1877

January through June: Sorrent, Bad Ragaz

Each member of the group settles down to serious work: Rée completes work on his book Ursprung der moralischen Empfindungen [Origin of Moral Feelings]; Albert Brenner works on a novella, and Malwida von Meysenbug works on a novel. One additional project: there is much discussion about Nietzsche and whom he should marry. Marriage is seen as the way to alleviate FN's condition; even a local doctor by the name of Schön, who diagnoses FN's eye condition, recommends marriage.

May 20-21: Overbeck visits FN in Ragaz.

The extensive communal readings; some of the authors are Voltaire, Diderot, Burckhardt, Ranke, Thukydides, Herodot, Calderon, Cervantes, Michelet, Turgenev, Renan, the Bible.

The intellectual retreat concludes for FN with a cure in Ragaz.

June through August: Rosenlauibad

In a letter to Rée, FN claims to have taken only three books: Rée's recent book, completed in Sorrent; Plato's Laws, and Mark Twain.

FN contemplates resigning his professorship; Rohde seeks to dissuade him.

Interesting remark by FN to Paul Deussen upon being sent the latter's book Die Elemente der Metaphysik [The Elements of Metaphysics]:

"Dein Buch dient mir als eine glückliche Ansammlung alles dessen, was ich nicht mehr für wahr halte. Das ist traurig! ... Schon als ich meine kleine Schrift über Schopenhauer schrieb, hielt ich von allen dogmatischen Puncten fast nichts mehr fest; glaube aber jetzt noch wie damals, dass es einstweilen höchst wesentlich ist, durch Schopenhauer hindurch zu gehen und ihn als Erzieher zu benutzen. Nur glaube ich nicht mehr, dass er zur Schopenhauerschen Philosophie erziehen soll" [Your book serves me as a fortunate collection of all that I no longer consider true. That's sad! ... Even as I completed my short work on Schopenhauer I no longer held onto all dogmatic points; I believe now as then, however, that it is at some point essential to work through Schopenhauer and use him as an educator. It's only that I no longer believe that he should educate one to Schopenhauer's philosophy]

September through December: Basel

13-19 September: FN visits Franz and Ida Overbeck at the house of Ida's mother (Louise Rothpletz) in Zürich.

Courses FN conducts for the winter semester 1877/1878: Greek religious antiquities; seminar: Aeschlylos, Choephoren.

On 5 October, FN travels to Frankfurt, where he undergoes a thorough medical examination by Dr. Otto Eiser and ophthamologist Dr. Krüger. They detect damage to the nerves in the eyes and recommend the "absolute avoidance of reading and writing for many years."

Köselitz works on the transcription of FN's notes from Sorrent. FN writes Schmeitzner in December, offering him the new work.

Warm expressions of congratulations on FN's birthday (October 15), including a group from Vienna (Siegfried Lipiner, Max Gruber, Victor Adler, Sigmund Adler, Heinrich Braun, E. Pernerstorfer, Seraphin Bondi).

G. Croom Robertson, from London, reports that Wundt mentions the Betrachtungen [Meditations] in his overview of philosophy in Germany.

Jump to top