“When one is not understood one should as a rule lower one’s voice,…

…because when one really speaks loudly enough and is not heard, it is because people do not want to hear. One had better begin to mutter to oneself, then they get curious.” Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.

From website of Faber (11 July 2019):

I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Friedrich Nietzsche by Sue Prideaux has been awarded the 2019 Hawthornden Prize for Literature.

Dame Hermione Lee, the head judge, said ‘the Hawthornden Prize judges all agreed that (in a very strong year for the prize) this magnificent biography of a very strange and difficult subject is wonderfully well-written, lucid and clear-headed. It is full of sharp and stylish turns of phrase, it gallops along at an energetic pace, and it is often extremely and surprisingly funny, with a great gift for characterisation. It entirely alters the accepted view of Nietzsche, and tells a gripping story.’

Prideaux’s biography of Nietzsche has been much acclaimed since publication last year, with former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams calling it ‘the liveliest and freshest account for a long time of one of the most overwhelming intellectual presences in the mind of modern Europe,’ and Sarah Bakewell stating that ‘this is what every biography should be like – engrossing, intelligent, moving, often downright funny, and filled with insights and sharply observed details from an extraordinary life. Simply a blast.’

Friedrich Nietzsche’s work rocked the foundation of Western thinking, and continues to permeate our culture, high and low – yet he is one of history’s most misunderstood philosophers. Sue Prideaux’s myth-shattering book brings readers into the world of a brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. I Am Dynamite! is the essential biography for anyone seeking to understand Nietzsche: the philosopher who foresaw – and sought solutions to – our own troubled times.”

Ray Monk (who won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 1991 Duff Cooper Prize for his biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius) wrote in The New Statesman of 26 September 2018:

“When I was a graduate student of philosophy at Oxford in the early 1980s, I developed an interest in Nietzsche but was told by my supervisor that Nietzsche didn’t count as a philosopher at all; he was a “literary figure”. Thirty-five years on, that has utterly changed and Nietzsche’s place in the canon now looks secure, much more so, indeed, than that of Wittgenstein, whose reputation among English-speaking philosophers is in sharp decline. Nietzsche’s, meanwhile, is very much on the ascendant….

Is there room for yet another biography? Sue Prideaux’s wonderfully readable book suggests that there is…”

See also Sue Prideaux‘s own article in The Guardian of Sat 6 Oct 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s