The Twilight of the Idols

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
Translated by Anthony Mario Ludovici (1882 - 1971)

Of The Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche says in Ecce Homo: “If anyone should desire to obtain a rapid sketch of how everything before my time was standing on its head, he should begin reading me in this book. That which is called ‘Idols’ on the title-page is simply the old truth that has been believed in hitherto. In plain English, The Twilight of the Idols means that the old truth is on its last legs.”

Certain it is that, for a rapid survey of the whole of Nietzsche’s doctrine, no book, save perhaps the section entitled “Of Old and New Tables” in Thus Spake Zarathustra, could be of more real value than The Twilight of the Idols. Here Nietzsche is quite at his best. He is ripe for the marvellous feat of the transvaluation of all values. Nowhere is his language – that marvellous weapon which in his hand became at once so supple and so murderous – more forcible and more condensed. Nowhere are his thoughts more profound. But all this does not by any means imply that this book is the easiest of Nietzsche’s works. On the contrary, I very much fear that unless the reader is well prepared, not only in Nietzscheism, but also in the habit of grappling with uncommon and elusive problems, a good deal of the contents of this work will tend rather to confuse than to enlighten him in regard to what Nietzsche actually wishes to make clear in these pages.

(Excerpt from A. Ludovici’s Preface)

Genre(s): *Non-fiction, Philosophy

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Translator's Preface, Narrator's Note, Author's Preface D.E. Wittkower
Play 01 Maxims and Missiles D.E. Wittkower
Play 02 The Problem of Socrates D.E. Wittkower
Play 03 "Reason" in Philosophy D.E. Wittkower
Play 04 How the "True World" Ultimately Became a Fable D.E. Wittkower
Play 05 Morality as the Enemy of Nature D.E. Wittkower
Play 06 The Four Great Errors D.E. Wittkower
Play 07 The "Improvers" of Mankind D.E. Wittkower
Play 08 Things the Germans Lack D.E. Wittkower
Play 09 Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 1 D.E. Wittkower
Play 10 Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 2 D.E. Wittkower
Play 11 Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 3 D.E. Wittkower
Play 12 Skirmishes in a War with the Age, pt. 4 D.E. Wittkower
Play 13 Things I owe to the Ancients D.E. Wittkower