Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 1844 - 1900
Photo by F. Hartmann at Basel (Ca. 1875)
Born: 15 October 1844, Röcken bei Lützen, Prussia
Died: 25 August 1900, Weimar, Saxony, German Empire
Nietzsche was a German philosopher, poet, composer, and classical philologist born near Leipzig in Prussia. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor, and entered the University of Bonn in 1854 as a theology and philology student. However, he soon lost his faith and dropped his theology studies.
In 1867, Nietzche entered his required military service and was injured in a horse-riding accident, and while on sick leave, attended the University of Leipzig, where he met composer Richard Wagner, who shared his interest in atheist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, and in music and composition. In May 1869, Nietzsche was given a position as a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He returned to military service in 1870, as a hospital attendant during the Siege of Metz he saw firsthand the trauma of battle, and contracted diphtheria and dysentery.
Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy, was published in 1872 and received praise from Wagner but a devastating review affected both the book's reception and his class enrollment. Nevertheless, he remained as a professor in Basel until his deteriorating health forced his retirement in 1879.
From 1880 until 1889, Nietzsche wandered between his mother's house in Naumberg and various French, Swiss, German and Italian cities. This was his most productive time, during which he produced his best-known works, but it was one of declining mental and physical health, which culminated in his collapse in Turin in 1889. He would never return to sanity.
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche quotes:
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- A small garden, figs, a little cheese, and, along with this, three or four good friends; such was luxury to Epicurus. permalink
- Against boredom even the gods themselves struggle in vain. permalink
echoing Friedrich von Schiller on stupidity, in The Antichrist (1888)
- All things that are truly great are at first thought impossible. permalink
- And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. permalink
- Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: Merit itself is an affront. permalink
- Art raises its head where creeds relax. permalink
Human, All Too Human (1878)
- At bottom every man know well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. permalink
- Bad cooks — and the utter lack of reason in the kitchen — have delayed human development longest and impaired it most. permalink
- Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously! permalink
- Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders. permalink
- Books for general reading always smell badly; the odor of common people hangs about them. permalink
Beyond Good And Evil, II (1886)
- By losing your goal, you have lost your way. permalink
- Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman. permalink
"The Four Great Errors" in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
- Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. permalink
- Dare to believe only in yourself. permalink
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