1884

January through April 20: Nice

Title page, first part of Zarathustra

The second part of Also sprach Zarathustra appeared at the very beginning of 1884.

The second part of Also sprach Zarathustra, written during the summer of 1883, is published. Like the first part, fewer than ten percent of the printed copies are sold; Fritzsch will acquire 907 copies in 1886. [Chronik, p. 574].

With Joseph Paneth, continued intensive conversations on a variety of issues. Paneth returns to Vienna on 26 March; thereafter FN and Paneth exchange infrequent letters. Paneth married Sophie Schwab; in 1887 they had a son whom they named Friedrich. Paneth became Privatdozent for physiology at the university in Vienna, but died young of tuberculosis in 1890. One of N's most significant personal interactions at this time.

Acquaintance with Resa von Schirnhofer (1855-1948). Resa was born in Krems, Austria, and came to Zurich in 1882 to undertake a course of study, as the Swiss university system permitted female students. She met Meta von Salis there in 1883. Originally of affluent circumstances, she lost most of her resources by investing in government bonds during the first world war, forcing her to earn a living by giving piano and language lessons.

Fresh break with Elisabeth over the antisemitic activities of Förster. To Overbeck FN writes: "Die verfluchte Antisemiterei... ist die Ursache eines radikalen Bruchs zwischen mir und meiner Schwester..." [The cursed antisemitism... is the cause of a radical break between me and my sister...]

Title page, first part of Zarathustra

The third part of Also sprach Zarathustra will be the last book of Nietzsche's that Schmeitzner publishes.

In rapid succession the third part of Zarathustra appears in print. FN worked on this part from August 1883 through January 1884. Complimentary copies were sent to Burckhardt, Heinrich von Stein, and Gottfried Keller, among others. Burckhardt did not acknowledge the receipt of his copy for some time. This part sells even fewer copies than the previous two: Fritzsch will receive some 937 copies (out of one thousand) in 1886. [Chronik, p. 582-583]

Excerpt from the notebooks
Negativer Charakter der "Wahrheit" - als Beseitigung eines Irrthums, einer Illusion. Nun war die Entstehung der Illusion eine Förderung des Lebens - - [Negative character of "truth" - as the elimination of an error, of an illusion. The inception of the illusion however was a demand of life --- --- ] (KGW VII-2, p. 53)

Late April to mid-June: Venice

Mid-June to mid-July: Basel, Val Piora, Zürich

An almost month-long visit (June 15 to Juli 2) to the old "haunts" in Basel. This will be FN's last visit to Basel prior to the onset of his madness. Visit in Zürich by Resa von Schirnhofer; acquaintance with Meta von Salis (1855-1929).

FN reveals the concept of eternal recurrence to Overbeck during his Basel visit. Overbeck, writing nearly twenty years later, recalled the incident: "Gegen mich hat Nietzsche die ersten Enthüllungen über seine Lehre von der Wiederk[un]ft bei einem Aufenthalt in Basel im Sommer 1884, laut werden lassen, d.h. damals hat er zuerst, krank in einem Bette des Hotel's zum Weissen Kreuz liegend, ganz in der mysteriösen Weise, wie er es auch früher bei Frau Andreas nach ihrem Zeugnis gethan hatte, mit unheimlich flüsternder Stimme als ob er ein ungeheueres Geheimniss verkündete...Rohde...von der Verwendung der Lehre bei N. in keiner anderen Weise etwas wissen wollte, als wie von einem Symptom der Erkrankung N's." [It was during a stay in Basel in the summer of 1884 that FN uttered the first revelations of his teaching of the eternal return in my presence, that is, for the first time, lying ill in a bed in the White Cross Hotel, in a very mysterious manner, just as he did with Mrs. Andreas (Lou von Salome) according to her recollection, with an uncanny whispering voice, as if he was announcing a colossal secret... for Rohde... FN's use of this teaching was nothing other than a symptom of FN's illness. (Overbeck, Werke und Nachlass, Vol 7/2, p. 113)]

Mid-July through late September: Sils-Maria

Mid-September: Rohde visits Overbeck in Zürich.

From the notebooks
NB. Die bestgeglaubten a priorischen "Wahrheiten" sind für mich - Annahmen bis auf Weiteres z.B. das Gesetz der Causalität sehr gut eingeübte Gewöhnungen des Glaubens, so einverleibt, daß nicht daran glauben das Geschlecht zu Grunde richten würde. Aber sind es deswegen Wahrheiten? Welcher Schluß! Als ob die Wahrheit damit bewiesen würde, daß der Mensch bestehn bleibt! [NB. The most popular, a priori "truths" are for me -- assumptions until further notice, e.g., the law of causality, extremely habitual conventions of belief, so deeply assimilated, that not to believe in them would be the ruin of our kind. But just because of that they are truths? What a conclusion! As if truth were proved by the survival of humans!] (KGW VII-2, p. 152)

Einsicht: bei aller Werthschätzung handelt es sich um eine bestimmte Perspective: Erhaltung des Individuums, einer Gemeinde, einer Rasse, eines Staates, einer Kirche, eines Glaubens, einer Cultur [Insight: all value judgments involve a definite perspective: preservation of an individual, a community, a race, a state, a church, a faith, a culture] (KGW VII-2 S. 179)


Der ganze Erkenntniß-Apparat ist ein Abstraktions- und Simplifikations-Apparat --- nicht auf Erkenntniß gerichtet, sondern auf Bemächtigung der Dinge: "Zweck" und "Mittel" sind so fern vom Wesen wie die "Begriffe". [The entire knowledge-apparatus is an abstraction and simplification apparatus --- not directed at knowledge, but rather at gaining control over things: "purpose" and "means" are exactly as far from the essence of things as are "concepts."] (KGW VII-2 S. 162)

Late September through October: Zürich

Second attempt at reconciliation with Elisabeth.

Personal acquaintance with Gottfried Keller and Helene Druscowicz. Death of Karl Hillebrand.

November: Mentone

Publisher difficulties begin in earnest. Schmeitzner refuses to publish the fourth part of Zarathustra. Other publishers refuse to issue the fourth part unless they can publish the other three.

The "experiment" with Mentone as a winter residence is deemed a failure; FN moves on to Nice.

December: Nice

Mentions, in a letter to Overbeck, his enthusiasm for Emerson and has an essay by Emerson translated into German.

Requests of Paul Lanzky not to write about him in popular publications, claiming he much prefers his solitude to dealing with "mittelmäßigen Schwarmgeistern." [mediocre enthusiasts]

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