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Nietzsche's Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Organizing Committee:


This series of courses will use Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra as a source for discussions on the possibilities and potentials of an individual life, amoralism, the disconnect from nature and purpose in industrialized society as well as other dilemmas of human existence addressed in the book. Zarathustra was described by Nietzsche as his "deepest work ever written" and is often considered his most accessible. It is particularly illuminating in the face of our rapidly diminishing natural environment. The book follows the journey of Zarathustra's descent from a ten year retreat on a mountain to the civilization of his contemporaries. This class will be facilitated by two young women from Los Angeles who have lived and found peace on mountains. They are back in the city and would like to discuss their love and disillusionment with it. Prior awareness of Nietzsche or philosophy is not required or necessary. The quality of the discussions will only be enriched by a diversity of opinions and knowledge. Vegan cookies will be provided.



Paloma isn't feeling well so we're doing a shorter hike off of Laurel Canyon instead. It's one of my favorites in the county and should a good adventure. We can meet up with people in the Los Feliz, Hollywood or West Hollywood area before and were planning on meeting in between 9:30 and 10:00.

My e-mail address is, e-mail me and I'll give you my contact information, etc.

cobranacho's picture


I missed the 2nd class, so perhaps I'm asking for something everyone else knows already. I short, I'd be interested in climbing Mount Lowe before class, but don't know how to send an email directly to you through thepublicschool.

Could you post the info on mount climbing here?

Hey All,

A reminder that class is starting at 1:00pm this week.

We'll be discussing Derrida's writings on Nietzsche's conception of femininity, Deleuze and the fourth part.

Some of us are going to climb Mount Lowe before class and you're all welcomed. Send me an e-mail if you'd like to come.

Hey all,

Fun class yesterday. Here is a link to Semiotext(e)'s issue "Nietzsche's Return" from 1978. I mentioned yesterday that it contains Derrida's lecture "Becoming Woman," an excerpt from his book "Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles." Very relevant, if we want to get more serious about our discussion of the function of "woman" and the "feminine" in Nietzsche's writings.

Also included in the issue are Foucault's "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History," Deleuze's "Nomad Thought," two essays by Bataille and a bunch of other great essays.

Here's a link to the text:

And here's an audio book version:

Optional suggested reading:
Deleuze's "Nietzsche and Philosophy"
Derrida's "Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles"
Foucault's "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History"
Kaufmann's "Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist."
Jung's Seminar on Zarathustra
Nietzsche's "On The Genealogy of Morals"
Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil"

Hey All,
Here's the curriculum:

In each class, participants will discuss themes explored in the week’s reading and analyze relevant and interesting passages from it. The concepts below will be covered and should be kept in mind while reading. Some of the terms come directly from Zarathustra and will be made clear either in the text or in class.

Class One
Reading: Part 1
“Man is a hybrid of phantom and plant”

Is God dead? If so, are we the murderers?
Realizing the “ubermensch” or “super man” in oneself as the principle goal of life.
Does equality imply conformity and “herd culture” in contemporary society?
Redefining individual purpose and the necessity of individualism.

Writings on Zarathustra by Kaufman and Derrida will be brought to class.

Class Two
Reading: Parts 2 and 3
“For me the dearest thing would be to love the earth as the moon loves it and to touch its beauty with the eyes alone.”

The need for each individual to redefine virtue and center their life around it.
The rejection of traditional dualistic religious morals and “slave morality.”
If clarity in truth is the goal of self-overcoming for the philosopher and Nietzsche rejected the notion of absolute truths, where do we stand?
The dilemma of eternal recurrence.

Writings by Foucault and Deleuze will be brought to class.

Class Three
Reading: Part 4
“If you want to rise high, use your own legs.”

Pity as the highest sin, courage as the greatest virtue.
The alternative community as a solution to society’s ills.
eternal recurrence.
Conclusion: Discussion of our own values.
**A hike lead by outdoor recreation leader Paloma Henriques will take place before this class (location and time TBA).

Writings by Jung and Deleuze will be brought to class.

**Attendees are welcomed and encouraged to bring in interesting works of art, short films, poetry, current events, etc. related to the text and its themes to all classes.

ssbothwell's picture

this class is scheduled for the first three saturdays of july. fee is $15 total or $5 per session if you wont be attending all three. the curriculum and text materials are incoming soon.


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