Monday, November 27, 2006

Nietzsche On His Death Bed

From what I've read, I can say I'm not the biggest Nietzsche fan. Still, while pouring through Greek literature over the last few months I must say that I've enjoyed reading his writings on Homer and Hesiod and Classical civilization in general; He's a very lively read.
Also very entertaining are his so-called "letters of insanity" he wrote towards the end. They, and most other items of Nietzsche interest can be found on this great site.
Here's a great one he wrote to Cosima Wagner 1889; Apparently he took to sending her strange love notes at this time (addressing them to 'Ariadne' and signing them either Dionysus or 'The Crucified'):
To Princess Ariadne, My Beloved.

It is a mere prejudice that I am a human being. Yet I have often enough dwelled among human beings and I know the things human beings experience, from the lowest to the highest. Among the Hindus I was Buddha, in Greece Dionysus—Alexander and Caesar were incarnations of me, as well as the poet of Shakespeare, Lord Bacon. Most recently I was Voltaire and Napoleon, perhaps also Richard Wagner ... However, I now come as Dionysus victorious, who will prepare a great festival on Earth ... Not as though I had much time ... The heavens rejoice to see me here ... I also hung on the cross ..

For all the hubbub surrounding Nietzsche, his abuse at the hands of fascists, post-structuralists and fans of Nine Inch Nails, what comes through most in what I've read, and in even in the letters of his corroded mind are his buoyant humor. Watch the haunting film above of Nietzsche before his death. Silently staring on his death bed, mind elsewhere. At the end of the clip he looks right into the camera and your eyes and grins like a satyr.


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