Adonis Diaries

Nietzsche: A biography of the philosopher of lif

Posted on: February 22, 2009

Nietzsche: A biography of the philosopher of life (February 15, 2009)

Note:  My intention is to write three articles on the topic; the first part is a biography on Nietzsche, the second part is Nietzsche’s positions on life and his philosophy, and the last part would describing what is known of the ancient Persian religion of Ahura Mazda, its latest prophet Zarathustra, and explaining how Nietzsche comprehended the mazdean religious book the Avesta. (I have updated About)         

Frederick Nietzsche was born in 1844 in Rocken (Germany) on the birthday of the King Friedrich Wilhelm.  His father Karl was a Presbyterian minister, from a long line of ministers in the family, and died when Nietzsche was five of age.  His mother was then 18 and devout. His little brother died after a day of high fever; Frederick had a dream the night before his brother’s death “The church organ is playing. My father step out of his tomb wearing the shroud; then, he returns carrying a little baby in his arms and they enter the tomb”.  Nietzsche regards his childhood as a succession of bereavements; he wrote “I know of nothing the least desirable than childhood and youth.  I was born as plant by the cemetery.  I grew up in the cemetery church” (I recall a book by Amelie Nothomb that I reviewed and titled “Metaphysics of plant”)

            Nietzsche is brilliant in his studies, and at the age of 9 he learns to play the piano and to compose music (at least 50 lieder) “when I cannot listen to music everything seems dead to me”.  He joins the university of theology in Bonn and discover that he” had lost the faith” and pursue philology or the study of the Greco-Latin civilizations through the religious texts.

            In 1868 Nietzsche meets the composer Wagner (aged 52) in Leipzig and spent his happiest moments in the company of Cosima (Wagner’s wife); he had a secret love for Cosima and she was represented as Ariane in his works. In the Greek mythology Ariane saved her husband Theses out of the labyrinth; then she married Dionysus the God of the eternal return.   Frederick hoped to become the tutor of Wagner’s son Siegfried; soon Nietzsche realizes that he is considered as “another piece of furniture in the house and that Wagner amused his invitees at his expense”.  Wagner became Nietzsche’s preferred target of diatribes and more so after Wagner’s death.

            Nietzsche’s mentor, Friedrich Ritschl, managed in 1869 to appoint Nietzsche (aged 25) professor of philology (science of logic?) in Bale Switzerland where he spent most of his teaching life. After reading Schopenhauer, Nietzsche decided to become a philosopher.

            Nietzsche served as nurse during the Franco-German war in 1870.  He suffers from nausea, terrible headaches, and used to losing his sight for many days (these were the symptoms of syphilis contracted maybe around 1866) which developed into a generalized paralysis and coma.  Nietzsche has to take frequent sabbaticals because of ill health and after 18 years of teaching in Bale he had to renounce teaching and retired with a small pension.

For ten years Nietzsche is moving around trying to locate a place that suits his ill health.  In summer time he rents a room (transformed into museum) in Sils-Maria in Switzerland, 6,000 feet above sea level, where his book “Thus spoke Zarathustra” germinated.  In winter time he stays around Nice, Genoa, and finally in Turin (Italy) where he somber into coma in January 1889 and is transferred to Weimar where his little sister Elizabeth (Lama) and his mother cared for him for 11 years.  Nietzsche is practically a dead person, he is silent, and plays piano until he dies in August 1900.

Lama established a museum for her brother in Weimar and published his works.  She became a Nazi member in 1930 and Hitler visited her and the museum and he participated to Lama’s funeral in 1935.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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