Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Nietzsche!

I couldn't think of what to get Nietzsche for his birthday today, so I thought I'd let him hammer away at Freud's ego instead...
As for how Nietzsche may have actually celebrated his birthday, I believe this excerpt from a letter of his from October 24th, 1864 to his mother and sister may give us a hint:
I received the box and am greatly pleased over it, especially the nice linen things and the beautiful music literature. Yesterday we enjoyed a most jolly afternoon. I danced fabulously.
In a letter to Georg Brandes on April 10, 1888, Nietzsche provides us with an idea of how he viewed his life, from the day he was born on:
Vita. I was born the 15th of October 1844, on the battlefield of Lützen. The first name I heard was that of Gustav Adolf. My ancestors were Polish noblemen (Niëzky). It seems the type is well preserved despite three German 'mothers.' In foreign countries I usually am considered a Pole; even this winter the roster of foreign visitors in Nice entered me comme Polonais. They tell me that my head may be found in the paintings of Matejko's. My grandmother belonged to the Schiller-Goethe circle in Weimar. Her brother became the successor of Herder in the office of Commissary-general of Weimar. I had the good fortune of having been a pupil at the venerable Schulpforta from where so many have gone forth who are of account in German literature (such as Klopstock, Fichte, Schlegel, Ranke and so on and so forth). [...] I was forced to give up my German citizenship since, as commissioned officer (mounted artillery) I would have been called up too often and disturbed in my academic activities. Nevertheless, I am familiar with two weapons, sabre and cannon, and, perhaps, even with a third one... Then, too, I am according to my instincts a brave animal, yes, a military one. The long resistance has somewhat exasperated my pride.—Am I a philosopher?—But what of it!...

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