The work comprises a collection of four (out of a projected 13) essays concerning the contemporary condition of European, especially German, culture. A fifth essay, published posthumously, had the title "We Philologists", and gave as a "Task for philology: disappearance".
Glenn W. Most, http://www.hypernietzsche.org/navigate.php?sigle=gmost-1 "On the use and abuse of ancient Greece for life", HyperNietzsche, 2003-11-09
Nietzsche here began to discuss the limitations of empirical knowledge, and presented what would appear compressed in later aphorisms. It combines the naivete of The Birth of Tragedy with the beginnings of his more mature polemical style. It was Nietzsche's most humorous work, especially for "David Strauss: the confessor and the writer," though this levity was not continued by Nietzsche much in later works.