Granta's new How to Read series is based on a very simple, but novel, idea.
Most beginners' guides to great thinkers and writers offer either potted biographies or condensed summaries of their major works.
How to Read, by contrast, brings the reader face to face with the writing itself in the company of an expert guide.
Its starting point is that in order to get close to what a writer is all about, you have to get close to the words they actually use and be shown how to read those words.
Each book in the series will hopefully be a masterclass in reading.
Our authors have been asked to select ten or so short extracts from a writer's work and look at them in detail as a way of revealing their central ideas and thereby opening the doors onto a whole world of thought. The books will not be merely a compilation of a thinker's most famous passages, their 'greatest hits', but will rather offer a series of clues or keys that will enable to reader to go on and make discoveries of their own.
In addition to the texts and readings, each book will provide a short biographical chronology and suggestions for further reading, internet resources and so on. The books in the How to Read don't claim to tell you all you need to know. Instead they offer a refreshing set of first-hand meetings with those minds.
Our hope is that these books will instruct, intrigue, embolden, encourage and delight.
Keith Ansell Pearson introduces Nietzsche's distinctive voice, the mood of his philosophical thought and in particular his use of the extended aphorism. He emphasises Nietzsche's openness to new modes and methods of knowledge, which broke away from previous philosophical thought and significantly reshaped the modern philosophical landscape.
After familiarising the reader with Nietzsche's unique approach, Ansell Pearson illuminates some of the best known and controversial of Nietzsche's philosophical arguments: the Will to Power, the Ubermensch, the 'Death of God' and Nietzsche's conception of truth.
Extracts are taken from a range of Nietzsche's works, including The Gay Science; On the Genealogy of Morality, Beyond Good and Evil and Thus Spake Zarathustra