This site in German

Third Section:

Separation and Aftermath

Lou von Salomé, Paul Rée and Friedrich Nietzsche

To begin with, let us gain a good idea of Nietzsche's restless wanderings after Lou had left Tautenburg; in doing so, let us look at his whereabouts during the next two years.  It might serve as a good example of his continued search for the "his" favorite place that suited his needs.  More often than not, we find him initially enthused about a new place and in the belief that he had finally found "his" perfect place--one just has to think of his stays in Genoa, Sils and Nice--only to arrive at his later conclusion, that it was not the "perfect place" for him, after all.  To me, his outward restlessness only appears as a mirror of his inner restlessness:  Every arrival of his at a certain realization--just like the arrival at a new destination in his travels--is first welcomed euphorically--but only in order to be rejected in the next moment.  There are no stopovers and resting places in Nietzsche's thinking or in his outward existence.

Sun., Aug. 27th to Fri., Sept. 8th, 1882

A week and a half at Naumburg

Sat, Sept. 9th to Wed., Nov. 15th, 1882

Leipzig visit

Wed., Nov. 15th to Wed., Nov. 22nd,  1882

Journey via Basle and Genoa to Santa Maria Ligure

Thu., Nov. 23rd to Fri., Feb. 23rd, 1883

Three months at Rapallo in Liguria

Fri., Nov. 23rd to Thu., May 3rd, 1883

Ten-week winter stay in Genoa

Thu., May 3rd to Thu., June 14th, 1883

In Rome

from about Tues., June 5th to Wed., June 13th,  1883

In southern Italy (in the Abruzzi mountains) in search of a summer residence

from about Thu., June 7th to Wed., June 13th, 1883

Aquila – in southern Italy (Arsetri) in search of a summer residence

from about Sat., June 9th to Wed., June 13th,  1883


from about Mo., June 11th to Wed., June 13th, 1883

In the Volsci mountains

Thu., June 14th to Sun., June 17th, 1883

Rome – Sils Maria (via Milan, Bellagio) – return journey north

Sun., June 18th to about Wed., Sept. 5th, 1883

Sils Maria – second, seven-week stay at Sils Maria

Wed. Aug. 22nd to Sat., Aug. 25th, 1883

Meeting with Overbeck at Schuls-Tarasp (Lower Engadine)

Fri., Sept. 5th to Tues., Oct. 2nd, 1883

Painful weeks at Naumburg

Thu., Oct. 4th to Sat., Oct. 6th, 1883

With Overbeck in Frankfurt/Main

Sat., Oct. 6th to Sun., Oct. 7th,  1883

Health attack in Freiburg/Breisgau

Sun., Oct. 7th to Tues., Oct. 9th, 1883

Three days in Basle with the Overbecks

Wed., Oct. 10th to Thu., Oct. 11th, 1883

Basel – Journey via Genoa to La Spezia

from Fri., Oct. 12th to about Sun., Oct. 21st, 1883

In La Spezia in Liguria

appr. Mo., Oct. 22nd, 1883

Back in Genoa

Sun., Dec. 2nd, 1883 to Sun., Apr. 20th, 1884

First, four-month stay in Nice

If we consider what means of transportation were available during that time in the 19th century, namely the railway, horse-driven carriages and steam ships, and if we also consider how helpless the Basle professor of classical philology was and what health problems he had to deal with, such as his headaches, stomach pains and his poor eyesight--then it appears almost as a miracle that he managed to travel all those distances without any major harm--even if he or his luggage, initially, sometimes arrived in the wrong place.  In addition to his travels, this tough, "little Professor" managed to write one of his major works, an accomplishment that, if one considers the volume of this work and the time span in which he completed it--will not be easily matched.

Returning to the End of Section II of this presentation, we might recall that Nietzsche left Tautenburg at the end of August (1882)--while Lou had gone to visit Paul Rée at Stibbe, at the estate of his parents near Tütz in West Prussia; and that after Nietzsche, around the 1st of September, had sent back "das neue auftauchende Gespenst in das Nichts" (the newly emerging ghost back into Nothing), thereby having once again refuted his sister and her allegations with respect to Lou and his acquaintance with her.  First, he went to Naumburg and took steps to prepare for his planned move to Paris with Lou and  Rée, where he also adapted his composition "Hymnus an die Freundschaft" (Hymn to friendship) to the text Lou had given him of her "Lebensgebet" (with respect to this, I refer you to the  "Music"-Page as well as to the article, "Nietzsche as Composer"): "... ich habe Ihr Gebet an das Leben componirt ... Zuletzt, meine liebe Lou, die alte tiefe herzliche Bitte: werden Sie, die Sie sind! Erst hat man Noth, sich von seinen Ketten zu emancipiren, und schließlich muß man sich noch von dieser Emancipation emancipiren!" (KSB, 6, Nr. 293, p. 247 f; [" . . .  I have composed your "Gebet an das Leben"... Finally, my dear Lou, my old, sincere request:  become who you are!  First, one has to struggle to emancipate oneself and to break one's chains, and finally one has to emancipate oneself from this emancipation!")

In connection with his "request", I would like to once again discuss Nietzsche's position towards Lou:  From all that we have, so far, read and heard in this respect, but also from the actions which we have seen unfold, there appears to be emerging a dual position that Nietzsche took with respect to Lou, whereas Lou's position towards Nietzsche, in many respects, only appears one-fold, and very simple, at that.

1. Nietzsche's chief motivation, according to all of his representations and their particular emphases, was of a philosophical nature, and that three-fold:

a) Through his co-operation with Lou, he wanted to further and advance "philosophy as such".

b) He wanted to further and advance Lou with respect to her own path, as he perceived it.

c) He was in search of a "brother in spirit" for his own philosophizing, and in search of an "heir"; here, Lou appeared to him to be heaven-sent.

2. However, as it would inevitably turn out in such an endeavor, the young woman also reached him at other levels, namely at the underlying sensual male levels--inevitably, emotional motives invited themselves into Nietzsche's thinking, albeit not corresponding with Lou's intentions towards him, in turn.

I am convinced--and anything else would be a surprise in the case of a psychologist such as Nietzsche was--that he was aware of his mixed intentions; in this, for him, the motivations listed under 1. were of greater importance, in contrast to which emotional aspects raised certain hopes in him, but were, from an overall perspective, of secondary importance.  To me, this appears clear from Nietzsche's repeated and persistent comments with respect to his motivations that I have grouped together under 1.

On the other hand, Lou's motivations were neither of a philosophical nature (as listed under 1a), nor comprised of thoughts of a future liaison with Nietzsche (2), but rather mainly centering around herself (as listed under 1b), whereby to her, the concept of her "eigenen Werdens in Freiheit" (own free development) was predominant to such an extent, that she also must have felt overburdened by the concept of being Nietzsche's "student and heir" (as listed under 1c).

This might have been the case all the more since she had already made her personal decision in favor of Rée, without her or Rée advising Nietzsche with respect to their decision on mutual friendship.  To her, everything might have appeared quite clear and simple, while Nietzsche still had to endure being roasted by his own family with respect to the nature of his acquaintance with Lou and with respect to her behavior in general.  His sister's role has already been described extensively in Part II of this presentation. Subsequently, he also experienced difficulties in this regard with his mother at Naumburg.

One of his next activities was that he had photographs taken of himself (at Naumburg), namely the set of five photographs of which Nietzsche was very fond of two of them, so that he ordered them several times and which, in time, became the so-to-say "official" Nietzsche photographs--one of them is featured at the top of this page.

Set of photos from the beginning of September, 1882

In the meantime, Nietzsche's sister had rendered her own report home about Lou, from her viewpoint, namely also of the infamous picture which shows Lou on a cart, firing her two gentlemen on with a "whip", she refused to come to Naumburg; in her argument with her son, Nietzsche's mother went as far as calling him a "Schande für das Grab des Vaters" (disgrace for his father's grave--or rather, in English, a disgrace to his father's memory)--whereupon Nietzsche ordered for his suitcases to be packed and left Naumburg.

With respect to this, he wrote to Lou on September 7th: "Heute siedele ich nach Leipzig über ... Es kommt mir jetzt so vor, als ob meine Rückkehr »zu den Menschen« dahin ausschlagen sollte, daß ich die Wenigen, die ich noch in irgend einem Sinne besaß, verliere. Alles ist Schatten und Vergangenheit. Der Himmel erhalte mir mein Bischen Humanität! –" ("Today, I am relocating to Leipzig...It appears to me that my return "to humans" is bound to develop in such a manner that I am losing the few humans that I could call my own.  Everything lies in the shadow of the past.  Heaven keep my little bit of humanity intact!").

That he, at that time, still considered his relations with Lou and Rée intact can be seen in the fact that he, in the same letter to Lou, joins their discussion of the development of the "feeling of responsibility": "Das Ichgefühl des Einzelnen der Heerde, ebenso wie sein Gewissensbiß als Heerden-Gewissensbiß ist außerordentlich schwer mit der Phantasie zu erfassen – und ganz und gar nicht nur zu erschließen. Die größte Bestätigung meiner Heerden-Instinkt-Theorie gab mir jüngst das Nachdenken über die Entstehung der Sprache." ["The feeling of the ego-concept of the individual in the herd (collective), and also his pangs of conscience as pangs of conscience of the herd (collective), is extremely difficult to grasp with one's imagination--and can not be disclosed, at all.  I received the greatest confirmation of my theory of the herd instinct from my thoughts about the origin of language."]  (Hg. E. Pfeiffer, Die Dokumente ihrer Begegnung, p. 224 – more on this in our document section in German). And he closed his letter, quite within the meaning of his above-discussed position, with "Vorwärts, meine liebe Lou, und aufwärts!" ["Press on, my dear Lou, and move upward!"]

At about the middle of September, he wrote to Overbeck:   "Die Tautenburger Wochen haben mir wohlgethan, namentlich die letzten; und im Ganzen Großen habe ich ein Recht, von Genesung zu reden." "Das Nützlichste aber, was ich diesen Sommer gethan habe, waren meine Gespräche mit Lou. Unsre Intelligenzen und Geschmäcker sind im Tiefsten verwandt – und es giebt andererseits der Gegensätze so viele, daß wir füreinander die lehrreichsten Beobachtungs-Objekte und -Subjekte sind. Ich habe noch Niemanden kennengelernt, der seinen Erfahrungen eine solche Menge objektiver Einsichten zu entnehmen wüßte ... Gestern schrieb mir Rée »Lou ist entschieden um einige Zoll gewachsen in Tautenburg« – nun, ich bin es vielleicht auch. Ich möchte wissen, ob eine solche philosophische Offenheit, wie sie zwischen uns besteht, schon einmal bestanden hat." {"My weeks at Tautenburg were beneficial to me, in particular the last weeks; and overall, I have a right to talk of recuperation."  "However, the most important part of my summer were my discussions with Lou. Our intellects and our outlooks are deeply related--and on the other hand, there are so many things that we differ in, all of which makes us the most interesting objects and subjects of study and observation for each other.  I have never met anyone who was able to gain so many objective insights from his/her experiences. ...  Yesterday, Rée wrote to me, >Lou has decidedly grown at Tautenburg<--well, I have grown, too.  I would like to know as to whether such a philosophical openness, as it is prevalent between us, has ever existed, before.")

He also tells Overbeck of his sister's behavior: "Leider hat sich meine Schwester zu einer Todfeindin L’s. entwickelt, sie war voller moralischer Entrüstung von Anfang bis Ende und behauptet nun zu wissen, was an meiner Philosophie ist. Sie hat an meine Mutter geschrieben, »sie habe in Tautenb. meine Philosophie in’s Leben treten sehen und sei erschrocken: ich liebe das Böse, sie aber liebe das Gute. Wenn sie eine gute Katholikin wäre, würde sie in’s Kloster gehen und für all das Unheil büßen, das daraus entstehen werde.« ("Unfortunately, my sister has developed into L's mortal enemy; she was full of moral outrage to no end and maintained that she now knows what my philosophy is all about.  She has written to my mother that >she was able to see my philosophy come to life and that she was scared: I love evil, she, however, loves the good.  And if she were a good Catholic, she would join a convent and pay for all of the evil that will come of it.<)

Kurz, ich habe die Naumburger »Tugend« gegen mich, es giebt einen wirklichen Bruch zwischen uns." ["In short, I have Naumburg's >virtue< against me, there is a real rift between us."]  (Pfeiffer, Dokumente p. 228 f.)

And towards Rée, in his letter to him of September 15th, he called Lou "meine Schwester (nachdem ich die natürliche Schwester verloren habe, muß mir schon eine übernatürliche Schwester geschenkt werden.)" ["my sister [after I have lost my natural sister, a super-natural sister would be what I should be entitled to]".  In his letter of the next day to Lou, his famous words of the "Geschwistergehirn" – her "Gedanke[n] einer Reduktion der philosophischen Systeme auf Personal-Acten ihrer Urheber" (idea of a reduction of philosophical systems to the personal data of their originators) --which later, she would apply in her Nietzsche biography--was welcomed by Nietzsche and expressly stated as being in accordance with his own ideas.  These Nietzsche letters had a cheerful note to them and one of self irony, so that  Rée could not help himself but enthusiastically respond in kind:  "...gerade jetzt und für alle Zukunft kann uns nichts trennen, da wir in einem Dritten verbunden sind, dem wir uns selbst unterordnen." ( this very moment and for all future, nothing can separate us, since we are connected through a third whom we subordinate ourselves to.")--whereby he was, of course, referring to Lou.

However, Nietzsche's frame of mind was not as "sunny" as his letters to Lou and Rée might have appeared to reflect it--this could already be discerned from his letter to Overbeck quoted here earlier; during this time, he also drafted a letter to his sister that he had, obviously, never mailed: "Diese Art von Seelen, wie Du eine hast, meine arme Schwester, mag ich nicht; und am wenigstens mag ich sie, wenn sie sich gar noch moralisch blähen; ich kenne Eure Kleinlichkeit.– Ich ziehe es bei weitem vor, von Dir getadelt zu werden." {"This kind of souls as you have, my poor sister, I do not like; and I like it the least when they boast their own morality; I know your small-mindedness.--I rather prefer to be rebuked by you.") (Pfeiffer, Dokumente p. 233)  There also remained with him a serious sting from his mother's admonition, since he had always held his father's memory sacred.

The 'Lou-sister-mother' tension drove Nietzsche into one of his most serious crises; for this reason, I present to all of you who can read original German texts,  on the document page, more recent speculations with respect to Nietzsche's relationship to women that are based on Nietzsche's family background respectively on his relationship to his sister.
On this page, you can also find to poems from 1858  (Zwei Lerchen, Colombo) that are quite telling with respect to the development of the young Nietzsche and that, if you read German, you should not miss:  Already at the age of thirteen, his basic outlook and drive are present--his search of the unknown and his striving beyond himself--that later also shape his behavior towards Lou, as he expressed it repeatedly in his letters to her.–

What can be reported with respect to the further development of this "triumvirate" is, that letters continued to go back and forth:

About Carmen, Nietzsche wrote to Lou even twice, namely first with respect to a performance at the Rosenthal in Leipzig, where he "den zweiten Cognac des Jahres" drank {"the second Cognac of this year"} "... und dachte in aller Unschuld und Bosheit darüber nach, ob ich nicht irgendwelche Anlage zur Verrücktheit hätte. Ich sagte mir schließlich Nein. Dann begann die Carmen-Musik, und ich gieng für eine halbe Stunde unter in Thränen und Klopfen des Herzens." {"... and thought in all innocence and malice about the possiblity as to whether I might not have a predispotions for insanity.  I finally told myself: No.  Then the Carmen music began, and for half an hour I found myself in tears and with my heart pounding."} – and a second time in his letter to her of September 26th, with respect to a Berlin performance--namely with Lilli Lehmann (1842 - 1929), whom he had personally met in Bayreuth in 1872:  In 1876, Mme. Lehman sang one of the "Rheintöchter" (Woglinde) at the premiere of "Rheingold" and had written an account of these Bayreuth festival events in her memoirs – obviously, Nietzsche had not met her again on that occasion, since he had left Bayreuth in flight.  In any event, he refers to her on a first-name basis, which would suggest that he knew her more closely ("ein paar Spaziergänge" {"a few walks"}). I mention this since I am in a position to offer you a brief report of Lilli Lehmann on the 1876 events (in a TV show of the 'Bayerische Rundfunk' of April, 2001), as a video.

Lili Lehmann
about Bayreuth 1876 - 3,5 MB appr. 5 min.

At the beginning of October, Lou and Rée arrived in Leipzig – the "triumvirate" heard a Wagner concert of Bayreuth artists and also saw Lessing's Nathan der Weise. In her memoirs, Lou reflected on this extensively and wrote, among other things, "So wie die christliche Mystik (wie jede) gerade in ihrer höchsten Extase beim grobreligiöser Sinnlichkeit anlangt, so kann die idealste Liebe – gerade vermöge der großen Empfindungsaufschraubung in ihrer Idealität wieder sinnlich werden. Ein unsympathischer Punkt, diese Rache des Menschlichen,– ich liebe nicht die Gefühle da, wo sie in ihrem Kreislauf wieder einmünden, denn das ist der Punkt des falschen Pathos, der verlorenen Wahrheit und Redlichkeit des Gefühls. Ist es dies was mich N entfremdet?" ["In the manner in which Christian mysticism (as any) can arrive at a vulgar religious sensuality, also the most ideal love can end up--it can, particularly in the exaltation of emotions in its idealism, it can become sensual, again.  This is an unpleasant aspect, this vengeance of the human,--I do not love feelings there, where they return back to their origin in cyclic form, since that is the point of false pathos, of lost truth and honesty of feeling.  Is that what estranges me from N?"] (Pfeiffer, Dokumente p. 239)

View of Leipzig - Theater
and City, 1866

In her memoirs, Lou offers a further motive of her estrangement with respect to Nietzsche: "When I ask myself what it was that influenced my inner attitude towards Nietzsche unfavorably the most, then I must state that it was his increased tendency to show Paul Rée in a disfavorable light towards me--and also my astonishment that he might have considered this method effective."  Thus Nietzsche was to have said of  Paul Rée (who always carried such kind of poisonous remarks in his mouth), that he was »ein Feigling, wie es keinen gibt« ["a coward like none other"] (For the entire text in German, see our document page).

A day before their departure from Leipzig, Peter Gast also met Lou--let us take a look at his description: »Sie ist wirklich ein Genie, und von Charakter ganz heroisch; von Gestalt ein wenig größer als ich, sehr gut proportioniert im Bau, blond mit altrömischem Gesichtsausdruck. Ihre Einfälle lassen erkennen, daß sie sich bis an den äußersten Horizont des Denkbaren, sowohl im Moralischen, als im Intellektuellen, gewagt hat, wie gesagt: ein Genie, an Geist und Gemüt.« {"She is really a genius, and quite heroic in character; a little taller in height than I am, very well proportioned, blond, with classical Roman features.  Her ideas  reflect that she has dared to go to the outer limits of the thinkable, both with respect to moral as well as with respect to intellectual aspects, as I said:  a genius in mind and intellect."] (E. F. Podach, Gestalten um Nietzsche, Weimar 1932, p. 82.) This description has to be considered as having been highly influenced by Nietzsche--during the short time span, Gast could hardly have come to know Lou that well from his own experience (and thus, some of his later remarks when he worked in the Weimar "Archive" of Nietzsche's sister, were of quite a different nature...).

On November 5th, Lou and Rée departed for Berlin where they met the latter's mother in order to proceed from there to Stibbe.  Even as late as in the second week of November, Nietzsche wrote to Overbeck: "Lou und Rée sind in diesen Tagen abgereist, zunächst um mit Mitter Rée sich in Berlin zu treffen: von da geht es nach Paris. Mit der Gesundheit von Lou steht es bejammernswürdig, ich gebe ihr nun viel kürzere Zeit als noch in diesem Frühjahr. Wir haben unser gut Theil Sorge; Rée ist wie geschaffen für seine Aufgabe in dieser Sache. Für mich persönlich ist L. ein wahrer Glücksfund, sie hat alle meine Erwartungen erfüllt – es ist nicht leicht möglich, daß sich zwei Menschen verwandter sein können als wir es sind." {"Lou and Rée have left these days, at first in order to meet his mother in Berlin:  from there, they will head for Paris.  Lou's health is in a regrettable state, I don't give her as much time to live as I still gave her this spring.  We have our share of sorrows; Rée seems to be made for handling this task.  For me personally, L. was really a happy find, she has fulfilled all of my expectations--it can hardly be possible that two people are more alike than we are"] (Pfeiffer, Dokumente, p. 246)

However, these remarks are--without Nietzsche's being aware of it--already melancholic reminiscences; thus, on November 8th, he wrote to Lou: "Wie seicht sind mir heute die Menschen! Wo ist noch ein Meer, in dem man wirklich ertrinken kann! Ich meine ein Mensch." {"How shallow people appear to me today!  Where is there still an ocean in which one can really drown! I mean, a human being."} At the same time, his mother Franziska, spurned on by Elisabeth's influence, wrote a lengthy letter to him; in it, he was asked why he was chasing after this girl without dignity, the girl "was ihn so geringschätzig behandelt wie noch kein Mensch auf der Welt" {"has treated him with such disregard as hardly anyone in the world"}. "Aber wenn nun gar Jemand mit dem Finger an die Stirn gelegt von Dir sagt ‚Er ist ein Verrückter der nicht weiß, was er will’ ‚Ein gemeiner Egoist der meinen Geist ausbeuten will’ – –". {"What if someone would even touch his forehead and say of you, 'He is crazy and does not know what he wants', 'A low, common egotist who wants to take advantage of my intellect' --"} (KGB II, 2, Nr. 152, p. 301 f.) Thus finding himself between all chairs, in a sudden decision to forego all plans with respect to Paris, he travelled to Basle on November 15th, where he reported to the Overbecks: "daß wohl zwischen ihnen alles aus sei" ["that everything is over between them"] (Bernoulli I, p. 338), in order to continue from there via Genoa to Santa Marguerita.

Map of the Ligurian Coast

Overbeck described his impression of Nietzsche that he gained during the three days of November 16th to 18th, in his letter to Rohde of December 27, 1882, as follows (Chronik S. 538): "Er hat wohl im vergangenen Sommer und Herbst die schlimmste Zeit seines Lebens durchgemacht ... Die Folge ist jetzt eine Vereinsamung von einer Vollständigkeit, die selbst ihm neu und unerträglich ist, und Einsamkeit ist nach den Erfahrungen dieses Sommers für ihn das schlimmste Gift. ... Was N zur Zeit völlig niedergeworfen hat, [...] ist nächst dem Auseinandergehen jener Geschichte mit der Russin – was wie die Dinge lagen, an sich ein wahres Glück ist – nun auch der völlige Bruch mit seiner Familie, womit nun seine an dunklen Punkten überreiche Zukunft sich vollends verfinstert. ... Seine Verlassenheit von Glück und Menschen kann kaum grösser gedacht werden." {"During the past summer and fall, he might have experienced the worst time of his life...the consequence is loneliness to such an extent that, even to him, is unbearable, and and after his experiences of this summer, loneliness is the worst poison.  ... What has shaken N most these days, [...] is, after the separation from that Russian--what, as the situation was, is actually a really good thing--is that now, he has also completely broken up with his family, so that his future that is over-rich in dark spots, in any event, is completely darkened. ...  His loneliness and separation from happiness and humans can not be imagined any greater."}

On November 23rd, Nietzsche went to Rapallo as the only guest of the 'Albergo della Posta': "Mein Reich erstreckt sich jetzt von Portofino bis Zoagli; ich wohne in der Mitte, nämlich in Rapallo, aber meine Spaziergänge führen mich täglich an die genannten Grenzen meines Reichs. Der Hauptberg der Gegend, von meiner Wohnung an aufsteigend, heißt ‚der fröhliche Berg’, Monte allegro: ein gutes omen – hoffe ich." {"Now, my realm stretches from Portofino to Zoagli; I live in the middle, namely in Rapallo, but my daily walks lead me towards the boundaries of that realm:  The main elevation in this area, which rises up outside of my lodging, is called the merry mountain, Monte allegro:  a good omen--I hope."]

View of Rapallo today


Towards Lou and Rée he tried to save  what could (no longer) be saved. "Denken Sie, liebster Freund, so gut als möglich von mir, und bitten Sie auch Lou um eben dasselbe für mich. Ich gehöre Ihnen Beiden mit meinen herzlichsten Gefühlen – ich meine dies durch meine Trennung mehr bewiesen zu haben als durch meine Nähe. Alle Nähe macht so ungenügsam – und ich bin zuletzt überhaupt ein ungenügsamer Mensch. Von Zeit zu Zeit werden wir uns schon wiedersehen, nicht wahr? Vergessen Sie nicht, daß ich von diesem Jahre an plötzlich arm an Liebe und folglich sehr bedürftig der Liebe geworden bin." {"Dearest friend, think as good as possible of me and also ask Lou for the same for me.  I belong to both of you with my sincerest feelings--I mean to have shown this with my separation more than with my closeness.  All closeness makes one greedy for more--and in the end, I am quite a greedy person.  We will see each other from time to time, will we not?  Do not forget that from this year on, suddenly I have become poor in love and, as a consequence, also very much in need of love."] And to Lou: "... schaffen Sie reinen Himmel! Ich will nichts mehr, in allen Stücken als reinen hellen Himmel; sonst will ich mich schon durchschlagen, so hart es auch geht. Aber ein Einsamer leidet fürchterlich an einem Verdachte über die Paar Menschen, die er liebt – namentlich wenn es der Verdacht über einen Verdacht ist, den sie gegen sein ganzes Wesen haben. ... Ich fühle jede Regung der höheren Seele in Ihnen, ich liebe nichts an Ihnen als diese Regungen ... Lassen Sie sich nicht über mich täuschen – Sie glauben doch nicht, daß ‚der Freigeist’ mein Ideal ist?! Ich bin – Verzeihung! Liebste Lou, seien Sie, was Sie sein müssen." {"...create a clear horizon!  I do not want anything than horizons; otherwise, I will manage, as hard as it might be.  However, a lonely man suffers terribly from his suspicion of those few human beings whom he loves--particularly with respect to the idea of a hunch that they have with respect to his entire nature. ... I feel every stirring of the higher soul in you, I love nothing else in you but those stirrings of the higher soul ... Do not let yourself be confused with respect to me--You do not honestly believe that 'the free spirit' is my ideal?!  I am--pardon!  Dear Lou, be what you have to be."]

In countless drafts, becoming ever more passionate in their tone, of letters to Lou and Rée, most of which he did not mail, he tried to express his despair: "Himmel, was bin ich einsam!" {"Heaven, how lonely I am"}. Moreover, he took "Unmengen von Chloral und Opium" ("great amounts of choral and opium") (at that time still legal medications), in order to get any sleep, at all; finally, he overcame his thoughts of suicide, "das beneficium mortis erlange ich aber nicht von mir – ich will noch etwas von mir" {"I will not grant myself the blessing of death--I still want something out of me."

Obviously he already carried with him, as a counter-reaction and as an opposing force to this despair, a dark feeling of his "Schwangerschaft" {pregnancy with an idea}, an ensuing eruption; to Overbeck, he wrote (around December 20th, 1882, Briefwechsel Nietzsche und Overbeck, p. 186): "Trotz alledem muß ich in dem nächsten Jahre etwas in Hinsicht auf meine Zukunft erfinden und mich mir selber etwas mehr sicher stellen. Mit aller meiner 'Vernunft' bleibe ich ein leidenschaftliches und plötzliches Wesen; die Einsamkeit ist, je länger je mehr, etwas Gefährliches.– ... Nun stehe ich ganz einsam vor meiner Aufgabe und weiß auch, was mich nach deren Lösung erwarten wird."  {In spite of everything, in the next few years, I have to invent something with respect to my future in order to secure myself somewhat.  With all my 'reason', I still remain a passionate and impulsive being; loneliness, the longer it lasts and the more I have of it, is something dangerous.--  ... Now I am facing my task in utter loneliness and also know what will wait for me after its completion." As he wrote on Christmas Day, December 25th, that had always been of importance to him, he had broken off all contact with his mother and his sister: "es war längst nicht mehr zum Aushalten ... Wie weit inzwischen die feindseligen Urtheile meiner Angehörigen um sich gegriffen haben und mir den Ruf verderben – – nun, ich möchte es immer noch lieber wissen als an dieser Ungewißheit leiden." {I could hardly stand it any more ... How far the venomous opinions of my family have spread and undermined my reputation--well, I'd rather still be aware of it than suffer from this uncertainty"} (Pfeiffer, Dokumente p. 279)

At the turn of 1882/183, from Berlin, Lou sent her reminiscence of the events of this year to Rée in Stibbe, and even discussed Orta and Lucerne in it--and celebrated their union without even mentioning Nietzsche anywhere in passing, he who still filled pages and pages of draft letters to her and Rée, for Lou, he has become a non-person.  Not quite without justification, Nietzsche calls this 'a cat's egotism' ... and Rée as some other men after him, will come to know this trait of Lou in the future. [After she had become engaged to Friedrich Carl Andreas in 1886,  Rée quitely slipped out of her life, leaving behind a note, "barmherzig sein, nicht suchen" {"have compassion, do not search"]. He then sutdied medicine and first worked in his homeland and then in Switzerland, namely as a doctor for the poor; on October 28, 1901, during a hike along the upper, very steep path through the Chamadura-Gorge near Celerina, he fell into the Inn River and drowned.]

To Georg Ledebour, with whom she, even after her marriage to Friedrich Carl Andreas, and in spite of it, Lou fell in love, she made a remark to the effect that she had never thought of the problems that would arise for him out of the situation, "er würde ihr gleichgültig sein, wenn er wegen einer Frau zugrundegehen könnte." {"she would feel indifferent towards him if he would come to ruin because of a woman"} (C. Koepcke, Lou Andrea-Salomé, p. 169 – This book is very recommendable readin for those who are interested in Lou's further fate, such as in her realtionships with Rilke and Freud, Wer sich für den reichen weiteren Lebensweg Lous interessiert, etwa ihren Begegnungen mit Rilke und Freud).

Janz (Band II, p. 167) summoned this up as follows: "Liebe in ihrer letzten Tiefe und verpflichtenden Bindung mit dem geliebten Gegenüber, dazu war Lou v. Salomé ... unbegabt. ... sie ist sich ihrer Einseitigkeit auch nie hinlänglich bewußt geworden. Daß sie damit anderen Menschen Schmerz bereitete, hat sie hie und da zur Kenntnis genommen, mehr aber nicht. Zu einem Gefühl der Verantwortung oder Schuld oder gar Mitleid ist es dabei nicht gekommen. Und gerade dieses Mangels in ihren Beziehungen ist Nietzsche sich nun bewußt geworden, daran litt er am meisten, weil diese Lou so abstoßend zu dem Bilde kontrastierte, das er sich von ihr gemacht, das er in sie projiziert hatte." {Here, Janz expresses the view that Lou did not have the gift of experiencing love in its deepest depth and in its obligation towards the beloved partner and that she was never aware enough of her shortcoming in this respect.  He mentions that she  sometimes noticed that she caused others pain with this, but not more, and that she did not arrive at a feeling of responsibility or even compassion.  In Janz's opinion, Nietzsche had become aware of her shortcomings and suffered from this awareness the most since in this, Lou contrasted so sharply with the image that he had made himself of her and which he had projected into her."}

How did Nietzsche manage to emerge out of this deep valley of despair?  In the above-mentioned Christmas letter to Overbeck, he wrote: "If I can not, like an alchemist, make gold out of this mud, then I shall be lost--Here, I have the most beautiful opportunity to prove that to me, ‚alle Erlebnisse nützlich, alle Tage heilig und alle Menschen göttlich’ sind!!!! Alle Menschen göttlich.–" ["all experiences are useful, all days sacred and all humans divine!!!  All humans divine.--"]

and Ida Overbeck

As late as January 20th, 1883, he wrote to his friend, "Es geht gar nicht gut, und am besten wäre es, ich schwiege davon." {"It is not going well, and it would be best if I kept silent about it."] (Briefwechsel Nietzsche-Overbeck, p. 195) – however, in the few days up to February 1st, 1883, he had fought for a turn-around, had so-to-say, pulled himself out of this mud by his own neck: "Jetzt hatten wir Regenwetter: aber vorher gab es eine ganze Reihe vollkommen reiner Tage, die ich gut benützt habe. Ich war vorher in einem wahren Abgrund von Gefühlen (meine Briefe waren sehr unvollständig –), aber ich habe mich ziemlich ‚senkrecht’ aus dieser Tiefe in meine Höhe erhoben. ... Inzwischen, im Grunde in ganz wenig Tagen, habe ich mein bestes Buch geschrieben, und, was mehr sagen will, jenen entscheidenden Schritt gethan, zu dem ich im vorigen Jahre noch nicht den Muth hatte" {"We had rain here, but before that, there were a few pure days that I was able to make use of in a good manner.  Before that, I had found myself in a real abyss of emotions {my letters were quite incomplete--}, however, I have lifted myself up from these depth rather 'straight' into my heights. ...  In the meantime, and that basically in a very few days, I have written my best book, and, what says more, taken that decisive step, for which I did not have the courage last year"} [Do you remember?  Already in the spring of 1882, at the end of the Fröhlichen Wissenschaft,  Zarathustra announced itself; see Dokument Page 1]. "Diesmal hatte ich alle meine zehn Kräfte nöthig, – und sie waren auch zu meinen Diensten. Ich bin jetzt noch ein Paar Tage mit der ‚Nagelprobe’ beschäftigt, eine Sache des feinen Hörens, für die man nicht einsam genug sein kann. ... Unter diesen Umständen geht es auch mit der Gesundheit wieder vorwärts." {"This time, I had to summon all my strength,--and it was, indeed, in my service.  For a few days, I will still have to go over it with a fine tooth comb, a matter of sensitive listening, for which one can not be lonely enough. ...  Under these circumstances, my health is also improving."} (Briefwechsel Nietzsche-Overbeck, p. 199/200)

What had happened?  He had wrested from himself the first part of Zarathustra--in retrospect, he wrote: "Seine Entstehung war eine Art Aderlaß, ich verdanke ihm, daß ich nicht erstickt bin. Es war etwas Plötzliches, die Sache von 10 Tagen." {"Its creation was kind of a blood letting, I owe itthat I did not choke in it.  It was something sudden, a matter of ten days."  (Chronik p. 545)

And thus there can be found in it many traces of this "overcoming" that hearken back to his encounter with Lou and certainly misrepresent the female gender in its resulting, one-sided view.  When reading some of the passages from it featured below, one should always keep in mind that in them, a reaction found expression and that they are, above all, a means of self-rescue--and this holds true, above all, for the infamous passage with respect to the whip that should be taken along when visiting women; after all, it can be classified as a reminiscence of the infamous photo.  However, as a reaction, the whip and and the quality of the whip have changed:  While in this photo, Lou was supposed to represent a kind of mischievous muse with her whip to which a flower was tied, in Zarathustra, the old woman who reminds him not to forget his whip in order to preserve himself from  the wiles of women and thereby referring woman back into her "appropriate boundaries".  Here, the whip is serving as much as a symbol as on the photo--it does not serve to achieve woman's "subordination by force", rather it is meant as a symbol for the self-protection of the "man" Nietzsche who had to pay dearly for his naivetee with respect to women.

Does this not sound like a direct (and unjust! as unjust as in many of his draft letters to which this appears to be a direct parallel...) reminiscence of Rée and Lou, when Zarathustra says in "Von der Keutschheit" {Of Chastity}:

"Ist es nicht besser, in die Hände eines Mörders zu gerathen, als in die Träume eines brünstigen Weibes?
Und seht mir doch diese Männer an: ihr Auge sagt es – sie wissen nichts Bessere auf Erden, als bei einem Weibe zu liegen.
Schlamm ist auf dem Grunde ihrer Seele; und wehe, wenn ihr Schlamm gar noch Geist hat!"

Oder im "Vom Freunde" – hier spricht sich überdeutlich aus, was er von Lou eigentlich erwartet hatte (und – ach – auch die meisten Männlein, wie etwa Rée, erweisen sich ja als Weiblein ...):

"Allzulange war im Weibe ein Sclave und ein Tyrann versteckt.
Desshalb ist das Weib noch nicht der Freundschaft fähig: es kennt nur die Liebe.
In der Liebe des Weibes ist Ungerechtigkeit und Blindheit gegen Alles, was es nicht liebt. Und auch in der wissenden Liebe des Weibes ist immer noch Überfall und Blitz und Nacht neben dem Lichte.
Noch ist das Weib nicht der Freundschaft fähig: Katzen sind immer noch die Weiber, und Vögel. Oder, besten Falles, Kühe.
Noch ist das Weib nicht der Freundschaft fähig. Aber sagt mir, ihr Männer, wer von euch ist denn fähig der Freundschaft?"

And in "Von alten und jungen Weiblein", immediately before the often falsified "whip" passage, he speaks his mind very clearly with respect to Lou and "Weiblein" (little women):

"Des Mannes Gemüth aber ist tief, sein Strom rauscht in unterirdischen Höhlen: das Weib ahnt seine Kraft, aber begreift sie nicht."

What consequence he had ultimately drawn from his last, failed attempt at forming a union with real human beings, his gold that he had gained from mud, is expressed in the speech "Von Kind und Ehe" {of children and marriage}:

"Eure Liebe zum Weibe und des Weibes Liebe zum Manne: ach, möchte sie doch Mitleiden sein mit leidenden und verhüllten Göttern! Aber zumeist erraten zwei Tiere einander.
Aber auch noch eure beste Liebe ist nur ein verzücktes Gleichnis und eine schmerzhafte Glut. Eine Fackel ist sie, die euch zu höheren Wegen leuchten soll.
Über euch hinaus sollt ihr einst lieben! So lernt erst lieben! Und darum mußtet ihr den bittern Kelch eurer Liebe trinken.
Bitternis ist im Kelch auch der besten Liebe: so macht sie Sehnsucht zum Übermenschen, so macht sie Durst dir, dem Schaffenden!
Durst dem Schaffenden, Pfeil und Sehnsucht zum Übermenschen: sprich, mein Bruder, ist dies dein Wille zur Ehe?
Heilig heißt mir solch ein Wille und solche Ehe.–
Also sprach Zarathustra."

Even during the entire year 1883, he had not finally overcome all of the events, particularly with respect to his relationship to his mother and to his sister, there can be found various draft letters that try to work through the problem--in the meantime, he had, to a certain extent, made his peace with them and in May, he had met his sister in Rome and spent some time there with her; however, she began raging against Lou, again and with it, opened some of his old wounds--and at first, Nietzsche was also carried away by her influence with remarks about Lou like this: "Diese dürre schmutzige übelriechende Äffin mit ihren falschen Brüsten ein Verhängniß!" {"This thin and dirty, evil-smelling ape with her false breasts is a menace!"] (Chronik p. 562) and he even threatened to challenge Rée's brother to a duel.  Even with his faithful friend Overbeck, certain irritations arise due to this.  In July, he returned to Sils, where he lived with the Durichs in today's  "Nietzsche-Haus" and where he completed Zarathustra II.

Let us close with Nietzsche's draft letter to Elisabeth from Nice, of the spring of 1884 in which he was able to describe the past adequately (Pfeiffer, Dokumente p. 353 f.): "Das Eine ist: von allen Bekanntschaften, die ich gemacht habe, ist mir die wertvollste und ergebnisreichste die mit Fräulein Salomé. Erst seit diesem Verkehr war ich reif zu meinem Zarathustra. Ich habe diesen Verkehr Deinetwegen abkürzen müssen. Verzeihung wenn ich dies härter empfinde als Du mir nachfühlen kannst. – Lou ist das begabteste, nachdenklichste Geschöpf, das man sich denken kann – natürlich hat sie auch bedenkliche Eigenschaften. Auch ich habe solche. Indessen das Schöne an bedenklichen Eigenschaften ist, daß sie zu denken geben, wie der Name sagt. Natürlich nur für Denker ... Du kannst mir nicht nachfühlen, welcher Trost mir jahrelang Dr. Rée gewesen ist. – faute de mieux wie es sich von selber versteht, und welche unglaubliche Wohlthat mir gar der Verkehr mit Fräulein Salomé. gewesen ist." {"This is the one side:  of all acquaintances that I have made, that with Mlle. Salome is the most valuable and rewarding to me.  Only after my encounter with her, I was ready for my Zarathustra.  I had to cut this encounter short because of you.  Forgive me if I feel this harder than you can empathize with it.--Lou is the most talented, most reflecting creature one can imagine--of course, she also has questionable qualities.  I, too, have such qualities.  However, the beauty of questionable qualities is that they force one to think about the word says, this is only suitable for thinkers... You can not imagine what comfort Dr. Rée has been to me for years--faute de mieux, of course, and what incredible blessing was to me my encounter with Mlle. Salome."}

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