1883

January through late February: Rapallo

FN's tendency to swing between states of depression and high spirits illustrated at the outset of 1883: having concluded 1882 with severe depression, FN, enthused by several weeks of good health, completes a clean copy of the first part of Zarathustra.

Malwida von Meysenbug invites FN to Rome, hoping to reconcile him with his sister. FN remains in Rapallo, completing the final transcription of his new work.

Richard Wagner dies on February 13. FN writes a letter of condolence to Cosima. In a letter to Malwida, first mention by FN of a "fatal insult" done to him by Wagner; it is unclear just what incident FN means (cf. Janz, vol. 2, p. 173ff.). In the same letter, FN writes of Wagner: "Es war hart, sehr hart, sechs Jahre lang Jemandem Gegner sein zu müssen, den man so verehrt und geliebt hat, wie ich Wagner geliebt habe" [It was hard, very hard, for six years to have to be the opponent of someone one has honored and loved as I have loved Wagner].

Late February through early May: Genoa

After considerable delays, the typesetting of Zarathustra commences. Köselitz, having begun correcting the page proofs, writes characteristically to FN: "Diesem Buch ist die Verbreitung der Bibel zu wünschen, ihr kanonisches Ansehen, ihr Commentarengefolge..." [For this book a dissemination equal to the bible is to be wished, its canonical prestige, its succession of commentaries] This uncritical devotion to and santification of FN's writings is to play an unfortunate role during the 1890's and 1900's.

FN in a cheerful frame of mind; weather and health agreeable. Renews correspondence with his mother and sister in Naumburg.

May through mid-June: Rome

The book Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen [Thus Spoke Zarathustra. A Book for All and for None] finally is published. FN sends copies to Jacob Burckhardt, Karl Hillebrand and Gottfried Keller.

Meets Elisabeth in Rome; reconciliation. Janz characterizes this reconciliation as "superficial." Elisabeth writes to her mother: "Es ist reiner Unsinn Alles so schwer aufzufassen und einfache Dinge zu übetreiben ... Was für eine Albernheit die Geschichte so tragisch aufzunehmen, nie mache ich es wieder!" [It is pure nonsense to take everything so earnestly and to exaggerate simple things... What a silliness to interpret the business so tragically, I'll never do it again]. The "business" is the Lou affair, and Elisabeth has only just begun a lifelong campaign against her.

Mid-June to early September: Sils-Maria

Second residency in Sils-Maria. In the first half of July, FN completes the second part of Zarathustra.

Spurred on by Elisabeth's revelations, FN writes a set of harshly worded letters against Lou and Paul Rée. Rée's relations, at one point, threaten legal action against him.

August 22-25: Overbeck visit FN in Sils-Maria.

Title page, first part of Zarathustra

The title page for the first edition of the first book of Also sprach Zarathustra.

In late August, after much delay, Schmeitzner issues the first part of Also Sprach Zarathustra. He prints one thousand copies, as is usual. They sell for 3 marks 30. Complimentary copies are sent to Overbeck, Rohde, Burckhardt, Marie Baumgartner, Hans von Bülow, Heinrich von Stein, and Gottfried Keller (among others). In 1886, Fritzsch will acquire 915 unsold copies from Schmeitzner. [Chronik, p. 566]

FN attempts to gain permission to hold lectures at the university in Leipzig. The rector indicates that FN has no chance of obtaining such permission, given FN's positions on Christianity.

September to early October: Naumburg

During this four week stay in Naumburg, Elisabeth announces her engagement to the antisemitic activist Bernhard Förster. Förster lost a teaching position in the late 1870s due to an altercation with a Jew in Berlin. During the early 1880's, Förster travled in South America, seeking a site for a German colony.

October 5: Overbeck meets with FN in Frankfurt.

October to November: Basel, Genua, La Spezia

October 7-9: On this way to Genua, FN visits the Overbecks in Basel.

FN arrives in Genua to find his usual residence rented until October 15. Travels to La Spezia to meet Malwida; he fails to find her there, and then returns to Genua.

Possibly as a reaction to the relatively good health and spirits of the summer, FN's health declines. Dissatisfied with the weather in Genua, FN leaves it for the last time. Travels to Nice, which will become his winter residence for the next four years.

Late November and December: Villafranca, Nice

Acquaintance with Joseph Paneth, a scholar from Vienna who is a close friend of S. Freud. Health still poor; to Overbeck on December 26: "Krank, krank, krank!" [Ill, ill, ill!]

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