The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche: The Quest for Identity, 1844-1869
In the past it was not uncommon for multi-volume biographies to be written. But these days multi-volume biographies are a rare site and ones that I always go into with trepidation – mostly because biographies are supposed to boil down the person in question and focus on their main activities or what made them tick. It is not supposed to be an accounting of every little detail that happened, whether it had a major impact or not. This is the first volume of a multi-volume biography of the great, but controversial Friedrich Nietzsche. It explores the first twenty-five years of his life and the role that family, education, and the environment that he grew up in shaped his thinking. It is a radical departure from other biographies that do not have the time to go into great detail. This volume does go into great detail – so much so that it feels overwhelming. While Friedrich was trying to find his identity, like a lot of people who get around that age, the author never really explains to my satisfaction why Mr. Nietzsche deserves a multi-volume biography.
Cambridge University Press