William Blake, The Ancient of Days

Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Instructor: Theodra Bane
This is an online course (Eastern Time)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is a literary-philosophical work, by turns aphoristic and picaresque, that brings together a preponderance of Nietzsche’s most essential concepts—from the “will to power” to the Übermensch, nihilism, eternal recurrence, ressentiment, the “transvaluation of values,” and many others. Comprised of a loosely connected series of observations and reflections attributed to its itinerant title character, Zarathustra provides a unique point of entry into Nietzsche’s rich and variegated, enigmatic and sometimes controversial body of work. Yet, if Nietzsche was himself distrustful of “all systematizers,” to what extent is Zarathustra a unified theoretical text? What, in this thunderous work, is Nietzsche in fact offering: a model of existence? An existential theory of life? How can we read Zarathustra today, and what can it teach us: about time, the will, morality, compassion, art, and—not least—joy? 

In this course, we will read Thus Spoke Zarathustra in its entirety, alongside selections from Nietzsche’s other major works—The Gay Science, Untimely Meditations, On the Genealogy of Morals—and select scholarly commentary. Throughout, we will ask: How do these provocative and disparate theoretical fragments come to embody a coherent view of the nature of human being?

Course Schedule

Tuesday, 6:30-9:30pm ET
June 07 — June 28, 2022
4 weeks


Registration Open