Study Guide

Friedrich Nietzsche Biography

Basic Information

Name

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Nickname

The Mustachioed Master-Morality Machine; "Negative Nancy" Nietzsche; MC Zarathustra; The Little Pastor

Sex

What little I did have likely drove me crazy (thanks, syphilis!). Oh, wait, you mean... yeah, male.

Home town

I was born in the Prussian (now German) town of Röcken, which makes sense because I röck so hard. But my most productive years were spent eating chocolate in the Swiss Alps and riding up and down the Mediterranean coasts of France and Italy. Good times.

Work & Education

Occupation

Teacher of philology (i.e., language and literature) and writer of books that no one ever buys.

Education

19th-century Germany was to intellectual activity as modern Japan is to overworked businessmen: everyone who was anyone there had a world-class education. I was no different. When I was just a wee lad, I attended Schulpforta, a fancy-schmancy boarding school that used to be a monastery. Once I finished my studies there, I briefly attended the University of Bonn, where I became fast friends with one of my profs, who would later land me my professorship in Switzerland (cha-ching).

Beliefs

Political views

Hitler will tell you all about how big an influence I was on Nazism, but let's be honest here—would you expect an idiot like Adolf to understand what I was trying to say, much less grasp the genius of my philosophy? 

For the record, I cut off ties with my former bestie Richard Wagner (you know, the famous German composer) largely because he was a raving anti-Semitic bigot, so it's pretty unlikely I would have been down with Nazism. 

I guess Hitler was paying more attention to grooming that so-called mustache of his than actually reading my books, because making fun of German culture for being decadent and stupid was one of my favorite pastimes. 

Aside from that, there are people who have read me as promoting everything from anarchism to conservatism(!), which should tell you a lot about how radical and unclassifiable my views are. A lot of people agree that I'm friendly to the idea of aristocracy, but the only thing that everyone can agree on is that I am not a fan of either democracy or socialism. Let's just say that I am not a fan of the masses.

Religious views

I didn't title one of my books The Antichrist for no reason—I really, really despise Christianity. Sure, J.C. himself had his moments, but Christianity stands for everything I hate about modern society: weakness, pity, mediocrity, and herd mentality.

Though I'm an atheist, I'm not a scientistic non-believer like the Richard Dawkinses of the world. I'm skeptical of the very notion of truth, be it religious or scientific (sorry, Dick).

Activities & Interests

Likes

Writing poetic philosophy
Writing philosophical poetry
Becoming what you are
Saying "yes" to life
Contradicting myself
Long walks on Mediterranean beaches
Creating new values
Playing the piano
The tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles
Well-groomed facial hair
Making fun of other philosophers
Overcoming nihilism
Psychology
Different perspectives
The feeling of power
Good health

Dislikes

Herd mentality
Anti-Semitism
Cultural decadence
Systematic philosophers like Kant and Hegel
The plays of Euripides
Richard Wagner's stupid music
Richard Wagner's stupid face
Richard Wagner
Christianity and other life-hating religions
Boring books
Irritable bowel syndrome
Women

Interests

The origin story of morality
Greek tragedies
The sorry state of modern European culture
My own awesome self and its awesomeness
The death of God (not so much his life)

Groups

The Masters of Suspicion
Existentialists Against God
Doctors of Philology Without Borders
Proto-Poststructuralists
Schopenhauer 4 Every 1
We Heart the 1%
Atheist Aristocrats
The Classes Against the Masses
Mustaches Über Alles
Hegel Schmegel