoteric is to willingly reject the style of the book, it's flavor. it is made to appeal to the dionysian aspect, so it is not always literal, but it is always symbolic. if abstract equals esoteric, then it is esoteric to be sure

- a large problem rises in the Themes section, in which the wrong impression is given in the line "Nietzche praises lust, selfishness, while reproaching the rewarded concepts of pity and love for neighbors". This is not only untrue, but against the underlying morality of the text. it gives the impression of Nietzsche as a raving lunatic, railing against society etc... Nietzsche's doctrines on lust, selfishness, etc do not reflect hedonism so much as the will to be honest with oneself, and not to repress one's desires. in this sense, he is not celebrating these acts for their immorality, but cautioning against repression of drives. likewise, love for neighbors and pity is a subtle matter in Nietzsche's mind. as he says, charity is a virtue, but only if one is "hard like a camp-bed", giving rest to the weary but not giving of oneself in the process- Nietzsche sees this as denegrating not only to the giver but to the receiver as well (see the fourth book, "The Ugliest Man") Nastynorth 08:26, April 27 2007 (UTC)

Your comments are good. You should feel comfortable editing the article, despite your stated concern about being an undergraduate student and having limited knowledge; your knowledge and writing are good, and especially so relative to the knowledge and writing displayed in the article. I too was dismayed to see the un-nuanced claim that "Nietzche praises lust, selfishness ... ." Bo99 (talk) 01:01, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Do what you can, you are probably more qualified than most Ericqwerty (talk) 21:44, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Your comments are good. Try capitalizing the first word in every sentence.Lestrade (talk) 21:54, 6 February 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

2001: Space Odyssey[edit]

I read somewhere that this song was in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Shouldn't that be included? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:40, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

That's included in Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss). It would be more relevant to this article, the TSZ book-article, to note that the content of the book itself was allegorically represented in 2001: A Space Odyssey! That's right, the movie itself depicts the sequential evolution of ape to man to Superman. We should all seek Time Cube. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Synopsis needs work.[edit]

The synopsis should be a raw, basic summary of the story. All of the analyses can go elsewhere in the article. (talk) 07:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree, the synopsis has no actual synopsis-action going on. It's entirely about theme and the the authors mindset at the time of writing it. Needs a lot of work.-- (talk) 20:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

The book does not mimic the style of the Bible[edit]

In the German "Also Sprach Zarathustra" doesn't mimic the style of the Bible. The only text that does this is Cotton's awful translation.

I've removed the bit that says it does.Ekwos (talk) 00:53, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

litmus test[edit]

Wouldn't it be better to redirect to wiktionary instead of a wikipedia disambig (litmus test) page? Mallerd (talk) 17:46, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. RJC TalkContribs 19:50, 10 August 2009 (UTC)


...ultimately, however, he composed only the fourth part.

The above quote, from the article, says that he only composed the fourth part, and the other three parts never got written (which is apparently wrong based on the rest of the article). I want to say that this should read something like "ultimately, however, the fourth part was only composed, not written." However, I don't know the actual facts, or what the original writer of that sentence was trying to say. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

After writing parts 1, 2 and 3, Nietzsche planned three additional parts, but of those, only wrote part 4. (talk) 16:35, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Midnight Song[edit]

Would someone please replace the rhyming translation with a direct one? Why must translations rhyme? German is close enough to English that direct translations usually work well. Here's one I'm using in a screenplay. The only significant change I made was translating 'weh' as both 'pain' and 'grief'.

“Oh man, pay heed! What does deep midnight say? I slept! I have woken from a deep dream! The world is deep! And deeper than the day had thought! Deep is the pain! Joy deeper still than heart’s sorrow! Grief says… Pass! Yet all joy desires eternity, Desires deep, deep eternity.”

The only line I don't understand is the ninth. "Pass" in what way? Die? WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 14:26, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Big Lebowski mention?[edit] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:36, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Absence of German words[edit]

In two places in the article:

The original text contains a great deal of word-play. An example of this exists in the use of the words "over" or "super" and the words "down" or "abyss/abysmal"; some examples include "superman" or "overman", "overgoing", "downgoing" and "self-overcoming".


Kaufmann's introduction to his own translation included a blistering critique of Common's version; he notes that in one instance, Common has taken the German "most evil" and rendered it "baddest", a particularly unfortunate error not merely for his having coined the term "baddest", but also because Nietzsche dedicated a third of The Genealogy of Morals to the difference between "bad" and "evil".

it would be clearer if the actual German words were supplied (Nietzsche did not write "over" or "super", not "most evil"). I know this is the English wikipedia, but I can't see any objection to couching facts about use of foreign words in terms of those actual words, while keeping the translations for additional clarity. In the first instance the missing German words are obviously über and unter, and I will make this edit; in the second case I don't know what the actual word translated as "most evil" was. Can someone else supply this? (talk) 16:42, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Edit retracted[edit]

I made several edits and retracted them when I realized I had made a mistake. Ericqwerty (talk) 22:04, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Title translations[edit]

I've restored "Thus Spoke Tharathustra" as one of the translations of the title as it seems widely used Google for the term turns up 1,400 hits (after removing Wikipedia liked sites). While this is not as widespread as the common "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" or the variation with the archaic "Spake", it seems to me to be widely used enough to justify inclusion. - SummerPhD (talk) 11:49, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I've personally never heard it called that, but as you can find it through a Google search, then fine. On the subject of 'archaic' words, the word 'thus' is fairly archaic too, but it is nevertheless part of the title of the book. Personally I think as the book was originally translated as 'Thus Spake Zarathustra', that should be the title of the page, the recent change of translating it as 'spoke' was probably done just to make it easier for Americans like yourself to understand. However, as we're arguing over one letter, I really can't be bothered.VenomousConcept (talk) 12:46, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
The only translation I know of that uses "spake" is Common's, which is remembered only because new translators need to kick someone around in order to justify their translations and he did such an awful job of it. Sprach is not archaic German, and so it should not be translated into archaic English. As to the suggestion that "thus" is archaic English, there is a difference between archaic and formal. As to Tharathustra, I have no idea what is going on there. It looks like a typo or OCR misreading. Unless there is a hard-copy translation that spells it that way, it should be removed as original research. RJC TalkContribs 04:30, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

This page is linked to by a viral marketing page for Prometheus[edit]

At the end of the film credits there's a reference to "10.11.12" that would lead you to this page which has a link to this Wikipedia page. --Bobak (talk) 14:56, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

About the notability of oil painting series Thus spake Zaratustra of Lena Hades[edit]

Thus spoke Zatathustra - about the link I tried to publish in the article -- these paintings were published by Russian Academy of Science, the title of the publication: Friedrich Nietzsche "Also sprach Zarathustra", the bookwas edited in two languages(German and Russian) with 20 reproductions of Lena Hades' works, Nietzsche F. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Moscow, Institut of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2004. ISBN 5-9540-0019-0 I think it's enough to mention these paintings in the article Thus spoke Zarathustra because of the authority that Russian Academy of Science has in the science world. Vika007 22:07, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

There are essentially two reasons we might mention a book like this.
1) The book is or the paintings are a [[WP:RS|reliable source on the work (its history, interpretation, importance, etc.). A series of paintings is none of these. They are, at most, one person's interpretations of the work. In over a century, the work has generated thousands of books, songs, plays, films, paintings, etc. Adding the paintings under this justification would be contrary to WP:IPC.
2) The paintings have had a significant impact on the work. My go to example here is Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford impression on Saturday Night Live. As reliable sources discuss, those comedy sketches had a direct impact on Gerald Ford. To include the paintings under this line of thinking, we would need reliable sources showing that the paintings inspired a significant number of artists to turn to Thus.. as inspiration (or something similar). We don't have that.
Yes, "Thus..." was a big part of the paintings. The reverse, however, is not true. - SummerPhD (talk) 23:37, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Philosophical novel?[edit]

I am not sure novel is the right word for it. Would the Bible be called a religious novel? TSZ seems more like a prose poem, doesn't it? Dudanotak (talk) 20:37, 13 November 2015 (UTC)