January 1 through February 15: Basel
January 18: German empire declared and Wilhelm I crowned Kaiser; January 28: Paris surrenders.
FN's professional restlessness continues. He applies for Teichmüller's professorship in philosophy and recommends his friend Erwin Rohde as the successor for his chair of philology; both fail. FN's affinity for philosophy grows stronger; in a letter he notes of himself: "Von Natur auf das Stärkste dazu gedrängt, etwas Einheitliches philosophisch durchzudenken." [By nature pressed in the strongest way to think through something philosophically in its entirety. (KSB 3 #118)]
FN complains of various physical aliments. In early February, for medical reasons, FN obtains leave for the remainder of the semester.
Mid-February through early April: Lugano
In an effort to restore his health, FN travels with his sister Elisabeth to Lugano, where he spends six weeks. On the way to Lugano, they accidentally make the acquaintance of Giuseppe Mazzini, the Italian patriot. They stay in the Hotel du Parc, where they meet the family von Moltke.
During this time, FN continues to work on his manuscript concerning Greek tragedy. He thoroughly reworks his earlier drafts (from January) and gives his new draft the title Ursprung und Ziel der Tragödie [Origin and Goal of Tragedy]. On February 22--Schopenhauer's birthday--he composes the preface to Richard Wagner. Of his work he writes in a letter: "Von der Philologie lebe ich in einer übermüthigen Entfremdung, die sich schlimmer gar nicht denken läßt... so lebe ich mich allmählich in mein Philosophenthum hinein und glaube bereits an mich..." [I live in a wanton alienation from philology in a way that couldn't possibly be worse... I'm gradually settling into my philosophy-dom and believe in myself already. (KSB 3 #130)]
In late March FN has his picture taken (GSA 101/21), in which he stands with arms crossed and with a bowler hat. Apparently he sends it to Tribschen, as Cosima remarks in a letter to him on April 2: "Soll ich zum Schluß sagen, daß ich mit Ihrer Photographie nicht zufrieden bin? Warum haben Sie sich denn den Hut und die trotzige Haltung, die ich an Ihnen nie gesehen, aufnötigen lassen?" [Let me say in closing that I am not satisfied with your photograph? Why was it necessary to include the hat and the defiant posture, which is very much unlike you? (KGB II 2, #175)]
April 3-8: Tribschen
FN reads from the manuscript that will become Geburt der Tragödie [Birth of Tragedy]; well received by Richard and Cosima Wagner.
April 10 through mid-July: Basel
On April 26 FN sends his manuscript bearing the title Musik und Tragödie [Music and Tragedy] the publisher Engelmann in Leipzig. Engelmann declines to publish the book.
Wagner conducts a long lecture tour through Germany and announces the initial Festspiele to take place in Bayreuth in 1873 (delayed however until 1876). In Berlin on December 12 he gives his lecture Bestimmung der Oper [Vocation of opera] and is received by Bismarck. At the end of the tour, on May 15, Wagner visits FN in Basel. FN visits Wagner in Tribschen on May 22 and announces his intention of establishing a journal in two years' time. He visits Tribschen again, with his sister Elisabeth, May 28-29. [Chronik, p. 242]
The summer semester begins in late April. Courses: lecture, introduction to the study of classical philology (9 students); lecture: Quintilian, Book I (not held, no students); seminar: Hesiod, Erga (9 participants); Pädagogium: the chief forms of poetry, using works by Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylos.
FN arranges the private printing of his manuscript Sokrates und die griechische Tragoedie [Socrates and Greek Tragedy]. Thirty copies are made by the printer G. A. Bonfantini and are ready on June 17. With respect to this version Romundt writes FN on July 14 that the essay has created a "great sensation" in Leipzig. Yet, Romundt adds: "...aber alle, die sie kennen, auch Ritschls, wünschen eine deutlichere ausführlichere Entwickelung der Begriffe des Apollinischen und Dionysischen..." [yet everyone who's read it, even the Ritschls, want a clearer, more complete development of the concepts Apollinian and Dionysian (KGB II 2, 203)]
July 15-29: Gimmelwald
Travels with Gersdorff and Elisabeth to the mountains.
July 30 to August 3: Tribschen
Carl von Gersdorff, FN, and Brockhaus spend three days visiting Richard and Cosima Wagner. Gersdorff, who spent most of the war at the front, tells of his experiences.
Cosima astutely notes of FN in her diary: "... [FN] sicher der begabteste unsrer jungen Freunde, doch in vielem recht unerfreulich durch eine nicht ganz natürliche Zurückhaltung seines Benehmens. Es ist gleichsam, als ob er sich gegen den überwältigenden Eindruck von Wagner's Persönlichkeit wehrte." [certainly the most talented of our young friends, often however rather morose because of a somewhat unnatural reservation of his behavior. It is as if he is protecting himself from the overpowering impression of Wagner's personality].
August 4 to September 25: Basel
Heinrich Romundt, on his way to Nice, visits FN in Basel. FN complains in a letter to his mother about his health.
September 28 through October 21: Naumburg
On September 25, FN boards a train to Frankfurt, where he makes a rendezvous with his sister. They then travel together to Naumburg.
October 12-14: FN travels to Leipzig for meetings with Rohde, Gersdorff, Ritschl, Brockhaus, Windisch; one result is a photograph of FN, Gersdorff, and Rohde (GSA 101/41). Perhaps the most important meeting is with E. W. Fritzsch, publisher of Wagner's works. FN gives him the incomplete manuscript of the Birth of Tragedy. Fritzsch formally agrees to publish the book on November 16. FN sends the remaining parts of the manuscript on December 12.
October 15: birthday celebration with Rohde, Gersdorff, G. Krug, W. Pindar in Naumburg.
October 21: visit by Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Möllendorff, who will later attack the book Geburt der Tragödie with a monograph entitled Zukunftsphilologie! [Philology of the Future!].
October 21 through December: Basel
Quick visit to Tribschen, October 27-28.
The vignette for the title page of the forthcoming Geburt.
In late November, FN sends Fritzsch an illustration of Prometheus, which will eventually appear on the title page of Geburt der Tragödie. He writes Fritzsch: "...hier empfangen Sie für unsere Schrift eine Titelvignette, welche ein trefflicher Künstler gearbeitet und mir heute zugeschickt hat. Es ist der von seine Fesseln befreite Prometheus...Es is ein kleines Meisterstück und sagt auf einfache Weise Vieles und Ernstes." [with this you will find a vignette for our book, which a distinguished artist made and sent to me today. It is Prometheus freed from his chains... It is a small masterpiece and says in a simple way much that is serious. [KSB 3 #171] The artist, Leopold Rau, is a friend of Gersdorff's living in Berlin. FN requests that Fritzsch arrange to have a woodcut made so that it can appear on the title page in the forthcoming book. Fritzsch attempts to comply, but the first attempt is such a failure that FN urges Fritzsch try it again with a different woodcutter. The second attempt is more successful, and Prometheus does indeed appear on the title page of FN's book.
On November 16, FN concludes work on a small musical parody (a chorus of lazy theology students), written for Overbeck on the occasion of his birthday.
On December 16, Wagner arrives in Mannheim to conduct a concert to benefit the Bayreuth Festspiele. Cosima Wagner leaves Tribschen on the same day, but travels first to Basel to meet FN and Hermann Brockhaus. She departs for Mannheim on Sunday, December 17. FN suddenly decides to go to Mannheim as well; as Cosima puts it, FN is "förmlich von Basel fortgelaufen." [all but abandoned Basel] For the next four days (December 18-21) FN plays "cavalier" (so C. P. Janz) to Cosima. This arrangement is an indication of how close FN was to the Wagners at this time.
Christmas: correction of the galleys to Geburt der Tragödie completed; work on the lectures Über die Zukunft unserer Bildungsanstalten [On the Future of our Educational Institutions.]
Remains in Basel for Christmas despite the warm invitations from the Wagners. Sends Cosima a musical composition, "Nachklang einer Sylvesternacht" [Echo of a New Year's Eve], written for piano for four hands, as a Christmas present. Both Richard and Cosima Wagner react to the composition with some amusement.