Written in a series of frenzied bursts between 1883 and 1885, Thus Spoke Zarathustra is Friedrich Nietzsche's masterpiece. It is also one of the most controversial books in the history of European literature - a founding classic of modernism in philosophy and poetics, which promised to "break the history of humanity in two."Zarathustra - "Star of Gold" - the sun-worshipping prophet of the earliest strain of monotheism, returns to recant and condemn his own ideas in the name of an entity he calls the bermensch (super-human). He wanders through a strangely familiar land whose customs, laws, and values have been mortgaged to religion and commerce. The people who live there believe they exist at the summit of civilization, wealth, freedom and good taste; Zarathustra's chosen mission is to educate them that the very opposite is true.This revelatory new translation by Dr. Stephen J Metcalf strips Thus Spoke Zarathustra down to its foundations in Gothic horror, and discovers a much darker book than previously suggested - not content with the empty refrain of "God is dead," it sings a dithyramb to the earth at the same time as it mercilessly hunts down the concept of humanity to its theological bedrock. Epic and neo-classical, minimalist and ultra-modern; at times aggressive and confrontational, at others tender, lyrical, grotesque and comical - this is the closest reproduction of the tone and tenor of the German original available in English today.