The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 8, 2011

November 8, 1935

Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche  (July 10, 1846,to to November 8, 1935), was the sister of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. She was the kind of woman who, incapable of rigourous thought, parrot the views of their husbands. Thus, after her husband, a rabid anit-semite, died, and she was her brother's caretaker in his last feeble years, she retold the story of Nietzshce's ideas in such a manner as would glorify Nazism.
From The Young Nietzsche (1912, translated by Anthony M. Ludovici) we see the feminine universe at it's most pathetic. Here is a sample of what she includes, speaking of a time in their youth, when they set up housekeeping together. 

In his letters to his friends, written from Bonndorf, [1875] there is, in spite of all, a feeling of great content.
"Everywhere I see despair !" he says, " and yet I do not feel it myself, although I am not in Bayreuth! Do you understand how this can be? I hardly can. And yet I am there in spirit for over three-quarters of the day, and like a ghost I am perpetually hovering round it. Do not have any qualms about making my soul die of longing, but just tell me all about it, dear friend. On my walks, I conduct whole passages of the music which I know by heart, and hum to myself. Remember me most kindly to the Wagners! ..."
My brother returned to Bale in the middle of August, and was full of admiration and childlike joy at the sight of his new home, which I had been arranging in the meantime. Everything was pleasant and comfortable; but it was far from being "sybaritic in its luxury," as a certain critic declared our simple and somewhat old-fashioned establishment to be. During the whole of this period, from the middle of August to the end of November, my brother's health was really excellent. From early in the morning till late in the evening he was radiant and cheerful, and declared himself exceptionally pleased with everything.....We enjoyed watching the strange formations of the clouds, the effects of light, and the flight of birds over the bare fields. We loved to walk on green fields and along country lanes, and to stop and look at the most simple things: now we would be amused at a dog that sprang to catch a partridge and slunk away with a most comical expression of shame when it missed its prey, and anon at a cat which would fawn upon my brother, purring affectionately the while, and rubbing its arched back against his leg. We rejoiced over the children who brought us flowers or played their games with zest, and in doing so revealed human nature free from all artificiality.

She would speak of Nietzsche's idea of a will to power, which he used to specify the labor of the individual against the herd thinking of the masses, to justify Hitler. Hitler attended her funeral. Her vile taint is not yet erased. 

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