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Nietzsche's Letters

1868

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Erwin Rohde.
As a student, ca. 1860s.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

Naumburg, February 1-3, 1868:
Letter to Erwin Rohde.

My dear friend,

It is Saturday and indeed the day is drawing to a close. For a soldier, there is magic in the word "Saturday," a sense of calm and peace that I, as a student, did not know.1 To be able to sleep and dream peacefully, without the specter of the next morning hovering over my soul, to have overcome and be done with another seven days of that excitement in uniform, which one calls a year in the military — what simple and intense pleasures they are, worthy of a cynic and acquired by us almost too cheaply and easily. I now understand that first and greatest Saturday afternoon mood in which the contented phrase 2 rang out, in which coffee and a pipe were invented and the first optimist came to life. In any case, the Hebrews who conceived and believed this beautiful story were warriors or laborers, but certainly not students; for the latter would have proposed 6 days off and one day of work, and in practice would have made this one day, too, just like the others. At least this was my practice: at the moment, I feel the contrast between my present life and my former days of academic idleness very strongly. If for once one could just get all the philologists of 10 years together and drill them army fashion into the service of their science: after 10 years, philology would no longer be necessary, because all the main work would be done, but it would also no longer be possible because no one would come under this flag voluntarily, a flag to which the concept of "one-year volunteer" doesn't apply at all.

Thus a Saturday makes one talkative, as you can tell; because we have to be silent the rest of the week and are wont to adjust the capabilities of our souls according to the commands of our superior officers; so, in our unguarded moments on Saturday, words gush from our lips and lines from our inkwell, especially when the fire is crackling in the stove and outside a February storm roars in expectance of springtime. Saturday, a storm, and a warm room, these are the best ingredients out of which to brew the punch of a "letter-writing mood."

My dear friend, this is now my life, really very lonely and friendless. There is nothing exciting that I do not do myself, nothing of that harmonious concord of souls,3 as many a good hour in Leipzig entailed. Rather, alienation of the soul from itself, preponderance of dominant influences, which binds up the mind tightly with fear and teaches it to regard things with a seriousness of which they are not worthy. This is the other side of my current existence, and you can certainly empathize with me about it. But let us flip over the coin. This life is indeed uncomfortable, but, enjoyed as an entremets, absolutely useful. It is a constant call to muster a man's energy and relished particularly as an 4 against paralyzing skepticism, about whose effect we have observed many things together. Here you get to know the nature of this life, as it is wont to reveal itself among strangers, mostly crude people, without the aid of scholarship and without that traditional fame5 that determines our value for our friends and for society. Up to now I have noticed that people, whether captains or cannoneers, are well disposed toward me; on the other hand, I do what I'm obliged to do, with zeal and for my own interest. May we not be proud upon being considered the best rider among 30 recruits?6 Truly, dear friend, that is more than a philological prize, although I am not insensible even to the kind of encomiums like the one the Leipzig faculty bestowed upon me.7 May I, without becoming a loathsome fool, copy out for you the 8 as it appears in the program, p. 22?9

[The following paragraph contains an excerpt from the above-referenced text in Latin, with a brief parenthetical remark in German by Nietzsche.] Philosophorum denique Ordini unus traditus libellus est et ex classe quidem prima: "De fontibus Laertii Diogenis" hac inscriptione 10 Pind[ar] Pyth[ia] II. v.73.11 (Do you still think of our nirvana-spot in Rosenthal?) Eius libelli scriptor, quum res, quae ad eam quaestionem pertinerent et litteras quae huc facerent penitus cognovisset earumque momenta acri ingenio examinasset, rem, quam explanandam susceperat persecutus ita est, ut, quum summo acumine in singulis locis cognoscendis atque iudicandis uteretur summaque sagacitate in vero indagando, inveniendo, e tenebris eruendo versaretur ingenioque in colligendo plurimum valeret atque ea, quae explorate perceperat, dilucide exponeret, vix quidquam reliquerit in ea quaestione, quod aut addi aut demi posse videretur, summamque et ingenii et doctrinae laudem ab ordine amplissumo consecutus sit. e. q. s.

Isn't it, my dear friend, tant de bruit pour une omelette?12 But the way we are, we make fun of such praise and know only too well what, resp., is behind it, even though we contort our face with a pleasing grin. In such matters, our old Ritschl is a matchmaker,13 with all this splendid praise14 he tries to capture us in the web of Dame Philology. In my next essay (on the writings of Democritus), written in honorem Ritscheli,15 I have [a] surprising desire to tell the philologists a number of bitter truths. Until now, I've had the fairest hope for it: it has attained a philosophical background, which none of my previous works ever achieved. Moreover, without intending it but precisely on that account to my delight all my works are taking a quite definite direction; they all point like telegraph poles toward a goal of my studies, which, before long, I will have firmly in view. This is a history of literary studies in antiquity and in modern times. Initially, the details hardly concern me; at present, I'm attracted to the universally human element, as the evolving need for a literary history and as it takes shape under the molding hands of philosophers. The fact that we have received all enlightening thoughts in literary history from those few great geniuses, who live on in the voices of educated people, and the fact that all good and beneficial achievements in the said fields were nothing other than practical applications of those typical ideas, consequently that the creative element in literary research stems from those who never or hardly ever purse such studies, that, on the contrary, the acclaimed works in the field were written by those who were devoid of the creative spark — these highly pessimistic views, harboring a new cult of genius, occupy me continuously and even make me inclined to test history for this. For myself, this is the real test; for me it's as if, in the lines written down, you would have to smell the aroma of Schopenhauerian cuisine.

The fall to reality from these castles in the air is quite bitter. Think dear friend, that I, I who occasionally indulge in the mentioned views, still am not able to finish the upcoming ones. It is quite impossible for me to deliver on time the promised contribution for the Ritschl-book.16 As much as the material is in my head and heart, the draft of it is still far off: there is a lack of hundreds of things, time, books, good friends, moments of concentration and of investigation: and I must add that, for each of these shortcomings, every one really has the power to impede my elaboration. Fortunate people, says Ritschl of his students, you have 14 hours of the day for you and your studies! Wretched man, I tell myself, you have less than two hours of the day; and even these you have to sacrifice to Mars, who otherwise denies you your lieutenant's commission. Alas dear friend, what a misfortunate animal is such a mounted and errant artilleryman, if he has literary inclinations! Our old god of war just loved young women, not shrivelled old Muses. A cannoneer, who often enough meditates upon Democritean problems in the barracks room, squatting upon a dirty stool while his boots are being polished for him, is just a ,17 whom the gods look upon with scorn.

You would bring me great joy if you still want to wait until November of this year.18 In the spring and summer, we will gather together the essays of our friends, discuss and evaluate them, negotiate with the bookseller, merrily have them put to press — and then comes my essay, last and indeed late, but still in due time. By the way, Clemm19 also found the previous deadline to be too soon. Please let me know your opinion about this issue too!

When I tell you that I am on duty every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, moreover, still have to listen to lectures from a lieutenant and a veterinarian, thus you can imagine how badly off I am. In the evening, my body is listless and tired, it seeks its nest early. And so it goes without rest or respite from day to day. Where does that leave the concentration and contemplation necessary for scholarly papers!

Oh, even for things that are closer to me than my literary needs, the 20 of a friendly correspondence and the arts, an hour is so seldom left over! Just let me be once more in full enjoyment of my time and my strength —

si male nunc, non olim sie erit.21

And next year I'm going to Paris. I am almost convinced that you will get the same idea.22 As you know, an honest man must indeed be merry, in cheerful spirits, if indeed Saint Offenbach is right.23

Thus to you, poetry of the future, and to you, friendship of the best days gone by, my final stroke of the pen, my final inkblot!

fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles!24

F. Nietzsche
in faithful friendship.

1. On October 9, 1867, Nietzsche began his year of obligatory military service, with the mounted field artillery unit stationed close to Naumburg.
2. "panta lian kala" (everything [was] very good). Cf. Genesis 1:31, "And God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good." Cited with derision by Schopenhauer. Cf. Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena. Kleine philosophische Schriften. Bd. 1. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 5. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1874: 207. (In English: Parerga and Paralipomena. Short Philosophical Essays. Translated by E. F. J. Payne. Volume 1. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974: 192.) Bd. 2. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 6. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1874: 322. (In English: Volume 2. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974: 301.) Also, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. Zweiter Band, welcher die Ergänzungen zu den vier Büchern des ersten Bandes enthält. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 3. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1873: 716. (In English: The World as Will and Representation. Translated by E. F. J. Payne. Volume 2. New York: Dover, 1966: 623.) See the entry for Schopenhauer in Nietzsche's Library.
3. "jenem harmonischen Zusammenklang der Seelen." Cf. Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, II, viii: "Der Seelen entzückender Zusammenklang ..."
4. "Antidote."
5. "fama."
6. For his equestrian training, see Nietzsche's 11-03-1867 letter to Erwin Rohde: "Er reitet seinen feurigen schwungvollen Balduin ..." (He is riding his fiery, zestful Balduin ...); and his 11-24/12-01-1867 letter to Carl von Gersdorff: "Wenn ich mit meinem Balduin auf dem großen Exercirplatz herumsause, so bin ich mit meinem Geschick sehr zufriedengestellt." (When I breeze around the vast exercise yard on my Balduin, I am very satisfied with my lot.)
7. Friedrich Ritschl announced to his students at Leipzig an essay competition under the heading "The Sources of Diogenes Laertius." Nietzsche's essay won the competition. See Nietzsche's Jan. 16, 1867 letter to Carl von Gersdorff: "Augenblicklich versuche ich meine Kräfte an einer Preisaufgabe der hiesigen Universität 'de fontibus Diogenis Laertii'; ich habe dabei die wohlthuende Empfindung, nicht erst durch Anlockung von Ehre und Geld auf die Thema gekommen zu sein, sondern es mir selbst gestellt zu haben. Das wußte Ritschl und war so gefällig, nachher dies Thema als Preisaufgabe vorzuschlagen. Ich habe einige Mitstreiter, wenn ich recht berichtet bin: doch habe ich in diesem Falle nicht geringes Selbstvertrauen, da ich bis jetzt lauter sehr schöne Resultate gefunden habe. Schließlich kommt es allein auf Förderung der Wissenschaft an: sollte ein Anderer noch mehr gefunden haben, so soll mich dies nicht sehr kränken." (At the moment I am testing my powers on a university prize-essay: "de fontibus Diogenis Laertii"; I have the gratifying feeling that I did not just come upon the theme through the lure of honor and money but set it for myself. Something Ritschl knew and later on was so kind to suggest as the theme of a prize-essay. I have a few comrades-in-arms, if I am rightly informed: nevertheless, in this case I have no little self-confidence since until now I have had nothing but very fine results. In the end, it is only a matter of advancement of scholarship: if another person has discovered even more about it, then this will not offend me much.) He went on to publish a revised version.
8. "Enkomion" (encomium).
9. See Reinhold Klotz, Rector Commilitonibus certamina eruditionis propositis praemiis in annum MDCCCLXVIII indicit. Anteposita est Reinholdi Klotz adnotationum criticarum ad M. Tullii Ciceronis de natura deorum primum pars altera. Lipsiae: Edelmann, 1868: 22.
10. Cf. Pindar's "genoi hoios essi [mathon]" (Become the sort of person you are through understanding.) Nietzsche drops the ending, which leaves the translation "Become who you are.")
11. See Pindar: the Olympian and Pythian Odes. Cambridge: University Press, 1893:167.
12. "such a fuss about an omelette?" A saying attributed to the French poet Des Barreaux. Cf. 12-24-1758 letter from Voltaire to Thieriot: "voilà, bien du bruit pour une omelette!"
13. "ein Kuppler": in the pejorative sense, "a pimp."
14. "his laudibus splendidissimis."
15. A planned work on Democritus that was never finished.
16. See 15.
17. "paradox."
18. Rohde, along with a number of Ritschl's philology students, was also writing a contribution for Ritschl's book.
19. Wilhelm Clemm (1843-1883): their friend and classmate at the University of Leipzig.
20. "Graces."
21. Cf. Horace, Odes, II, 10,17f.: non si male nunc, et olim sic erit. (Though things are bad now, they will not always be so.)
22. Their planned trip to Paris never came to fruition.
23. Cf. Jacques Offenbach, La belle Helene, act III: "L'homme vraiment honnete est rempli d'enjouement!" (The man who is really honest is full of fun!)
24. Cf. Catullus, 8, 3: "At one time bright suns shone upon you!"

 


Friedrich Nietzsche.
June 1868.
From b/w photo taken by:
Fr. Anders-Paltzow, Halle,
and reproduced by Louis Held (1851-1927), Weimar.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

Naumburg, June 22, 1868:
Letter to Carl von Gersdorff.

My dear friend,

Today my comrades in arms have left me, one and all; they are on the way to Magdeburg to practice shooting around there. So, I am just about the only one in uniform within Naumburg's walls, an abandoned broken-winged stork who enviously watches his stronger companions take flight. Yes, dear friend, the rumor that has already reached you by many torturous paths is for the best (i.e., the worst) part true: my military career didn't exactly turn out happily.1

I had survived the winter, and with it the most difficult and unpleasant half of the service; they had made me an artillery private and were also quite pleased with my conduct. With the onset of finer weather, I was able to breathe freely and breeze my horse in the vast exercise yard. Finally I was riding the most fiery and high-strung animal in the battery. One day I failed to execute a quick leap into the saddle; I hit my chest hard against the pommel and felt a shooting pain on the left side. I calmly rode on and even withstood the increasing pain for a day and a half. On the evening of the second day, however, I fainted twice and on the third I was nailed to my bed by the most acute pain and high fever. Through a medical examination, they found that I had torn two muscles in my chest. The result was an inflammatory condition of the entire muscular and ligamentary system in the pectoral region, which brought on an awful infection due to internal bleeding in the torn area. About 8 days later, when an incision was made into the chest, several cupsful of pus came out. Since that time, i.e. for three months the infection has not subsided; naturally, I was so exhausted when I got up from bed that I had to learn to walk again. The situation was pitiful; I needed extra assistance to get up, to walk, to lie down and could not write. Gradually my health improved, I enjoyed a fortifying diet, took many strolls and recovered my strength. But the wound remained open and the suppuration hardly abated. At last they discovered that the breastbone was injured, and that this was the impedimentum to recuperation. One evening the first reliable messenger of this fact also turned up, a little piece of bone that the pus had flushed out. Since then it has happened again and the doctors say to expect more of it. If a larger piece of bone becomes detached, then a minor operation also has to be done. The problem is by no means dangerous, but lengthy; the doctors have nothing to do other than assist nature in its process of excreting and replenishing. In addition, I have frequent daily infusions of chamomile tea and a silver nitrate solution, and bathe in warm water every day. In a few days, our staff surgeon will declare me "temporarily disabled"; and it is possible that I will retain a debility at the affected spot.

Next week I will again travel to Halle to consult Volkmann,2 the renowned surgeon. I will make use of this occasion to visit our beloved Leipzig, along with its residents. Later on I am especially looking forward to seeing the excellent Ritschl3 again, who, since I've been away from Leipzig, has always given me the kindest displays of his sympathy and his goodwill: so that a fairly regular writing back and forth has developed, and nary a month passes by when I am in the dark about the state of his health. Also, everything else I hear from Leipzig is quite pleasing: e.g., that the philological club4 is growing substantially, that my good philological comrades have adorned themselves with doctorates and scholarly works, that Romundt, the odd fellow,5 has conceived a tragedy, which he hopes to be staged in the Leipzig theater, that friend Windisch6 is habilitating under brilliant auspices in Leipzig, etc.

As soon as I could wield a pen again, I threw myself once more into my studies, a sample of which I have given you by means of the enclosed little ode on Danaë.7 I was reliant upon work, since I, for obvious reasons, had little company in Naumburg and rarely even had a visit from Volkmann or Dr Blass (a philologist from the Domgymnasium)8 or from Stedtefeld,9 the latter having taken the position of substitute teacher at Pforta. From time to time, I also delight in the witty Wenkel,10 whom I've also told you about. In the past, we talked a lot about philosophy, etc. together and although he was Hegeling,11 I would never fail to give him my full respect. Recently, when we met again I learned that, since that time, he has completely gone over to Schopenhauer's12 camp and that everywhere and to anyone he enthusiastically points out Schopenhauer's genius. This is a splendid addition to those quiet followers of the heretic, whom Haym13 likes to call "wonderful saints." — Before long you'll get more news from me, my dear friend!

F.N.

1. In October 1867, Nietzsche reported for duty to the artillery regiment in Naumburg (due to changes in conscription regulations, his poor eyesight no longer exempted him from service). His military service ended due to the injury in March 1868 as he relates below.
2. Richard von Volkmann (1830-1889, ennobled in 1877): a physician in Halle hired by Nietzsche's mother to treat her son's injury.
3. Friedrich Ritschl (1806-1876): Nietzsche's philology professor at the University of Bonn and the University of Leipzig.
4. Nietzsche was one of the founders of the club.
5. Heinrich Romundt (1845-1919), who apparently had a very high-pitched, screeching voice. The tragedy was called Mariamne and Herod (see below). See the entry for Romundt in Nietzsche's Library.
6. Ernst Windisch (1844-1918). See the entry for Windisch in Nietzsche's Library.
7. Nietzsche's "Beiträge zur Kritik der griechischen Lyriker I, Der Danae Klage." In: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 23: 480-489.
8. Friedrich Blass (1843-1907). See the entry for Blass in Nietzsche's Library.
9. Hermann Stedefeldt (1844-1870): a schoolmate at Pforta who died in the Franco-Prussian War.
10. Friedrich August Wenkel (1832-1894): chief pastor of the St. Wenzel church in Naumburg (1865-1894).
11. Espousing Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's philosophy of religion.
12. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860): German philosopher. See the entry for Schopenhauer in Nietzsche's Library.
13. Rudolf Haym (1821-1901): German philosopher and acerbic critic of Schopenhauer. Cf. his essay "Arthur Schopenhauer." In: Preussische Jahrbücher. Bd. 14. Berlin: Reimer, 1864, 45-91, 179-243 (235). See the entry for Haym in Nietzsche's Library.

 



Louis Ehlert, Briefe über Musik an eine Freudin.
Berlin: J. Guttentag, 1868.
Title page.

Wittekind, July 2, 1868:
Letter to Sophie Ritschl.1

Highly esteemed Frau Privy Councilor,

Even if I did not have to return the borrowed book, you still would have received a letter from me today. Although I had all too many obligations last Sunday, a charming and sunny day, the memory of you is the best one that I brought from Leipzig to my secluded spa.2 But if you (I know not guided by what genius) have at times given me your distinguished participation,3 then you must also patiently bear the consequences, the first of which might be today's letter.

The day before yesterday, at noon, I reached the pretentious little village spa called Wittekind. It was raining hard and the flags that had been raised for the spa festival, hung down limp and soiled. My landlord, an indubitable rogue with blue opaque spectacles, came to meet me and led me to lodgings rented 6 days before that, with an utterly moldy sofa, were as desolate as a prison. It soon became clear to me, too, that this same landlord employed only one maidservant for two houses full of visitors, thus perhaps 20-40 people. Before the first hour was up, I already had a visitor, but so disagreeable a one that I was able to shake him off only by means of the most energetic courtesy.4 In short, the whole atmosphere of the place I had just entered was chilly, damp and dismal.

Yesterday I investigated the character of the place a bit and the people here. At dinner I had the good fortune, in part, to sit next to a deaf-mute and some women with marvelously-shaped figures.5 The countryside doesn't seem bad; but one can't step outside to go anywhere or see anything due to the rain and the damp.

Volkmann6 visited me and prescribed the local baths; at any rate, an operation is set for the near future. —

How grateful I am to you for giving me Ehlert's book, which I read on the first evening in deplorable lighting upon the moldy sofa — read with pleasure and inner warmth. Vicious people might say that the book is poorly and excitedly written. But the book of a musician is not quite the book of a visual man; at bottom, it is music that happens to be written with words instead of notes. A painter must get the most painful sensation when this clutter of images is pulled together without any method. But unfortunately I have a penchant for the Parisian feuilleton, for Heine's Travel Sketches, etc., and prefer a stew to roast beef. What pains it has cost me to produce a scientific face in order to write down sober trains of thought with the requisite discretion and alla breve. Your spouse7 also knows a song about it (not to the melody "Ah, dear Franz, yet," etc.),8 who himself was very surprised about the complete lack of "style." In the end I was like the sailor who feels less secure on land than in a moving ship. Maybe I will find a philological subject that can be treated musically, and then I will babble like an infant and heap up images like a barbarian who has fallen asleep in front of an antique head of Venus, and despite the "flourishing haste" of the exposition — be quite right.9

And Ehlert is almost always right. But to many men truth is unrecognizable in this harlequin jacket. Not to us, we who take no page of this life so seriously that we cannot draw in a joke as a fleeting arabesque. And what god can be surprised if we now and then behave like satyrs and parody a life that always looks so serious and solemn, and wears cothurni on its feet?

Yet it shows that I have not managed to conceal my predilection for dissonance from you! Didn't you already have a terrible sample of it?10 Here you have a second. The drawbacks11 of Wagner and Schopenhauer12 are poorly concealed. But I will improve. And if you should allow me to play you something once again, then I will form my memory of that beautiful Sunday in tones and you shall hear what you read today, how much this memory means

to a poor musician etc.
Friedrich Nietzsche.

1. Sophie Ritschl (1820-?): wife of Nietzsche's philology professor, Friedrich Ritschl. She was a friend of Richard Wagner's sister, Ottilie Brockhaus, through whom she was able to introduce Nietzsche to Wagner.
2. Nietzsche had visited the Ritschls in Leipzig on Sunday, June 28; the book he refers to is Louis Ehlert's Briefe über Musik an eine Freudin (Letters on Music to a Lady-Friend). The first edition appeared in 1859, and the second in 1868. He was now in Wittekind near Halle, recovering from injuries sustained in his riding accident in March.
3. Might explain one of Nietzsche's cryptic remarks in his August 6, 1868 letter to Erwin Rohde: "I have been composing again: feminine influences."
4. The visitor was his cousin, Ernst Oehler (1856-1925). See Nietzsche's July 1, 1868 letter to Franziska and Elisabeth Nietzsche: "I had just sat down, when already a visitor arrived, who made me even more ill-tempered. Namely, Ernst, who is again in Halle for a few days and will éprouver sa fortune [try his luck] in Leipzig afterwards, of course appearing as usual with militant-like brazenness; I treated him for a while as a guest, since his demands were not too importunate; I finally had to refuse additional visits to me with somewhat energetic courtesy."
5. "... und einiger wunderbar geformter Frauengestalten." In the letter written to his mother and sister the previous day, Nietzsche describes sitting amidst a deaf mute and two "gräßliche weibliche Mißgeburten" (hideous female freaks).
6. Richard von Volkmann (1830-1889, ennobled in 1877): a physician in Halle hired by Nietzsche's mother to treat her son's injury.
7. Friedrich Ritschl, Nietzsche's philology professor at the University of Leipzig.
8. "Ach lieber Franz, noch," a refrain from an old German folksong: "Komm, lieber Franz, noch einen Tanz! Noch ist es Zeit zum Heimegehen" (Come, dear Franz, yet another dance! There is still time to go home).
9. "... blühende Eile" (flourishing haste), an expression from the conclusion of Ehlert's book: "Leben Sie wohl! Ich habe Eile, blühende Eile, denn dieses Leben — es steigert sich nur bis zur Rose." (Farewell! I have haste, flourishing haste, for this life — it climbs no higher than the rose.) Briefe über Musik an eine Freundin, 166.
10. Nietzsche had played the piano at the Ritschls.
11. Pferdefüße: literally, "cloven feet."
12. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860): German philosopher. See the entry for Schopenhauer in Nietzsche's Library.

 


Friedrich Nietzsche in uniform.1
August 1868.
From b/w photo taken by:
Ferdinand Henning, Naumburg.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

Naumburg, August 6, 1868:
Letter to Erwin Rohde.

My dear friend,

Today I should congratulate you and me, you as the fortunate and greatly admired winner of the academic competition,2 myself as one who has at last recuperated, of whom the angel sings:

Rescued is the noble member
From the evil breastbone,
Striving with all his might
To relieve his festering blight.3

In Leipzig the rumor of your coronation has spread everywhere, along with a common refrain that you will be habilitating in Kiel, and that this was at the specific request of Ribbeck.4 Perhaps the origin of this rumor is to be found in the familiar drawing room (at Lehmanns Garten N. 2 lunchtime 12-15): where I engaged in similar gossip describing me as the expected and future private docent in Leipzig. Let us console ourselves; at least they still believe in us. But nothing can stop us from spending a year together in Paris first: afterwards, at whatever university, each of us may be allowed to strew some false doctrines into some "milk-sucking" souls. But beforehand we still have to learn the divine power of the Cancan and practice drinking "yellow poison,"6 so that later we can march with dignity in the vanguard of civilization.

By the way, news that the Lucianic has already found a second rider.7 A letter came to me from little Doctor Roscher,8 proclaiming a message "of paramount importance," so that all at once (due to my recent and tiresome habit) I became pale and wiped the cold sweat from my brow. Listen up: now in circulation in the philological section for doctorate examinations is a dissertation by someone named Knauth,9 who has also dealt with the subject matter that has occupied you, and was judged to be brilliant by Klotz10 and Ritschl! Roscher lets out a cry of help, as if someone were standing at the point of falling into the water and drowning, and as if all good friends and trusted neighbors should dive in to the rescue. — Lucky man, you have a competitor, a competitor incarnate of flesh and bone, while I was recently granted the pleasure to hear Bergk's lecture on Theognis and, in the process, to be ignored, although I listened with pricked up ears and must have looked a lot like your honored .11

How critical you are of the Simonidean Eiapopeia12 is something written from my soul: now do me a favor and make the appropriate conjecture (— È), which I, although I've been searching for years, cannot track down.13 As soon as I have it, I'll toss the 14 out the window and write a short addendum in the Rhein[isches] Museum.15

Perhaps
or or  ?16

I just noticed that my letter is already getting out of hand, but it would be a real feat if I were to bring everything that I decided to mention today into a logical progression. Allow me to use numbers.

1) a new but genuine friend of Schopenhauer17
2) Romundt 18
3) Clemm [who is now] in Gießen, visited me19
4) to wit, in Wittekind
5) where the great surgeon Prof. Volkmann was dispatched to me
6) and that I've been healthy for 3 days since I left.
7) Frau Ritschl my intimate "lady-friend."20
8) Music assembly in Altenburg, attended by me.21
Excursus about Wagner's Meistersinger.22
9) I have been composing again: feminine influences.23
10) Wittekind spa-cure and spa-cour.24
11) I anticipate your visit on a daily basis.25

Re 1) My friend Gersdorff (retired lieutenant, avid economist) reported the following to me. In Plaue on the Havel, near Brandenburg, lives Wisecke [sic],26 the owner of a large estate, a real friend of Schopenhauer, the only one who has a wonderfully painted portrait in oil of the great man. A true student, a highly educated man, a brilliant farmer who transformed terribly sandy soil into fertile land (Gersdorff gave a detailed report on the method; cavalry manure out of the Berlin stables plays the lead role); he is now rich, and his wealth estimable; for his poor people he retains a suitable doctor at 800 Tl. salary etc. He has an open house, an excellent wine cellar, whose finest wines only ever swirl in a goblet possessed by the man whose genius reigns in this house. When departing, every visitor receives a portrait of Schopenhauer and a photograph of his residence in Frankfurt, where Herr Wieseke [sic] makes an annual pilgrimage. His description of Schopenhauer's character corresponds altogether little to that of his insignificant friends, to whom Wieseke [sic] of course includes Frauenstädt,27 "the insipid numbskull."28

Re 2) The admirable, nicely organized Romundt reappeared in Leipzig, in fact with a tragedy Mariamne and Herod, in which an overexcited woman brings about diverse malheurs, and in the process does not earn our affection. The poetic spark in our friend is not strong enough to kill an ox, but enough to anesthetize a human being, so I asked him in earnest to abandon his dangerous pyrotechnics. So he is back to being a philologist, swimming, as far as I know, in the waters of Democritus (in order to catch a fish here for the doctorate festivities) and indulges in the hope that someday the production will be staged in a theater.29

Re 3) One morning, as I was sitting for an hour in the brine at Wittekind, with the sprightliness of a freshly-salted herring leaping into the light of day, a friendly face approached my half-immersed body, one that belonged to the amiable Clemm from Gießen. He bears his unfortunate fate and his foot with a touching gentleness. You must have read a laudatory review of his habilitation thesis in the Centralblatt. It was done by Georg Curtius.30

Now I skip to 11). I recall that, since you wanted to take a longer trip in August, it would also lead you to Naumburg. Count on a few days in Naumburg; I would always be able to detain you here with the help of my brave cannoneers. Here on the spot you shall hear the other remarks from the paragraphs that were skipped over. And everything we have agreed upon, fixed a date and hoped for, etc.

Now what follows is a photograph that shows me in a somewhat defiant pose. Basically it is rude to appear before one's friends with a drawn sword and, on top of that, with such a peevish, furious expression on one's face. There is something brutish about such a warrior. But why do we let a bad photographer annoy us, why do we let all the rubbish of life annoy us so that we no longer look like freshly washed girls? Why do we always have to stand with the sword at the ready? And if we now want to attack the photographer with gusto, what does he do? He crouches behind his [camera's] cowl and shouts, "Now!"

Adieu, my dear friend! Give your esteemed mother my best regards and visit me as soon as possible!

As ever
Friedrich Nietzsche

My relatives also send you their regards and look forward to your visit.

1. In March 1868, Nietzsche sustained a severe injury to his sternum in a riding accident. In the photograph Nietzsche sent with this letter, his uniform looks tight because he was still wearing bandages around his chest. On the back of the photograph, Nietzsche's dedication: "Rohdio suo. 'extra Lipsiam non est vita, si est vita, non est ita.'" (To Rohde: "There's no life outside of Leipzig: if there is, it's not as good.") A popular saying attributed to the Leipzig theologian Johann Gottlob Carpzov (1679-1767), that Nietzsche perhaps read in his copy of Carl Julius Weber's Demokritos oder hinterlassene Papiere eines lachenden Philosophen [Demokritos, Or the Literary Remains of a Laughing Philosopher]. Bd. 3. Stuttgart: Rieger, 1868, 282. Nietzsche had his picture taken in uniform at the suggestion of his friends, Rudolf Kleinpaul and Rohde, who intimated that it would be a shame to waste the uniform, since — despite being placed on medical leave — Nietzsche still had an "appropriate costume" for a photo depicting him as a mounted artillerist (see Rohde's April 28, 1868 letter to Nietzsche).
2. Rohde's prize-winning essay in Latin at the University of Kiel: De Julii Pollucis in apparatu scaenico enarrando fontibus, scripsit Ervinus Rohde. Lipsiae: Engelmann, 1870.
3. Cf. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, II, 11934-37: "(Engel) // Gerettet ist das edle Glied / Der Geisterwelt vom Bösen, / Wer immer strebend sich bemüht, / Den können wir erlösen." ((Angel) // Rescued is the noble member / Of the spirit world from evil, / Whoever strives with all his might, / Him we can redeem.)
4. Johann Carl Otto Ribbeck (1827-1898): German philologist, who at the time was a professor at the University of Kiel, where he taught and mentored Erwin Rohde. His own mentor was none other than Nietzsche's professor, Friedrich Ritschl, whom he succeeded in the chair of classical philology at Leipzig in 1876.
5. The home address of and visiting hours for Friedrich Ritschl.
6. The potent liqueur absinthe.
7. "onos": ass. A reference to Rohde's upcoming work, Über Lucian's Schrift Lukios ē Onos und ihr Verhältniss zu Lucius von Patrae und den Metamorphosen des Apulejus. Eine litterarhistorische Untersuchung. [On Lucian's Work 'Lucius, or the Ass' and its relationship to Lucius of Patrae and the Metamorphoses of Apuleius. A literaro-historical investigation.] Leipzig: Engelmann, 1869. See Nietsche's review. In: Literarisches Centralblatt für Deutschland. Nr. 15. 3. April 1869: 426-27.
8. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1845-1923): their friend and classmate at the University of Leipzig.
9. Friedrich Ernst Knauth (1844-?), De Luciano libelli qui inscribitur Lucius sive asinus auctore. Lipsiae: Edelmanni, 1868.
10. Reinhold Klotz (1807-1870): philology professor at the University of Leipzig.
11. Theodor Bergk (1812-1881): German philologist. See the entry for Bergk in Nietzsche's Library. Nietzsche, while recuperating in nearby Wittekind, attended Bergk's lecture in Halle, entitled "Ausgewählte Gedichte der griechischen Lyriker" (Selected Poetry of the Greek Lyricists). It seems that Bergk, of whom Nietzsche was not an admirer, failed to mention Nietzsche's own work on Theognis.
12. A "lullaby," referring to Simonides' ode on Danae, and Nietzsche's critique, "Beiträge zur Kritik der griechischen Lyriker I, Der Danae Klage." [Contribution toward the Critique of the Greek Lyric Poet 1, [Simonides'] Ode on Danae."] In: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 23: 480-489. For Rhode's criticism, see his 06-17-1868 letter to Nietzsche. For the ode, see the admirable translations by Cecil Maurice Bowra in Greek lyric poetry from Alcman to Simonides. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1961. Reprint, 2000:338. Landmarks in Greek Literature. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968:102f.
13. Philology's task, emendatio and coniectura (correction and conjecture), has yet to solve the puzzle. See Herbert Smyth, Greek Melic Poets. London: Macmillan, 1900: 320-321.
14. "raged, raved." See Simonides, Fr. 37, v. 3.
15. An addendum was never published.
16. See Simonides, Fr. 37, v. 3.
17. Karl Ferdinand Wiesike (1798-1880), affluent merchant, uncle of one of Carl von Gersdorff's friends, and devoted follower of Schopenhauer. See the postscript in Nietzsche's April 11, 1869 letter to Carl von Gersdorff. For more info on Wiesike, see his photograph, the silver chalice he sent to Schopenhauer for his 70th birthday, and an interesting article from 2009 about his decaying mansion.
18. "The tragedy." See Nietzsche's June 22, 1868 letter to Carl von Gersdorff.
19. Wilhelm Clemm (1843-1883): their friend and classmate at the University of Leipzig.
20. "Freundin." See Nietzsche's July 2, 1868 letter to Sophie Ritschl.
21. See F. Stade, "Die Tonkünstlerversammlung in Altenburg vom 19. bis 23. Juli 1868." In: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. Bd. 64. Nr. 31-32. Juli 24/31 1868:261ff.
22. Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
23. Unknown woman.
24. Courtship, or flirtation.
25. Rohde showed up on August 17.
26. See note 17.
27. Julius Frauenstädt (1813-1879), Schopenhauer's adherent and editor of his collected works. See the entry for Frauenstädt in Nietzsche's Library.
28. "den flachen wässerigen Kopf." Literally, "the flat watery head." "Watery head" was the early term for hydrocephalus.
29. See 18.
30. Clemm had some physical maladies. See his dissertation entitled De compositis Graecis quae a verbis incipiunt. Gissae: Ricker, 1867. Also, Georg Curtius' review in the Literarisches Centralblatt für Deutschland. Feb. 22, 1868: 221.

 


Erwin Rohde.
1869.
From b/w photograph by:
Emil Bieber, Hamburg.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

Leipzig, November 9, 1868:
Letter to Erwin Rohde.

My dear friend,

Today I intend to tell you a succession of cheerful things, merrily looking into the future and conducting myself in such an idyllically content way that your wicked wit, that feline fever, will arch its back and slowly walk away in exasperation. And in order to avoid any note of discord, I will discuss the famous res severa,1 which led to your second letter,2 on a special sheet of paper, which you can then read in a special mood and in a special place.

The acts of my comedy are called: 1. A club-evening or the sub-professor; 2. The ejected tailor; 3. A rendezvous with X. A few old women are part of the cast.

On Thursday evening, Romundt3 tempted me to the theater, for which my feelings are cooling down very much:4 we wanted to see a play by our future director Heinrich Laube and, enthroned like gods on Olympus, sat in judgment on a concoction called Graf Essex.5 Of course, I berated my tempter who invoked emotions from his childhood like a ten-year-old and I was happy to be able to leave the place in which not even ΓΛΑΥΚΙΔΙΟΝ6 was to be found: as was proven by a microscopic search of every corner of the theater.

 


Susanne Klemm, a/k/a "ΓΛΑΥΚΙΔΙΟΝ."
Leipzig, 1866.
From b/w photo by:
C. August Alexander Eulenstein.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

At home I found two letters, yours and an invitation from Curtius,7 whom I am glad to know more closely now. When two friends write our kind of letters, the angels, as is well known, rejoice; and so they rejoiced when I read your letter, indeed they even giggled.

The next morning I solemnly went to thank Curtia8 for the invitation, since I unfortunately could not accept it. I do not know if you know this lady; I have really taken a liking to her, and an irrepressible joviality has developed between me and the couple. In this mood I went to my editor-in-chief Zarncke,9 found a cordial reception, put our affairs in order — the province of my book reviewing is now, among other things, almost the whole of Greek philosophy, with the exception of Aristotle, which Torstrik10 occupies, and another section in which my former teacher Heinze11 (privy councilor and prince's pedagogue in Oldenburg) is active. Incidentally, did you read my notice on Rose's Symposiaca Anacreontea?12 Coming up next is my namesake, who has become a knight of Eudocia — boring lady, boring knight!13

Upon arriving home, I found your second letter, became indignant14 and decided on an assault.

The first lecture of the semester for our philological club was scheduled for the evening: and they had asked me very courteously to take it on. I, who need opportunities to bone up on academic weapons, was also prepared and had the pleasure to find, upon entering Zaspel's,15 a black mass of 40 listeners. Romundt was instructed by me to be quite personally attentive, so that he could tell me how the theatrical side, thus how the lecture, voice, style, disposition was and how effective it had been. I completely extemporized, helped only by notes on a diminutive slip of paper, on the Varronian satires and the Cynic Menippus:16 and, behold, everything was .17 It will be all right in this academic career!

Here now it should be mentioned that I intend to dispose of my habilitation hassles by Easter and, at the same time, to obtain a doctorate by then. This is permitted: I need only a special dispensation, insofar as I do not yet have the usual quinquennium behind me.18 Now habilitating and lecturing are two different things: but it seems to me that it would be quite fitting, once I have my hands free, to go out into the world for the last time without an official appointment! Oh dear friend, it will feel like being a bridegroom, joy and vexation mingled, humor, ,19 Menippus!

Aware of a good day's work, I went to bed and thought about Ritschl, knowing what a scene there would be: which was what took place the next afternoon.20

When I got home, I found a slip of paper addressed to me, with a brief note: If you want to meet Richard Wagner, then come to the Café Théâtre around 3:45. Windisch.21

This news scrambled my brain somewhat, so that — forgive me! — I forgot all about the scene itself and was in a bit of a daze.

 


"Richard Wagner."
From a b/w reproduction of a painting by:
Reinhart von Seydlitz.
In: Parsifal. Halbmonatsschrift zum Zwecke der Erreichung der Richard Wagner'schen Kunst-Ideale. Vienna, 1884, Nr. 7: 5.
Colorized and enhanced image ©The Nietzsche Channel.

I ran there, of course, and found our honorable friend, who gave me more information. Wagner was in Leipzig with his relatives, strictly incognito; the press had gotten no wind of it, and all of Brockhaus'22 servants were silent as tombstones in livery. Now Wagner's sister, Prof. Brockhaus' wife, that manifestly intelligent woman, had also introduced her brother to her good friend Ritschelin:23 in the course of which she was proud to show her brother off to her friend and her friend off to her brother, the lucky creature! Wagner, in the presence of Frau Ritschl, plays the Meisterlied,24 which you know too: and the good woman tells him that this song is already well known to her, mea opera.25 To Wagner's joy and amazement: proclaims his supreme will to meet me incognito. I am to be invited for Friday evening: but Windisch explains that I will be prevented by functions, duties, obligations; therefore they suggest Saturday. So Windisch and I ran back there, found the professor's family, but no Richard, who had gone out with a huge hat on his great head. So here I met the admirable family in question and received a kind invitation for Sunday evening.

My mood at this time was really like something out of a novel; admit it, the prelude to this acquaintance, considering how unapproachable this eccentric man is, somewhat borders on the realm of a fairy tale.

Believing that a large group of people had been invited, I decided to dress very sharply and was glad that my tailor had promised me a new tuxedo for Sunday. It was a terrible day of rain and snow, one shuddered at going outside, and so I was glad that little Roscher26 visited me in the afternoon, telling me some things about the Eleatics and about God in philosophy — for, as candidandus,27 he is treating the topic set by Ahrens,28 "The Development of the Concept of God up to Aristotle," while Romundt is trying to tackle the university prize-essay topic, "On the Will." — It was dusk, the tailor had not come, and Roscher was leaving. I went along with him, visited the tailor in person and found his slaves hard at work on my suit: they promised to send it in ¾ of an hour. I left content with matters, slipped into Kintschy's,29 read the Kladderadatsch30 and found to my pleasure a notice in the press that Wagner was in Switzerland but that they were building a beautiful house for him in Munich: while I knew I would see him that evening and that the day before a letter from the little monarch31 had arrived for him, addr[essed]: "To the great German tone-poet Richard Wagner."

At home, though, I found no tailor, read at a leisurely pace the dissertation on the Eudocia and was disturbed from time to time by a shrill but distant ringing. Finally I thought for sure that someone was waiting at the old-fashioned iron gate: it was locked, as was the front door. I shouted across the garden to the man that he should go to the Naundörfchen:32 impossible for him to hear me due to the splattering rain. The whole house was astir; finally the gate was opened, and a little old man with a package came up to my room. It was half-past six; time to dress and get ready, for I live very far away. All right, the man has my things, I try them on, they fit. Events take an ominous turn! He presents the bill. I take it politely: he wants to be paid on receipt of the goods. I am amazed, explaining to him that I will have nothing to do with him, being merely an employee of my tailor, but will only deal with the tailor himself, to whom I gave the order. The man becomes more insistent, time becomes more pressing; I grab the things and begin to put them on, the man grabs the things and stops me from putting them on: force on my part, force on his part! Scene. I am fighting in my shirt, for I wish to put on the new trousers.

At last, time for dignity, solemn threats, cursing my tailor and his helper's helper, swearing revenge: meanwhile, the little man makes off with my clothes. End of the 2nd act: I brood on the sofa in my shirt and consider a black coat, whether it is good enough for Richard.

— Outside the rain is pouring. —

A quarter to eight: I had arranged to meet Windisch in the Café Théâtre at half past seven. I storm out into the gloomy rainy night, also a little man in black, without a tuxedo, but in an enhanced novelistic mood: fortune is propitious, even the tailor scene has something monstrously extraordinary about it.

We arrive at the very comfortable Brockhaus drawing room: no one was there other than the immediate family, Richard and the two of us. I am introduced to Richard and say a few words of admiration to him: he inquired exactly how I became familiar with his music, grumbles terribly about all performances of his operas, with the exception of the famous Munich ones33 and pokes fun at the conductors, who appeal to their orchestras in a congenial tone of voice: "Gentlemen, now make it more passionate," "My good fellows, still a bit more passion!" W[agner] likes to imitate the Leipzig dialect. —

Now I will tell you in brief what this evening offered us, truly delights of such a piquant nature that even now I am not my old self, but can just do nothing better than talk to you, my dear friend, and tell you "wondrous tales." Before and after dinner Wagner in fact played all the important passages from the Meistersinger, while imitating every voice and doing so very exuberantly. Indeed, he is a fabulously lively and fiery man who speaks very quickly, is very witty and makes this very private party quite cheerful. Meanwhile, I had a long conversation with him about Schopenhauer:34 oh, and you will understand what a pleasure it was for me to hear him speak about him with such indescribable warmth, what he owed him, how he was the only philosopher who understood the essence of music: then he asked how professors were presently disposed toward him, laughed heartily about the philosophy congress at Prague35 and spoke "of the philosophical footmen." Afterwards he read a part of his biography, which he is now writing, a very delightful scene from his student days in Leipzig, which I cannot even think about now without laughing; incidentally, he writes with extraordinary fluency and wit. — Finally, when we [i.e., Windisch and Nietzsche] were both preparing to leave, he pressed my hand warmly and kindly invited me to visit him, so that we could make music and do philosophy; he also entrusted me to familiarize his sister and his relatives with his music: which I have now solemnly accepted. — You shall hear more when I can see this evening more objectively and from a distance. For now, a hearty farewell and best wishes for your health.

F. N.

Res severa! Res severa! Res severa!

My dear friend, I beg you to write directly to Dr. Klette in Bonn (without further formalities and reasons) and ask to have the manuscript back.36 At least I would do so.

Ritschlian tactlessness is too much; and in the conversation that took place it came out clearly: so that I spoke to him somewhat coldly, which gave him quite a shock.

Mind you, it's true that the Rhein[isches] Mus[eum] is now overwhelmed [with submissions]: and that this year's last issue will attest to you that fact, in that it runs 4 sheets over the usual number of pages.

That I am personally still very angry about the matter is obvious. Yet it was I who, with the best intention and friendliest opinion, suggested to you to entrust your m[anu]scr[i]pt to the Rhein[isches] Mus[eum]; with this I thought I was doing something quite nice. It bothers me especially when I remember what was the original purpose of the fine essay.

If you want to exact vengeance, then send the work to Hermes; but I do not favor such vengeance. Under these circumstances, Philologus is out of the question; and it's the same with Fleckeisen's J[ahr]b[üc]h[er]37 as with the Rhein[isches] Mus[eum].

So dear friend, a publisher should be found (and if I may advise you, publish the at the same time, according to the codices you accept). Of course you'll prefer looking for a publisher in your Hamburg: otherwise trust that I will look zealously for a generous bookseller, if you ask me to do so.38

In any case, the matter must be done quickly, indeed the 3-4 sheet thick short work must be printed within a month. —

If you're not in any hurry, then perhaps the two of us can arrange a little plan: we can produce a book together, called "Contributions to the History of Greek Literature" in which we combine several longer essays (by me, e.g., on Democritus' writings, on the Homeric-Hesiodic ,39 on the cynic Menippus) and also add a number of shorter pieces.

What do you think about this?

In most loyal friendship and
sympathy in rebus secundis
et adversis
the Leipzig Eidylliker.40

1. "Serious thing." Res severa est verum gaudium (True joy is a serious thing) is the motto over the entrance to the Leipzig Gewandhaus, home of the Gewandhaus civic orchestra, at the time led by Carl Reinecke. The saying comes from Seneca, Epistles: xxiii.
2. See Rohde's 11-05-1868 letter to Nietzsche.
3. Heinrich Romundt (1845-1919): their friend and classmate at the University of Leipzig.
4. Cf. Nietzsche's 10-27-1868 letter to Erwin Rohde: "Heute Abend war ich in der Euterpe, die ihre Winterconzerte begann und mich sowohl mit der Einleitung zu Tristan und Isolde, als auch mit der Ouvertüre zu den Meistersingern erquickte. Ich bringe es nicht übers Herz, mich dieser Musik gegenüber kritisch kühl zu verhalten; jede Faser, jeder Nerv zuckt an mir, und ich habe lange nicht ein solches andauerndes Gefühl der Entrücktheit gehabt als bei letztgenannter Ouvertüre. Sonst ist mein Abonnementsplatz umlagert von kritischen Geistern: unmittelbar vor mir sitzt Bernsdorf, jenes signalisirte Scheusal, links neben mir Dr. Paul, jetzt Tageblattheld, 2 Plätze rechts mein Freund Stade, der für die Brendelsche Musikzeitung kritische Gefühle produzirt: es ist eine scharfe Ecke: und wenn wir Vier einmüthig mit dem Kopfe schütteln, so bedeutet es ein Unglück." (Tonight I was at the Euterpe [A musical society in Leipzig.], which started its winter concerts and refreshed myself with both the introduction to Tristan and Isolde, as well as with the overture to Die Meistersinger. I do not have the heart to respond to this music with critical coolness; every fiber, every nerve in me quivers and I have not had such a lasting feeling of rapture than during the last-named overture. Apart from that, my subscription seat is surrounded by critical minds: Bernsdorf [Eduard Bernsdorf (1825-1901): chief music critic of Signale für die musikalische Welt.] sits directly in front of me, that Signal monster; on my left, Dr. Paul [Oskar Paul (1836-1898): at the time, music critic of the Leipziger Tagblatt.], current hero of the Tagblatt; 2 seats right, my friend Stade [Friedrich Stade (1844-1928).], who produces critical sentiments for the Brendelian music journal [Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, edited by K. F. Brendel.]: this is a sharp corner, and if we four shake our heads in unison, then it signifies a disaster.) See Signale für die musikalische Welt. Vol. 26 (1868): 958 for the concert program, and 973 for Bernsdorf's review.
5. Heinrich Laube (1806-1884): German writer and playwright who became the director of the city theater in February 1869. Graf Essex was written in 1856.
6. "Glaukidion" (little owl). A nickname for the actress Susanne Klemm. Her popular carte de visite photos were taken by the Leipzig photographer and engraver, C. August Alexander Eulenstein. "Owl" in German is "Eule."
7. Georg Curtius (1820-1885): German philologist at Leipzig since 1862. Curtius' letter is lost. See the entry for Curtius in Nietzsche's Library.
8. Georg Curtius' wife Amalie (née Reichhelm).
9. Friedrich Karl Theodor Zarncke (1825-1891): German philologist at Leipzig and editor of the philological journal Literarisches Centralblatt für Deutschland.
10. Adolf Torstrik (1821-1877): German philologist who specialized in Aristotle.
11. Max Heinze (1835-1909): Nietzsche's former teacher and tutor at Pforta, who in 1875 became professor of philosophy at Leipzig.
12. See Nietzsche's review, "Anacreontis Teii quae vocantur 'Symposiaka hemiambia.' Ex Anthologiae Palatinae vol. II nunc Parisiensi post Henricum Stephanum et Josephum Spalletti tertium edita a Valentino Rose. Leipzig: Teubner, 1868." [Fragments of Anacreon called "Symposiaka hemiambia." Based on vol. II of the Palatine Anthology now in Paris of Henricus Stephanus and Giuseppe Spalletti, edited by Valentin Rose.] In: Literarisches Centralblatt für Deutschland, Nr. 45, October 31, 1868: 1224f.
13. Nietzsche's namesake refers to Richard Nitzsche (1843-). See Nietzsche's review, "Richard Nitzsche, Quaestionum Eudocianarum capita quatuor. Leipziger Doctordissertation: Altenburg, 1868." [Richard Nitzsche, Eudocian Investigations in Four Chapters.] In: Literarisches Centralblatt für Deutschland, Nr. 48, November 21, 1868: 1309. The work is on Aelia Eudocia (?-460), consort of the Roman emperor Theodosius the Younger, and author of Homeric centos.
14. See Rohde's 11-05-1868 letter to Nietzsche, in which he expresses the depressing sentiment that the work by Friedrich Ernst Knauth, under the auspices of Friedrich Ritschl, (see above) had called into question, if not completely vitiated, his own.
15. Café Zaspel, a restaurant in Leipzig located at Klostergasse 12, where the philological club held its meetings.
16. Marcus Terentius Reatinus Varro (116-27): Roman satirist and author of Saturarum Menippearum [Menippean Satires]. See the entry for Varro in Nietzsche's Library.
17. "kala lian" (very good): alluding to the Greek saying from Genesis 1:31, "panta kala lian" (everything [was] very good), cited with derision by Schopenhauer. Cf. Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena. Kleine philosophische Schriften. Bd. 1. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 5. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1874: 207. (In English: Parerga and Paralipomena. Short Philosophical Essays. Translated by E. F. J. Payne. Volume 1. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974: 192.) Bd. 2. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 6. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1874: 322. (In English: Volume 2. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974: 301.) Also, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. Zweiter Band, welcher die Ergänzungen zu den vier Büchern des ersten Bandes enthält. In: Arthur Schopenhauer's sämmtliche Werke. Hrsg. von Julius Frauenstädt. Bd. 3. Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1873: 716. (In English: The World as Will and Representation. Translated by E. F. J. Payne. Volume 2. New York: Dover, 1966: 623.) See the entry for Schopenhauer in Nietzsche's Library.
18. The dispensation of a doctorate would eventually be granted to Nietzsche, due to his published writings and subsequent appointment to Basel.
19. "genos spoudegeloion" (kind of philosophical farce), i.e., the Menippean one.
20. See 14.
21. Ernst Wilhelm Oskar Windisch (1844-1918): their friend and classmate at Leipzig. See his entry in Nietzsche's Library.
22. Ottilie Brockhaus, wife of Professor Hermann Brockhaus, was Richard Wagner's sister.
23. Sophie Ritschl (1820-?): wife of Nietzsche's philology professor, Friedrich Ritschl.
24. From Wagner's opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
25. "my own doing."
26. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1845-1923): their friend and classmate at the University of Leipzig.
27. A doctoral candidate.
28. Heinrich Ahrens (1808-1874): from 1859 on, professor of law and political science at Leipzig.
29. A popular café in Leipzig.
30. A popular satirical paper. Read the 11-08-1868 issue.
31. Wagner's patron, Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886).
32. A street located behind Nietzsche's residence.
33. Tristan und Isolde (June 1865), Die Meistersinger (June 1868).
34. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860): German philosopher. See the entry for Schopenhauer in Nietzsche's Library.
35. Held in Prague from September 26 to October 4, 1868.
36. The philological journal, Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, was co-edited by Friedrich Ritschl and Anton Klette.
37. The philological journals Hermes, Philologus and the Jahrbücher für classische Philologie, edited by Alfred Fleckeisen.
38. Rohde's work on Lucian was eventually published by William Engelmann in 1869.
39. "agon" (contest).
40. "in rebus secundis et adversis" (in good times and bad). "Eidylliker" seems to be a combination of "eidolon" and "idyllic": the "eidolon" photo of Susanne Klemm, and his idyllic time spent together with Rohde as students in Leipzig. About those days spent together, Nietzsche wrote: " ... I now think of that entire time with great pleaure and often recall the image of those cheerful evenings in the clubhouse or those peaceful hours on a charming bend of the Pleisse, which as artists we both enjoyed together, momentarily released from the impulses of the restless will to life and dedicated to pure contemplation." See Nietzsche's autobiographical work, "Retrospect on My Two Years at Leipzig." In: Nietzsche's Writings as a Student, 136.

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