1874

January 5 through mid-July: Basel

Overbeck travels for the first time to Bayreuth. FN, however, returns to Basel without joining Overbeck in Bayreuth as planned. Financial concerns continue to plague the Bayreuth enterprise; the Bavarian secretary refuses to provide financial guarantees for the project. In March, the king of Bavaria then comes to the rescue with a grant of 100,000 Thaler.

Title page of the second untimely meditation

Nietzsche's second meditation is philosophically the most important of the four

On 22 February there appears: Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen. Zweites Stück: Vom Nutzen und Nachtheil der Historie für das Leben [Untimely Meditation. Second Part: Of the Use and Disadvantage of History for Life]. Gersdorff again prepared the manuscript and FN and Rohde conducted the correction of the proofs. The printing was done by the firm C. G. Naumann in Leipzig and the publisher Fritzsch arranged for a print run of one thousand copies. On October 18, 1874, Schmeitzner will purchase the remaining 778 copies, pasting over Fritzsch's publication information with his own. In 1886, Fritzsch will buy back the remaining 351 copies. In 1892 a second edition is printed, again with a print run of one thousand. This time, however, sales are energetic: all but 55 copies of this second edition are sold in a year's time.

Initial warm reception of the work in Bayreuth; but later Wagner's comment: "Sie ist aber noch sehr unreif, alle Anschaulichkeit fehlt ihr, weil er niemals Beispiele aus der Geschichte gibt und doch viele Wiederholungen und keine eigentliche Einteilung hat. Diese Schrift ist zu schnell erschienen. Ich weiß niemanden, dem ich sie zur Lektüre geben könnte, weil ihm kein Mensch folgen kann. Die Grundidee hat Schopenhauer schon ausgesprochen." [It (FN's book) is still very immature, it lacks intuitive appeal because it provides no examples from history and yet has many repetitions and no real divisionary structure. This work has appeared prematurely. I don't know of anyone I would recommend it to because nobody can follow it. Schopenhauer has already articulated the fundamental idea]. Vague reaction by Jacob Burkhardt [cf. KGB II, 4, Nr. 512].

FN continued to be plagued by ill health. Wagner holds that marriage is the key to FN's recovery. To Gersdorff FN writes: "Wirklich himmlisch ist der Gedanke, Dich und die Bayreuther in einer Heiraths-Überlegungs-Commission zusammen sitzend zu denken!" [Quite wonderful is the thought that you and those in Bayreuth are thinking of seating a marriage-consideration commission!]

In March there also appears the second edition of Geburt der Tragödie. Printed again by Naumann with a print run of 750 copies. Because of financial difficulties, Fritzsch delays the binding. Sales of the second edition do not really begin until 1875, under Schmeitzner's direction. In 1886 Fritzsch will repurchase the remaining 576 copies of this second edition. In October 1893 there are only 80 copies remaining of the first two editions; a third edition appears in 1894.

Work begins on the third meditation, completing the initial draft on May 8. March 20: end of the winter semester.

FN declines to write a second fund raising publication for Bayreuth entitled "Aufruf an die deutschen Frauen" [Call to German Women].

On April 5, FN completes his musical composition Hymnus an die Freundschaft, for piano four hands.

The summer semester commences in late April. Courses: lecture: Darstellung der antiken Rhetorik [apparently cancelled]; lecture: Aischylos, Choephoren [3 students, 1 auditor]; seminar: Sappho [cancelled due to lack of participants]; Pädagogium: Greek prose, Plato, Aristotle and grammar, infinitives and participles.

From May 24 to the end of the month, takes a short vacation at the Rhine waterfalls near Neuhausen.

10 July: a meeting of the general faculty considers the question of the admission of women to doctoral programs. Although the faculty decides against admission by a vote of 6 to 4, one of the faculty voting in favor of admission is FN (Jakob Burckhardt votes against it). He and the three others request explicitly that their advocacy be recorded in the official record.

On 9 June FN hears for the first time a piece by Brahms, the Triumphlied [Triumph Song]. FN is so taken with it that on 12 July later he travels with Romundt to Zürich to hear it again. Conducting is Friedrich Hegar; also performed in Beethoven's Ninth.

July 17 to August 2: Bergün

Ernst Schmeitzner, a young businessman in Chemnitz, offers to become FN's publisher. Given the financial problems besetting Fritzsch (who has been unable to pay FN the honoraria for his last two books), FN accepts, mentioning the coming work on Schopenhauer. Staying at the Hotel Piz Aëla, FN works a great deal on the Schopenhauer book.

FN meets Bertha Rohr and mentions in a letter to Elisabeth that he has "almost decided" to propose to her.

First half of August: Bayreuth

Travels leisurely from Bergün to Bayreuth, leaving August 2 and arriving August 5. FN arrives in Bayreuth ill and takes to bed in a hotel. Wagner brings him to his house and FN feels much better on the following day.

The altercation concerning the Triumphlied occurs. FN brings the score and recommends it. Wagner, however, laughs at the idea of constructing a piece of music around the idea of justice and thinks the piece is quite inadequate. Cosima notes in her diary on August 8: "Nachmittags spielen wir das Triumphlied von Brahms, großer Schrecken über die Dürftigkeit dieser uns selbst von Freund Nietzsche gerühmten Komposition..." [During the afternoon we play the Triumph Song by Brahms, great horror at the inadequacy of it even though friend Nietzsche praises it]. Additional remarks by FN annoy Wagner, such as the notion of the superiority of Latin over German. In all, a clear indication that FN is unable to "toe the line" as Wagner expects.

August 14: Overbeck visits the publisher Ernst Schmeitzner in Chemnitz. Schmeitzner declares that he is eager to publish Overbeck's and Nietzsche's writings.

FN leaves Bayreuth on August 14. Cosima notes: "...entfernte sich Professor Nietzsche, nachdem er Richard manche schwere Stunden verursacht." On the way back, one of FN's bags is stolen, containing his copy of Emerson and personally autographed copy of Wagner's Ring des Niebelungen.

Mid-August through December 22: Basel

Title page of the third untimely meditation

The third meditation paid homage to the honesty, rigor, and independence of Schopenhauer's approach

Schmeitzner receives the final manuscript for the third meditation in late August. The type is set and the correction of the page proofs is speedily accomplished. In mid-October there follows the publication of: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen. Drittes Stück: Schopenhauer als Erzieher [Untimely Meditations. Part Three: Schopenhauer as Educator]. Once again Naumann in Leipzig does the printing, and the print run is one thousand copies. Copies are sent to Wagner, Malwida von Meysenbug, Gustav Krug, Marie Baumgartner, Emma Guerrieri-Gonzaga, Rohde, and Gersdorff. On August 5, 1886, the remaining 350 copies are sold to Fritzsch. The second edition is published in October 1892.

The new publication well received in Bayreuth. Enthused letter from Wagner; Cosima writes "Diess ist meine Unzeitgemässe" [This is my untimely one].

From the end of August to the middle of September, Rohde visits FN and Overbeck in Basel.

Course work for winter semester 1874/1875, which begins on Monday, November 2nd. Lecture: History of Greek Literature, part one [6 students]; lecture: Aristotle, Rhetoric [two students, both majoring in theology]; seminar: Sophocles, Oedipus Rex [2 participants].

Reading: renewed study of Spir's Denken und Wirklichkeit [Thought and Reality].

Late December: Naumburg

FN spends a relaxing holiday with his mother and sister in Naumburg. Takes the opportunity to review his musical compositions. He meets the new spouses of his boyhood friends Wilhelm Pindar and Gustav Krug.

Having worked on it off and on in 1872 and 1873, FN completes his short work Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen [Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks]. He will add a second preface in 1879. Adolf Baumgartner, son of Marie Baumgartner (1831-1897), prepares a clean draft manuscript. The manuscript contains numerous corrections by Heinrich Köselitz, quite probably done at a much later date. The work is never published during FN's sane lifetime.

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