Early 20th-century thinkers

Early twentieth-century thinkers who read or were influenced by Nietzsche include: philosophers Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ernst Jünger, Theodor Adorno, Georg Brandes, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Leo Strauss, Michel Foucault, arguably Julius Evola, Emil Cioran, Miguel de Unamuno, Lev Shestov, Ayn Rand, José Ortega y Gasset Rudolf Steiner and Muhammad Iqbal; sociologists Ferdinand Tönnies and Max Weber; composers Richard Strauss, Alexander Scriabin, Gustav Mahler, and Frederick Delius; historians Oswald Spengler, Fernand Braudel and Paul Veyne, theologians Paul Tillich and Thomas J.J. Altizer; the occultist Aleister Crowley; novelists Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, André Malraux, Nikos Kazantzakis, André Gide, Knut Hamsun, August Strindberg, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Vladimir Bartol; psychologists Sigmund Freud, Otto Gross, C. G. Jung, Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May and Kazimierz Dąbrowski; poets John Davidson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wallace Stevens and William Butler Yeats; painters Salvador Dalí, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko; playwrights George Bernard Shaw, Antonin Artaud, August Strindberg, and Eugene O'Neill; and authors H. P. Lovecraft, Olaf Stapledon, Menno ter Braak, Richard Wright, Robert E. Howard, and Jack London. American writer H. L. Mencken avidly read and translated Nietzsche's works and has gained the sobriquet "the American Nietzsche". Mencken presented in his book on Nietzsche the "hard Nietzsche" little-known today; Nietzsche's actual, realistic philosophy of anti-egalitarian aristocratic revolution, Mencken's work standing in contrast positively to the "post-modernist" theoreticians of "linguistic schizo-analysis today", who try to turn Nietzsche into an all-American liberal without fangs. Nietzsche was declared an anarchist by Emma Goldman rather disputably, and he influenced other anarchists such as Guy Aldred, Rudolf Rocker, Max Cafard and John Moore.
The popular conservative writer, philosopher, poet, journalist and theological apologist of Catholicism G. K. Chesterton expressed contempt for Nietzsche's ideas, deeming his philosophy basically a poison or death-wish of Western culture:
Thomas Mann's essays mention Nietzsche with respect and even adoration, although one of his final essays, "Nietzsche's Philosophy in the Light of Recent History", looks at his favorite philosopher through the lens of Nazism and World War II and ends up placing Nietzsche at a more critical distance. Many of Nietzsche's ideas, particularly on artists and aesthetics, are incorporated and explored throughout Mann's works. The theme of the aesthetic justification of existence Nietzsche introduced from his earliest writings, in "The Birth of Tragedy" declaring sublime art as the only metaphysical consolation of existence; and in the context of Fascism and Nazism, the Nietzschean aestheticization of politics void of morality and ordered by caste hierarchy in service of the creative caste, has posed many problems and questions for thinkers in contemporary times. One of the characters in Mann's 1947 novel Doktor Faustus represents Nietzsche fictionally. In 1938 the German existentialist Karl Jaspers wrote the following about the influence of Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard:
Bertrand Russell in his
History of Western Philosophy'' was scathing in his chapter on Nietzsche, calling his work the "mere power-phantasies of an invalid" and referring to Nietzsche as a "megalomaniac". Russell is here depicting the "hard Nietzsche" very few today would recognize. Russell's psychological daggers against Nietzsche are unbalanced, but worth considering. In one particularly harsh section, he says: