In 1961, two Italian scholars of German—Giorgio Colli and his former student Mazzino Montinari—came to the conclusion that inconsistencies in the various German editions of Nietzsche’s writings necessitated a definitive Critical Edition of the Collected Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, based on an examination of Nietzsche’s actual notebooks at the Goethe-Schiller Archiv in Weimar. With that decision, the Kritische Gesamtausgabe of Nietzsche’s writings was born, with volumes in Italian beginning to appear in 1964, and volumes in German, and French commencing in 1967. While that project, which will eventually number some fifty volumes, continues, in 1980 a decision was made to make available a more accessible and affordable 15-volume “Student Edition,” the German-language Kritische Studienausgabe. Begun by Ernst Behler and Bernd Magnus, and now under the editorial direction of Alan D. Schrift and Duncan Large, The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche will publish in its entirety, for the first time, an English translation of the full contents of the Kritische Studienausgabe.
In addition to corrected editions of all of Nietzsche’s published works, the series will also include his early unpublished writings while a Professor of Philology at the University of Basel; his notebooks for his published works, with preliminary drafts and variants; and the complete notebooks from his final years, much of which material was never reworked by Nietzsche into a published form. Each of the volumes will include the annotations and complete editorial apparatus provided by Colli and Montinari, supplemented by additional notes incorporating the latest findings of Nietzsche research. The translations, by a team of Germanists and Nietzsche scholars, have all been examined by the series editors to assure translation consistency across volumes, and have been carefully cross-referenced and indexed. Once complete, the translations in this series are likely to become the scholarly standard for all subsequent English-language Nietzsche scholarship.