Philosophy Prof Illustrates Nietzsche’s Zarathustra in the Style of Dr. Seuss


John Hol­bo, a phi­los­o­phy prof at the Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Sin­ga­pore, recent­ly gave the world a free illus­trat­ed edi­tion of three dia­logues by Pla­to (get it as a free PDF, or via Ama­zon). Now he’s embark­ing on a new cre­ative project called On Beyond Zarathus­tra.

holbo 3

Over on the Crooked Tim­ber blog, Hol­bo light-heart­ed­ly launched the project with these words:

Ever since Pla­to wrote Socrates “Will You Please Go Now!” and “If I Ran The Polis!” great philoso­phers have most­ly start­ed out as authors of (what we would now call) Dr. Seuss-style children’s books. A lot of this old stuff has been lost. Schol­ars have neglect­ed it. But I’m under­tak­ing a project of restora­tion and study, start­ing with Niet­zsche.

I’ll be post­ing updates reg­u­lar­ly to the Flickr page – few pages a week as my work pro­ceeds. We’re just get­ting to the good bits: The Rope Dancer and the Last Man!

Please do feel to share with any friends who may have a schol­ar­ly inter­est in the his­to­ri­og­ra­phy of phi­los­o­phy. (I’ll have some more notes about that soon.)

We’ve post­ed here the first four pages of Hol­bo’s new graph­i­cal project.


To see how the project unfolds, you can reg­u­lar­ly vis­it this album on Flickr. The are cur­rent­ly 22 pages, with the promise of many more to come soon.


And, take note, once he’s done with Friedrich, Hol­bo promis­es to turn to Descartes and Kierkegaard and give them the same Dr. Seuss treat­ment. Enjoy the ride.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via Dai­ly Nous

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japan­ese Car­toons Dur­ing WWII, Then Atones with Hor­ton Hears a Who!

Hear Clas­si­cal Music Com­posed by Friedrich Niet­zsche: 43 Orig­i­nal Tracks

135 Free Phi­los­o­phy eBooks

Free Online Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • nathan says:

    I’ve cre­at­ed a graph­ic nov­el of Zarathus­tra (all four parts) as one half of my research degree. Always inter­est­ing to see oth­er inter­pre­ta­tions of one of my favourite books.
    There’s a few pages from my ver­sion in the Illus­tra­tions and Comics sec­tion of my blog (address above) and the full graph­ic nov­el is avail­able on Kin­dle.

  • Yohannes Hailu says:

    I appre­ci­ate your schol­ar­ly con­cerns.

  • Borsippian says:

    Nathan, how can I find your book on ama­zon?

  • Scott Marshall says:

    Very cool. I, too, am illus­trat­ing a high­ly edit­ed ver­sion of Zarathus­tra, a lit­tle at a time, as a mul­ti-year project.

  • John Warrington says:

    Why’d he get demot­ed from pro­fes­sor to prof?

  • Charles LLano says:

    Is it OK not to under­stand the point of this effort?

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.