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"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce



"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks



"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin



"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

"There is nothing more independent, more wicked."

Twilight of the Idols: How to Philosophize with a Hammer (World's Classics) - Friedrich Nietzsche, Duncan Large

I will try to reduce the amount of personal interjection in this review, but I don't know how well I can do that, as my discovery of Nietzsche in college affected me in a way that few things had before. The utter rejection of religion and the celebration of freedom is something that will divide readers, and this is not necessarily a negative effect. Brash statements tend to do that, and Nietzsche is certainly not for everyone.

 

The introduction to this slim novel is blunt in the purpose of the work. Nietzsche himself describes it as "cheerful and fateful in tone, a demon that laughs...there is nothing richer in substance, more independent, more subversive - more wicked." The title is explained by the author philosopher stating that "the old truth is coming to an end". It is unlike most books in that the structure changes, and the tone remains nihilist (of course) but is often full of puns and can be darkly humorous. 

 

As stated in the introduction states, "my ambition is to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book - what everyone else does not say in a book."

 

Twilight of the Idols begins with "Maxims and Barbs", a collection of thoughts and witticisms that sum up Nietzsche's thinking:

 

'All truth is simple.' - Is that not a compound lie?

 

You recover best in your wild nature from your unnaturalness, your intellectuality...

 

...Is man just one of God's mistakes? Or is God just one of man's?

 

I mistrust all systematists and avoid them. The will to system is a lack of integrity.

 

Nietzsche goes on to dissect Christianity, Germany, morality, and philosophy himself with a precise bluntness that continues to unnerve those who study him. He remains, and will remain, the dark rebel of philosophy, and Twilight of the Idols is an excellent summary of his manner of thinking. It's the epitome of Nietzsche, a glimpse into a groundbreaking mind before, as translator Duncan Large states, the philosopher "collapsed into the perpetual twilight of insanity".