'I am not a man, I am dynamite'
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.
Seeing that I must shortly approach mankind with the heaviest demand that has ever been made on it, it seems to me indispensable to say who I am. This ought really to be known already: for I have not neglected to ‘bear witness' about myself. But the disparity between the greatness of my task and the smallness of my contemporaries has found expression in the fact that I have been neither heard nor even so much as seen. I live on my own credit, it is perhaps merely a prejudice that I am alive at all? ... I need only to talk with any of the 'cultured people' who come to the Ober-Engadin in the summer to convince myself that I am not alive . . . Under these circumstances there exists a duty against which my habit, even more the pride of my instincts revolts, namely to say: Listen to me! for I am thus and thus. Do not, above all, confound me with what I am not!