Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Tanner (Short Review)

 Michael Tanner’s very short introduction to the everyman philosopher Nietzsche is not a bad read. For covering an individual of such appeal with such a wide range of works and content, he provides a surprisingly illuminating insight into Nietzsche’s thought and life, though he focuses far more on his theory than the biographical aspects; whether this is a strong suit or a weak point I will leave to you. In short Nietzsche was an interesting, and lonely, man besieged by conflicting emotional and intellectual grievances concerning his epoch and man’s relation to it. Mildly existential in outlook, opposed to Hegelian thought, and well versed in music, Nietzsche could never find an audience for his writings during his lifetime. Written in what could pass in contemporary culture as “blog posts”, many of Nietzsche’s writings were vague, curt, and to the point; this, therefore, was one of his strongest suits in regard to popularity post-death as a cosmopolitan populace was able to latch onto his works for a wide range of purposes, ideas, and interpretations. Whether the man was a idealistic nihilist or a forefather of contemporary Enlightenment ideals, he is one thing which many of his friends and foes can agree on- he was original.


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