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: He's one of the most debated thinkers of the 19th century: Nietzsche and his works have been by turns vilified, lauded, and subjected to numerous contradictory interpretations, and yet he remains a figure of profound import, and his works a necessary component of a well-rounded education. In this essential book, which Nietzsche himself called his "deepest," the philosopher uses ancient mythology and biblical parody to develop his concept of the "superman," the ultimate human triumph over conformity, religion, morality, even civilization itself. Later corrupted out of all recognition by Nazi philosophy, this extraordinary work is, in fact, the basis for 20th-century existentialism and one of the finest examples of modern literature in any language. German psychologist and philosopher FRIEDRICH WILHELM NIETZSCHE (1844-1900) was appointed special professor of classical philology at the University of Basel at the precocious age of 24, but soon found himself dissatisfied with academic life and created an alternative intellectual society for himself among friends including composer Richard Wagner, historian Jakob Burckhardt, and theologian Franz Overbeck. Among his philosophical works are Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and Ecce Homo.