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Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You…
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Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are (original 2018; udgave 2018)

af John Kaag (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1626129,440 (3.54)1
"A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection." --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR.One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one ofOutside's Best Books of Fall A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys--one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. Kaag sets off for the Swiss peaks above Sils Maria where Nietzsche wrote his landmark workThus Spoke Zarathustra. Both of Kaag's journeys are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy, yet they deliver him to radically different interpretations and, more crucially, revelations about the human condition. Just as Kaag's acclaimed debut,American Philosophy: A Love Story, seamlessly wove together his philosophical discoveries with his search for meaning, Hiking with Nietzscheis a fascinating exploration not only of Nietzsche's ideals but of how his experience of living relates to us as individuals in the twenty-first century. Bold, intimate, and rich with insight,Hiking with Nietzsche is about defeating complacency, balancing sanity and madness, and coming to grips with the unobtainable. As Kaag hikes, alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he recognizes that even slipping can be instructive. It is in the process of climbing, and through the inevitable missteps, that one has the chance, in Nietzsche's words, to "become who you are."… (mere)
Medlem:steve.clason
Titel:Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are
Forfattere:John Kaag (Forfatter)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2018), Edition: 1st Edition, 272 pages
Samlinger:Boulder Public Library
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:philosophy

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Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are af John Kaag (2018)

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Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
Story of a philosophy professor intrigued enough by Nietzsche in grad school that he spent a summer traveling in the Swiss Alps where the old philosopher did his great work. Later in life he repeats the trip, this time with his wife and daughter.

You could think of this as a more readable version of Nietzsche, as told in the style of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which if you liked you’d probably like this too.

It's well-written, with many useful and followup-worthy references to other books and philosophers, and I learned a lot. Perhaps I'm too old for the overall angst style of the book which might be a better fit for a rebellious teenager, but it didn't transform my way of thinking (my criteria for a 5-star book) like Pirsig or even Jordan Peterson. ( )
  richardSprague | Mar 22, 2020 |
This was a very curious book that combined the philosophy and the life story of Nietzsche with Kaag's interest, views, and family. Oh, and there's some fine descriptions of Kaag hiking on some of the same mountains that Nietzsche was familiar with in his hiking adventures. Philosophers walking and thinking, thinking and walking, it all works together very nicely. ( )
  jphamilton | Jan 7, 2020 |
I awaited the publication date of this book with great anticipation, I even pre-ordered it. I thoroughly enjoyed John Kaag’s previous book, American Philosophy: A Love Story. What drew me in was that it was a fantastic blend of the American philosophical history that I was unaware of, a very nice love story, and a story of self-discovery. It was a brave and honest narrative of Kaag’s adventures in rediscovering some American philosophers. His rediscovery was my discovery.
This book, even though the author sees it as a continuation of his self-discovery and honest revelations, was different to me. He has moved the emphasis to Europe, a more familiar philosophical ground but his focus was on Nietzsche, a profoundly difficult and intimidating writer and thinker. It takes a lot of attention from the reader to be prepared for the kind of mental gymnastics that Nietzsche presents.
This book also allows us to look at the inner turmoil within the author, his relationship with his father, his emotional fragility when he was much younger and the pilgrimage he took as a young man to the very same places he is revisiting as an older man and presumably a man who is more able to deal with the emotions and thoughts that had tortured him as a young man. I sometimes felt like a voyeur peeking into places I really should not peek into while I read the book.
The reading did not begin auspiciously, I was quite often distracted and the narrative did not grab hold of my attention as I thought it would. I struggled with the whole imposing reputation and darkness of vision that is attributed to Nietzsche. While the oscillation between Kaag’s remembrances of his past journey and his present journey served as good juxtaposition for the advancement of his story, it made my mind fatigued. I took a very long and circuitous route; I laid the book down often and I ignored it for a number of months.
I started the book while it was late Autumn, as the dark of Winter started to envelope us. The weather reflected Nietzsche’s visions, which made it difficult to mentally absorb the words. I finished the book in late April, my perspective became more enlightened and my mental state became less dark and the messages from the book became more absorbed as I made my way through it. It may also be that the initial chapters of the book reflected the dark weather, which I allowed to affect my mental moods.
In the end, I loved the book, I will be re-reading it later, in sequence with Kaag’s earlier book so that I may pursue his thought process completely. It wasn’t just the change in weather that turned it, it was also the author’s patient and expert explanation and interpretation of Nietzsche’s ideas, his erudite unraveling of the complicated original writing and the inclusion of many other stories, those of his family and of other historical characters that ably illustrated his points and served as supporting narratives to the main ones.
The author’s inclusion of Hesse in the last portion of the book was particularly welcomed to me as I adored Hesse’s books as a young man. Explaining Nietzsche through the conduit of Hesse’ writing was meaningful to me personally and I believe that Hesse had the foresight and story telling ability to interpret Nietzsche without diminishing the impact of Nietzsche’s thoughts.
This last part of the book made clear the intent of the author’s thesis, and the second part of the book title: On Becoming Who You Are. It was inspiring and enlightening to get to the unifying thought which binds the philosophy to the narrative. The author did a magnificent job of tying up his thoughts about Nietzsche, his own life, and Nietzsche’s philosophy, it made the difficult journey worthwhile for me, even though I suspect I made the journey difficult on my own. But no matter, I understood the point and enjoyed the book in the end. ( )
1 stem pw0327 | May 4, 2019 |
Eager to expand my shallow perception of Nietzsche as a grandiose, progressively insane anti-Semite--he was not an anti-Semite--I picked up this book as an accessible, approachable way of learning more. Sadly, the book only confirmed Nietzsche as the avatar of modern self-absorption and the godfather of the Ayn Rand types who see most ordinary human beings, as Nietzsche did, as "sheep." I write this with regret, as I really wanted my negative opinion to be overturned, and to learn to admire Nietzsche's intellectual boldness. John Kaag seemed to be the perfect guide by whom to be set right: his candid, confessional style is hard not to like. (He's the kind of guy who can talk about aspiring to become the Übermensch and seem humble about it.) But get this: Kaag, who by his own account nearly died in a foolish teenage climbing stunt, returns as a 36-year-old with wife and young daughter in tow to the same location, to more or less repeat the experience. No, he doesn't want to die, but he does leave his family without telling his wife which path he's taking into the mountains, and at least once leaves wife and daughter all day and into the evening after promising to be back at lunchtime.

I guess I'm against Nietzsche, and Kaag, because I'm with the sheep: I admire the ordinary, decent people who live and die in obscurity, after lives of service to those who depend on them and love them. ( )
1 stem john.cooper | Dec 30, 2018 |
This is a very personal story. I think it is mostly of interest to Kaag himself, and perhaps his family. Kaag's reminiscences were not very interesting to me. Reading about Kaag's hikes with his wife and kid is about as exciting as that sounds. Those stories are filled out with room-by-room descriptions of the hotels Kaag stayed in. I didn't learn much about Nietzsche, or philosophy, except that in my opinion Kaag should read him more critically. ( )
  breic | Nov 4, 2018 |
Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
Kaag is a lively storyteller who brings Nietzsche’s life into continual contact with his own. This is both the strength and the weakness of the book.
tilføjet af pbirch01 | RedigerNew York Times, Steven B. Smith (Nov 20, 2018)
 
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"A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection." --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR.One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one ofOutside's Best Books of Fall A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys--one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. Kaag sets off for the Swiss peaks above Sils Maria where Nietzsche wrote his landmark workThus Spoke Zarathustra. Both of Kaag's journeys are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy, yet they deliver him to radically different interpretations and, more crucially, revelations about the human condition. Just as Kaag's acclaimed debut,American Philosophy: A Love Story, seamlessly wove together his philosophical discoveries with his search for meaning, Hiking with Nietzscheis a fascinating exploration not only of Nietzsche's ideals but of how his experience of living relates to us as individuals in the twenty-first century. Bold, intimate, and rich with insight,Hiking with Nietzsche is about defeating complacency, balancing sanity and madness, and coming to grips with the unobtainable. As Kaag hikes, alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he recognizes that even slipping can be instructive. It is in the process of climbing, and through the inevitable missteps, that one has the chance, in Nietzsche's words, to "become who you are."

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