Cheerful Creation of Words and Worlds: Nietzsche's "The Gay Science" in English Translation

Existenz 15 (2):46-54 (2022)
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The aim of this essay is to review Friedrich Nietzsche's "The Gay Science" in English Translation. It compares and contrasts the translations by Thomas Common, Walter Kaufmann, Josefine Nauckhoff, and R. Kevin Hill. First, I argue in favor of translating the work's title "Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft" as "The Gay Science" or perhaps more precisely as "The Gay Knowledge". Nietzsche who is likely the greatest stylist in the German language wrote with philological precision and succinctness. This exactitude and awareness of the shaping influence of linguistic means on the contents expressed therefore needs to be reflected throughout in any kind of rendition of Nietzsche's artful texts and the evaluation and assessment thereof.

Author Profiles

Ruth Burch
University of Warwick


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