This book explores the historical contextualization of Nietzsche's thought, focusing on Nietzsche's controversial Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The fourth part of Nietzsche's Zarathustra consists of Zarathustra's encounter with eight 'higher men' whom Zarathustra meets in succession on his path during the day. The prophet then invites each individual to his cave for the evening festivities, culminating in a blasphemous festival in which his guests worship an ass as God. Revealing each guest's specific characteristics and very distinct roles, Santaniello also attempts to discern 'who' these guests are or represent (historically) through glimpsing the characteristics specific to each representative guest (as portrayed by Nietzsche), and through careful textual analysis, comparison with Nietzsche's other works, historical evidence, and previous scholarly research. This unique exploration of Thus Spoke Zarathustra offers students and researchers alike an invaluable new contribution to Nietzsche studies.
Contents: Introduction; The soothsayer; The two kings; The bleeding man (or the conscientious in spirit); The magician; The last pope; The ugliest man; The voluntary beggar (or sermonizer on the mount); The shadow; Conclusion and the ass makes twelve; Biographical excerpts; Bibliography; Index.