Alessandra Sanguinetti

        " The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams"
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Aleister Crowley

1. Man has the right to live by his own law—
to live in the way that he wills to do:
to work as he will:
to play as he will:
to rest as he will:
to die when and how he will.
2. Man has the right to eat what he will:
to drink what he will:
to dwell where he will:
to move as he will on the face of the earth.
3. Man has the right to think what he will:
to speak what he will:
to write what he will:
to draw, paint, carve, etch, mould, build as he will:
to dress as he will.
4. Man has the right to love as he will:—
"take your fill and will of love as ye will,
when, where, and with whom ye will." —AL. I. 51
5. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.

"the slaves shall serve." —AL. II. 58 
"Love is the law, love under will." —AL. I. 57 

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  • Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)was a self-proclaimed drug and sex "fiend," a mostly self-published author of books on the occult and magick. a poet and mountaineer, and a leader of a group called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO)whose tenets are detailed in one of his many writings, The Book of the Law The lattercontains his version of  the Law of Thelema, which Crowley claims he channeled for a "praeterhuman intelligence" called Aiwass.Thelema is now considered a religion.
  • Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law is his motto for OTO. In practice, for Crowley this meant rejecting traditional morality in favor of the life of a drug addict and womanizer. ("I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend" is a line from one of his poems. Diary of a Drug Fiend is the title of one of his books.) Other OTO folks consider the rule to mean something less sinister.
This "Law of Thelema", as it is called, is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the divine mandate to discover one's True Will or true purpose in life, and to accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways.
  • Crowley claimed to identify himself with the Great Beast 666 (from the Book of Revelation) and enjoyed the appellation of "wickedest man in the world." Crowley inherited a fortune and worked hard at being strange. He was especially alluring to dysfunctional women (Gardner 1992:198).
  • Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice is a very popular book among occultists. Given his reputation, it is inevitable that he would appeal to certain rock musicians of the late 20th century. Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin guitarist and occultist, bought Crowley's mansion, Boleskine House, near Foyers, Scotland, and owns a large collection of Crowley memorabilia. And Crowley's face is one of many on the album cover of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Russudan Meipariani

Born in Tbilisi, Georgia,(12.10.1975) Rusudan lives and works in Germany. She discoverd her talanted voice while studying in music high school and decided to choose a musical career. Her songs are based on childish impressions of georgian nature and people.

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. Vocals by Russudan Meipariani

Hedgehog in the Fog ( Ёжик в тумане)

Classic Russian animated short film from 1975. Based on a story by Sergei Kozlov, directed by Yuri Norstein.
In 2003 "Hedgehog in the Fog" won the "№1 Animated film of all the time" at "All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide" contest in Tokyo, Japan.

 For More Information >> 1  2 Ежик в тумане ( script/.Russian  )  3  Правда, мы будем всегда? 


                                               <with english subtitles>

Plot summary and interpretation (wiki):
The hedgehog’s nightly walk through the woods to count the stars, drink tea and eat jam with his friend is such a habit he’s not even aware of the dangerous owl stalking him. Instead of paying attention, he thinks of the conversation he will have with his friend. He comes upon a beautiful horse standing in the fog. The sight stops his internal dialog and awakens his sense of wonder. His curiosity about what it might be like to experience a different reality leads him into the fog. He becomes a little afraid in this strange place and calls to the horse, but the horse does not answer him. He examines a oak leaf and a tree as though he has never seen them before. Realizing he has lost his jar of jam, a symbol of comfort and the familiar, his curiosity turns to fear, heightening his sense of danger to the point of being afraid of an obviously friendly dog who, miraculously, restores to him his jam. But someone called the dog with the whistle similar to the Beethoven’s V symphony. All the while, faintly in the distance, we hear his friend calling for him. Still frightened, even with his jam, the hedgehog runs blindly through the fog and falls into the river. After a short struggle, he relaxes, literally “goes with the flow”, accepts his fate and eventual death without fear. The horse watches him float by and does not attempt to help him. Suddenly, an unseen Someone touched his hind paw and asks, “Who are you and how did you get here?”, questions humans (andhedgehogs) have asked themselves for thousands of years. He answers truthfully and simply and his life is saved. He makes his way back to his ordinary world, a changed being. His friend talks and talks, but the hedgehog sit quiet on the right side, joyful at just being together with him again. He thinks of the horse, the symbol of the impersonal wonder, mystery and beauty of existence. This is a story of how to live fully; by being in the “now” and being aware of the world and ourselves as we truly are.

Franz Kafka

Many professors of literature would prefer that I not group Kafka among the existentialists. After all, here was a man who was not a trained philosopher or disciplined writer. Kafka never indicated that he was expressing a deep philosophical theory in his aphorisms. But, when you consider the time, place, and nature of Kafka — then you see an existentialist.
This exploration of Kafka is included among my Web of pages because Jean-Paul Sartre recognized him as an existentialist andAlbert Camus considered him an absurdist. If Sartre and Camus considered Kafka a like-minded writer, that’s good enough for me.
Franz Kafka was the writer I most wanted to emulate as a student. While I cannot read his works in their original forms, the English translations are striking. The writing is simple and ironic, yet it demonstrates a complex wit. You find yourself smiling — but never laughing — at the humor he injects within tales of isolation, injustice, and cruelty. As I attempted to evolve my own style, I found Kafka, Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken, and the other writers I admired all possessed the same dark wit.
Reading a Kafka short story is like running a race. You find yourself fighting to read, like a passerby trying not to look at a crime scene or accident victim. Because we know what “Kafkaesque” means, we know what to expect from the author. Yet, we read the tales, knowing the end might be neither just nor reasonable. This absurdity separates Kafka’s tales from those of Rod Serling’sTwilight Zone -- Serling tended to teach lessons and dispense justice while Kafka merely taunted his characters, then they suffered.
Kafka never wrote a long novel; he never seemed to have the time. I often wonder if that is for the best — I sense a longer work would not have the same affect upon readers as does a short piece in Kafka’s style. Emotionally, readers reach a limit, and I think Kafka knew intuitively where that limit was.
My favorite works by Kafka are Josephine the SingerA Hunger Artist, and The Burrow. While other works are more popular (or assigned to more students) these are the works to which I most closely relate. The more I have read about Franz Kafka, the more I see my own nature in these stories. I write at night, alone in a room, closed off from the world. I write because that is what I do. Like Josephine, I am not sure if it is the process or the audience I enjoy. Like the Hunger Artist, I would not pursue my art if I could find another form of emotional sustenance.
Over the years, I have had to purchase several paperbacks of Kafka’s works. The books wear out from constant use. That speaks louder than any other comment I can record on this page.
Franz Kafka was born in Prague, in what is now part of the Czech Republic, on 3 July 1883. Prague was a confused city, much like Kafka himself. With numerous languages and ethnic groups fighting for position in Prague, it was clear in the late nineteenth century that Jewish residents were quite low in social rank. Kafka was a Czech-born, German-speaking Jewish boy… a reflection of Europe in 1883. Franz’s father, Hermann (1852–1931), was an importer and operated a store specializing in “fine goods” for the rising middle-class.
Hermann was a self-made man, acutely aware of his own success and his son’s lack of success. Hermann’s father had been a village butcher in Bohemia. There is some evidence Hermann contrasted his success to Kafka’s grandfather’s simple existence. Franz was verbally assaulted by his father often, a fact reflected in much of Kafka’s stories and within his diaries.
Kafka’s mother, Julie Löwy (1856-1934) came from an orthodox Jewish family. She was the moral pillar of the family. An only child for six years, Kafka’s sisters Elli, Valli, and Ottla were born in 1889, 1890, and 1892, respectively. Because he was six years old when Elli was born, one might expect Kafka to be a protective older sibling. Instead, his sisters spent their adult years protecting Franz. Kafka was close to his sisters, vacationing with them and communicating with them frequently during his life.
Biographers have struggled to explain why Kafka chose to live with his parents for most of his life. As a lawyer, there was little reason for Kafka to remain in the same house as his abusive father. Did Kafka believe he was protecting other family members from his father? Living at home was difficult for Kafka, who suffered from hyper-sensitivity to noise and a desire for solitude. Kafka never did rebel openly against his father. It is possible Kafka did admire his father’s ability to exist in a country where Jews were constantly under attack. Hermann Kafka’s anger at home might have been viewed by Franz as a symptom of Prague itself.
Czech nationalism was on the rise in Prague at the end of the nineteenth century, and the German-dominated Hapsburg Empire was despised by many Czechs. German was the language of the Kafka household, with Yiddish spoken at times, but Hermann Kafka was careful not to present himself as either “too Jewish” or “too German” to do any damage to his business. Franz was to emulate his father’s secular nature, though Franz seems to have been influenced by the Jewish culture that surrounded him in Prague.

Jewish Heritage

Hermann Kafka had located his store just beyond the Jewish ghetto of Prague, and even had his family legally declared Czech nationals. Still, the Kafkas were Jewish; Franz was bar-mitzvahed and attended temple at the local synagogue with his father. The paradox is clear — Jews and Germans were hated by the nationalistic Czechs, yet Hermann raised Franz to speak German and took his son to Friday-night services.
The seriousness of anti-Semitism revealed itself to Franz in April of 1899. Near the week of Passover, a young Christian girl was murdered, her throat slit with a knife. Throughout Europe there had been tales of Jews using Christian blood to prepare Matzos for Passover — and as far as many were concerned, this murder proved the tales. Anti-Semitic riots spread through Prague and other parts of Bohemia, with boycotts against Jewish-owned stores and even the destruction of shops. Hermann Kafka’s shop was spared only because he was “officially” a Czech.
Franz was 16 years old at the time of the riots. He responded like many secular Jews, developing a strong anti-Jewish bias. Many critics claim Kafka’s works are in fact tributes to the religious and mystic heritage of European Jews, but his own anti-Semitic streak is evident in his diaries.
Sometimes I’d like to stuff all Jews (myself included) into the drawer of a laundry basket… then open it to see if they’ve suffocated.
What do I have in common with the Jews? I don’t even have anything in common with myself!
During 1899 and 1900, Kafka’s diaries indicate he read a great number of philosophy and science texts. He was fond of Spinoza, Darwin, and Nietzsche. His extensive reading was paralleled by a period of creativity. Kafka wrote a extensively between 1899 and 1903, but these early writings were destroyed by the author. These writings probably reflected the author’s predisposition toward the macabre, but we might never know. During this period of productivity, Kafka met Max Brod, a writer, critic, and editor of Prager Tagblatt. Brod was to be a close friend and editor throughout Kafka’s life.
Hermann Kafka’s opinion of his son was improved slightly in 1906, when Kafka received his law degree from German University, Prague. After receiving his law degree, Kafka worked briefly for an Italian insurance company. In 1908, Kafka took a position at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute, a form of Czech “workers’ compensation” insurance company subsidized by the government. The year he was hired, Kafka wrote “On Mandatory Insurance in the Construction Industry,” a report demonstrating the need for insurance to protect construction workers’ earnings and families in the event of injury. His fascination with death and injuries had found a purpose in advocating for workers.
During the winter months of 1911 and 1912, Kafka befriended a Yiddish actor, Isak Löwy, while the actor was performing with a traveling troupe in Prague. With Löwy’s help, Kafka began to study Jewish folklore. Possibly influenced by his mother, Kafka became obsessed with Jewish mythology, history, and the Yiddish language. Kafka even lectured on the Yiddish language at a university.
On the night of 22 September 1912, Kafka began work on The Judgment. He began writing at 10 p.m. and did not stop until 6 a.m. the next morning. In the opinion of editor Erich Heller, this feat alone proved Kafka to be a genius. The story, in standard book format, is a mere 12 pages; but its affect upon a reader is incredible. Kafka had created a form of literary surrealism — a vivid nightmare.
While attending a small party at the home of Max Brod’s father on 13 August 1912, Kafka met Felice Bauer, a secretarial assistant in a Berlin office. On 20 September 1912, Kafka began writing letters to Felice. Many biographers believe Kafka “created” Felice during this period; not being near her he created a mental image Felice could never equal. It was not until the spring of 1913 that Kafka met with Felice in Berlin. A number of sources indicate Kafka did not love Felice, and any attraction was limited. It is possible Kafka was looking to prove to his father he was “normal” and planned to settle and start a family. About the same time, Kafka met an Swiss woman, according to his diary, and there is also evidence of a close friendship with Grete Bloch, a friend of Felice Bauer. If nothing else, Kafka’s relationships were complex.
Kafka seems to have thought wedding someone would help him maintain a sense of normalcy, so he proposed marriage to Felice on 12 April, 1914. He broke the engagement on 12 July of the same year. In early 1915, he revived the relationship with Felice, trying to maintain their friendship. Curiously, on 20 August, 1916, Kafka composed a list of reasons for and arguments against marriage to Felice. Nearly a year later, in July of 1917, Kafka again proposed to Felice.
Kafka’s diary entries for September 1917 reflect a man suffering a great emotional stress. He apparently considered destroying his notebooks, calling his writings the result of a “reward” from the devil for “services rendered.” It is unclear what those services might have been. A few days later, he noted the power literature has to lift “the world into the pure, the true, the immutable” truth. During such manic cycles, Kafka would write pages for hours, depriving himself of sleep. This sleep deprivation might have exacerbated his condition.
Writing is a deeper sleep than death…. Just as one wouldn’t pull a corpse from its grave, I can’t be dragged from my desk at night.
A life-long hypochondriac, Kafka’s fears were realized when the writer was diagnosed with tuberculosis, not an uncommon disease during the early twentieth century, on 4 September, 1917. Not long after the diagnosis, Kafka temporarily ceased maintaining his diary. He slipped into a mild depression and broke his second engagement to Felice in December 1917.
Felice Bauer finally married another man in early 1919. She had loved Kafka, but could not endure his depressions and manic episodes any longer. His emotions for her were never clear, even to Kafka.
The Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed in 1919, yet Kafka continued to write in German. As a result of Kafka’s use of the German language, his works did not appear in a translated form in Czechoslovakia for more than a decade after his death. Kafka was not fond of the Czechs and they did not appear fond of him.
Kafka met Milena Jesenská-Pollak (also “Jesenska-Polack”), a Czech writer, in 1920. She was 13 years younger than Kafka. Their relationship seems to have been close, with Milena’s own diaries indicating they made love several times when Kafka visited her. A potential problem with their deep attraction was the fact Milena was married to Ernst Pollak (also “Polack”), a well-known intellectual of the time. Thankfully, Ernst and Milena appear to have had an open relationship. (Ernst had several well-known affairs.)
Kafka made a note in his diaries on 15 October, 1921, that his diaries were to be given to Milena upon his death. The pair last met in May of 1922. Kafka’s ability to travel had been limited by tuberculosis and other ailments, real and imagined, while Milena remained young and energetic.
As mentioned previously, tuberculosis was a common disease in the early twentieth century, and Kafka was among its many victims. By the age of 39, Kafka was unable to work — he was bleeding to death internally. In 1922 he resigned from his position at the workers’ insurance. For some time he lived with his sister, Ottla, long his favorite Kafka family member. In personal notes, Franz described his relationship with his sister as a “marriage” without the normal problems.
In 1923 Kafka found a new companion, Dora Dymant, a Polish Orthodox Jew. Dora was only 19 when the pair moved to Berlin. Kafka enjoyed Dora’s company, forming a relationship much better than those of his past. It is possible Dora and Franz were in love, not merely companions. They traveled together during the last year of Kafka’s life. Kafka was so pleased with his life, he decided to burn his previous writings. He informed Dora, asking her to destroy the manuscripts if he was unable. Curiously, after making the request Kafka produced The Burrow.
On 10 April 1924, Kafka was taken to Wiener Wald Sanatorium, accompanied by Dora. While in the sanatorium, Kafka struggled with severe pain. During the final months of his life, Kafka was reduced to communicating via written notes. He berated his doctors and demanded morphine for his pain, a reasonable request due to the suffering he was enduring.
Kafka died 3 June 1924. Three days later Milena presented an obituary, referring to Kafka as “a man condemned to regard the world with such blinding clarity that he found it unbearable and went to his death.”

Kafka’s Self-Image

Franz Kafka spent much of his life trying to improve his metal and physical health. However, his friends considered Franz physically fit. He was an accomplished swimmer, enjoyed hiking in the mountains, and was a talented horseman. Still, Kafka saw himself as thin, awkward, and even cowardly. He pursued various “treatments” to improve his health, when none seemed necessary.
Milena Jesenká-Pollak wrote that Kafka seemed repulsed by his own body, and to a lesser extent, hers. Milena seems to have been reasonably attractive and enjoyed hiking, yet Kafka still had difficulty looking directly at her. Milena wrote:
The irony would not be lost on Kafka.

After Franz Kafka’s Death

While Kafka had written of cruel and unjust treatments of individuals, even he could not have foreseen the horrors of the Holocaust. Max Brod saved many of Kafka’s manuscript pages, despite the author’s request that all his notes and manuscripts be burned upon his death. Unfortunately, many pages were lost when the German army raided the apartment of Dora Dymant. While Dora survived the Holocaust, Kafka’s letters and works he had left with her are presumed to have been burned by the Gestapo.
Grete Bloch and Milena Jesenská-Pollak died in 1944, in Nazi concentration camps. Kafka’s three sisters also died in Nazi concentration camps. Kafka’s sister Ottla died a tragic death, having divorced her non-Jewish husband to remain with the Kafka family.


  • Various Works; all were lost or destroyed: 1899-1903
  • The Child and the City; Novel: 1903 (lost)
  • Description of a Struggle; Short Story: 1904
  • Wedding Preparation in the Country; Novel: 1908 (unfinished)
  • On Mandatory Insurance in the Construction Industry; Report / Essay: 1908
  • Measures to Prevent Accidents in Factories and Farms; Report / Essay: 1911
  • The Judgment; Short Story: 1912
  • The Stroker or The Man Who Disappeared; Short Story / Novel Fragment: 1912
  • The Metamorphosis; Short Story: 1912, published 1915
  • In the Penal Colony; Short Story: 1914, published 1919
  • The Trial; Short Story: 1914
  • The Village Schoolmaster or The Giant Mole; Short Story: 1915
  • A Country Doctor; Short Story: 1919
  • The Castle; Short Story: 1922
  • A Hunger Artist; Short Story: 1922
  • The Burrow; Short Story: 1923
  • Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk; Short Story: 1924

Irina Werning

Friedrich Nietzsche

It is my opinion that Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard were the first of The Existentialists. Other thinkers, Hegel andHusserl for example, contributed to existentialism but are not existentialists. Nietzsche does mark the outer edge of existentialism, but I consider no other writer as important to the school of thought.
Few other names in philosophy hold such deep meaning in Western society as Nietzsche. Variously linked by scholars to nihilism, existentialism, and the Nazis (though he died two decades before National Socialism took root in Germany) Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most misunderstood philosophers in history. He embraced no formal school of philosophy; he was stridently independent. As for the misappropriation of his works by Nazi sympathizers and others... I believe people will find support for their ideals in any book.
Nihilism is the complete disregard for all things that cannot be scientifically proven or demonstrated. Nietzsche did not claim that nothing exists that cannot be proven, nor that those things should be disregarded. What Nietzsche did suggest was that many people used religion, especially Judeo-Christian teachings, as a crutch for avoiding decisive actions. Nietzsche's contribution to existentialism was the idea that men must accept that they are part of a material world, regardless of what else might exist. As part of this world, men must live as if there is nothing else beyond life. A failure to live, to take risks, is a failure to realize human potential.
Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Röcken, Prussia, on 15 October 1844. This date was the same as the birth date of Prussian king Frederick William IV. Friedrich's father Karl Ludwig Nietzsche was a tutor in the royal court and was quite pleased by the timing of his son's birth.
There was at all events one advantage in the choice of this day to my birth; my birthday throughout the whole of my childhood was a day of public rejoicing.
- from Ecce Homo
Friedrich Nietzsche's life unquestionably trained him for his role as an "anti-Christian" philosopher. He descended from a long line of clergymen, including his father, giving him the theological background to challenge the familiar religious institutions. Biographers indicate there were at least 20 clergyman in the Nietzsche family within five generations. His paternal grandfather, Friedrich August Ludwig Nietzsche, was even granted an honorary doctorate in 1796 for his work Gamaliel, a defense of Christianity. It was assumed Friedrich would be a minister. As a child, Nietzsche was called the "little minister" by schoolmates. He spent much of his time alone, reading the Bible. Nietzsche's father died in 1849. The young man withdrew deeper into religion.
Friedrich received a scholarship to Schulpforta, an elite prepatory school with only 200 students, in October 1858. The scholarship was intended to fund Nietzsche's training for the clergy. His mother, Franziska, and his young sister, Elisabeth, were dedicated to Friedrich's success, certain of his future.
At the age of 18, Nietzsche lost his faith in traditional religion. His faith received a fatal blow when he found philosophy. In 1865 Nietzsche discovered Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea. The work forever changed Nietzsche's view of the world. Schopenhauer's philosophy was rather dark for its time; it became a part of Nietzsche's world-view as it was well-suited to his nature.
Nietzsche was conscripted into the military at the age of 23. While he had hoped to avoid the draft, he had no such luck. He was not destined to be in the military however, soon falling (or thrown) from a horse. Nietzsche's shoulder and chest were injured, possibly torn muscles, and he was released from service having not yet completed training. Curiously, Nietzsche continued to idealize the military and its orderly way of life despite not wanting to serve in the army. His respect for the individual gave way at times to a need for order.
The University of Basle appointed Nietzsche to a chair when he was 25 years old. As a professor of classical philology, Nietzsche spent his days lecturing and analyzing Latin and Greek works. He later recalled this as a most un-heroic contribution to mankind, wishing he had pursued a more active and socially valuable career, such as medicine. Nietzsche was never satisfied with his own value, always seeking to be more. It should be noted that war with Napoleon provided Nietzsche an opportunity to take leave of the University and join the medical corps. At the time, he stated (paraphrased), "Duty to Germany comes first," according to biographer Marc Sautet. Nietzsche had renounced his Prussian citizenship to teach at the University of Basle, which was in Switzerland.

Richard Wagner

In 1869, composer Richard Wagner invited Nietzsche to spend a winter holiday with him in Tribschen. Wagner was living with another man's wife and was not known for his conformity. Somehow, Wagner appealed to Nietzsche's sense of adventure. Nietzsche was so taken by Wagner that he decided his first book would be a tribute to Wagner's music. Unfortunately, the writing of this work was delayed by war in 1870, when Germany and France went to war.
Still romanticizing the life of soldiers, Nietzsche went to volunteer for military service. This time the army refused him due to his poor eyesight, in addition to his weak upper body. Nietzsche found it possible to serve as a medic, allowing him as close to medicine as his nature would ever allow. As he quickly learned, Nietzsche did not like the sight of blood, and the suffering of others made him ill. He eventually fell ill, possibly due to stress, and was sent home.
The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music was published in 1872. With the publication of The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche returned to Baasle to lecture. The work became a subject of ridicule in academic circles, but the nobility and nationalists loved it. Nietzsche became a celebrity, a standing he put to work on behalf of his friend Wagner. The two men were able to convince the government to fund the construction of the Bayreuth theatre, which would feature Wagner's works.
The Bayreuth was completed in 1876. On 12 August 1876, the Emperor arrived to hear Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, a work Wagner considered his masterpiece. To his dismay, Nietzsche found he hated the work. He made an excuse to depart, and promptly took a vacation to reconsider his opinion of Wagner's music and Prussian culture in general. At least Nietzsche was not alone: the long, multi-day performance proved a failure financially and in terms of attendance. Wagner's public star faded... at least for a bit.

Ready to Die

Physically and mentally, Nietzsche collapsed in 1879. He was certain death was near and even arranged his funeral with his sister's assistance.
Promise me that when I die only my friends shall stand about my coffin, and no inquisitive crowd. See that no priest or anyone else utter falsehoods at my graveside, when I can no longer protect myself; and let me descend into my tomb as an honest pagan.
Nietzsche recovered from this primarily emotional collapse, but he knew he had come close to death. The experience changed Nietzsche for a time. He enjoyed life and the universe around him. For a time, he was happy. The books The Dawn of Day and The Joyful Wisdom were published in the early 1880s, reflecting Nietzsche's new optimism.
His mood came crashing down with a smash... the sound was that of his heart as it hit bottom. Nietzsche fell in love, but was rejected. The result was another emotional spiral downward. His only goal was to be completely alone with his misery. The result of Nietzsche's bitterness was Thus Spake Zarathustra, published in 1883. Written in anger, the work presents the ideal man as everything Nietzsche was not. It was the ultimate paradox of philosophy: the thinker never able to live according to his beliefs. Still,Zarathustra stood apart as a masterpiece. The author knew it was a great work.
This work stands alone. Do not let us mention the poets in the same breath; nothing perhaps had ever been produced out of such a superabundance of strength. If all the spirit and goodness of every great soul were collected together, the whole could not create a single one of Zarathustra's discourses.
No matter what Nietzsche might have thought, the book was a failure. His publisher would not print the entire work, so the author paid for the printing. Forty copies were sold and seven were given away. Nietzsche's great work mattered only to the writer. It mattered a lot to Nietzsche -- the work would dominate his thoughts for the remainder of his career. Yet even his friends and supporters found the work odd, at best.
While pondering the ignorance of the critics, his sister left Nietzsche. She had been his friend and companion for most of his life, so the loss was very painful. Worse, she married an anti-Semite, a man Nietzsche despised. Contrary to popular myth, Nietzsche was not an anti-Semite -- just a nationalistic Prussian in his early years. His sister begged Nietzsche to move with her and her husband to Paraguay with the intention of forming a commune. Nietzsche would do nothing of the sort.

The Last Collapse

Nietzsche's final collapse came in 1889. On 3 January 1889, Nietzsche spotted a coach driver beating his horse. Nietzsche considered this cruel, and rushed the man. He did not reach the coach, collapsing. He was taken back to his apartment, but he had collapsed mentally. He was later found by friends, playing the piano with his elbows, singing wildly. Friedrich was taken to an asylum, but was quickly reprieved by his mother, who took him home. She did not agree with her son's works, but loved him nonetheless. She cared for him like a child, as he was incoherent and reduced to an infantile state. His mother died in 1897, and Nietzsche's care fell to his sister, now living in Weimar.
Elisabeth took it upon herself to get her brother's works published. She did an excellent job promoting him, and he rose again in public opinion. Near death and incoherent, Nietzsche became the leading German thinker. Finally, Nietzsche seemed oddly at peace, though not aware of his fate. On one occasion he found his sister crying. "Lisbeth, why do you cry? Are we not happy?" he is reported to have asked. His sister also recorded an incident when Nietzsche overheard a discussion of books. "I too have written some good books," Nietzsche told the room... then faded back into silence. Nietzsche died in 1900, apparently unaware of his former self.
1844 October 15Born in Röcken, Saxony, to Karl and Franziska Nietzsche. The family is important, with a long history in the church clergy.
1849Father, Karl Ludwig Nietzsche, dies. Friedrich Nietzsche later blames both himself and, to a greater degree, the Revolution of 1848.
1854The King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, tours Naumburg, where Nietzsche now lives. Nietzsche, raised to respect the power of the church, shows nearly equal respect for the king.
1858 OctoberReceives a scholarship to Schulpforta, an elite school with only 200 students. Nietzsche is expected to become a clergyman, as was his father, grandfather, numerous uncles, and other relatives.
1864Passes the Schulpforta exit exams and enrolls as a theology and classics (philology) student at the University of Bonn.
1869Forms close friendship with composer Richard Wagner.
1869Offered the chair of classics at University of Basel, in Switzerland, based upon published works.
1869Receives doctorate from a Leipzig university.
1871 January 18The German Empire is formed.
1872The Birth of Tragedy is published. Nietzsche is 27. Most scholars consider the work sloppy, while the nobility are impressed. The work is a promotion of Richard Wagner, some believe, more than a serious study of philology.
1873 AugustThe first volume of Untimely Meditations is published, a direct attack of Friedrich David Strauss.
1874Year of Crisis: European Economic Depression. Many banks failed, resulting in businesses closing and families loving all their money. Communism and socialism became increasingly popular ideas. Nietzsche steadfastly supports authoritarian power -- Otto von Bismark.
1874 FebruaryPublishes a second volume of Untimely Meditations.
1874 OctoberThe third volume of Untimely Meditations is published: Schopenhauer as Educator.
1876 August 12The Bayreuth theatre opens. Nietzsche and Wagner had convinced the German Reich to fund the theatre's construction. The guests include nobility, as well as Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky. This moment marks a break with Wagner... the concerts are a disappointment for Nietzsche -- and the Reich, which withdraws financial support.
1879Resigns teaching position in Basle due to poor health.
1879Publishes Assorted Opinions and Maxims: Against Illusion. This work marks Nietzsche's break from Birth of Tragedy, a work he admits was, at least in part, too idealistic.
1881 AugustDeclared "everything recurs" while at Sils Maria, Switzerland. This idea is not original, but Nietzsche receives accolades for this recycled theory.
1882Publishes The Gay Science.
1883Starts work on Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
1883 February 13Richard Wagner dies.
1885Completes draft of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
1886Publishes Beyond Good and Evil. Nietzsche considers the book a companion to Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Only 114 copies are sold in six months.
1887The Genealogy of Morals is published, a sequel to Beyond Good and Evil.
1888Writes The Case of WagnerTwilight of the Idols, and The Anti-Christ.
1888 September 30Formulates the "Law Against Christianity" for The Anti-Christ.
1889 January 3Suffers a mental breakdown after seeing a coachman beat his horse. Nietzsche rushed to challenge the man, but collapsed.
1890 MayNietzsche joins his mother in Naumburg, where she cares for him for the next seven years.
1897Nietzsche's mother, Franziska, dies. His sister Elizabeth becomes his caregiver. Elizabeth sees that her brothers works are collected and published. Amazingly, they are a success!
1900 August 25Dies famous. His sister's efforts made his a celebrity in Germany shortly before his death.


  • The Birth of Tragedy, Essay: 1872 (English, 1968)
  • Human, All Too Human, Essay: 1878
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Essays: 1883-1892 (English, 1961)
  • Beyond Good and Evil, Essay: 1886
  • On the Genealogy of Morals, Essay: 1887
  • Ecce Homo, Essay: 1888
  • Twilight of the Idols, Essay: 1889
  • The Anti-Christ, Essay: 1895
  • The Will to Power, Essay: 1901 (English, 1967)