Dienstag, April 04, 2006


Prmod Bafna , the young and very talented poet from India asked me recently in one of his comments if I can give a short introduction to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and so I try to make now a personal homage to this great man whose ideas influenced and enthused me since my younger days ...

Friedrich Nietzsche's secret

It would be hard to imagine a less likely revolutionary than a sickly, reclusive classical philologist whose works were barely acknowledged in his own lifetime. From his university chair in Basel and later from a series of small rented rooms throughout Europe. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900), this caustic critic of Christianity was born into a family of clergy and theologians (both his grandfathers were Lutheran ministers) in Röcken, Prussia.
He poured forth a steady stream of dazzling philosophical treatises whose audience initially numbered in the hundreds; gradually this trickle of influence swelled into a torrent that helped to dissolve centuries of encrusted dogma in Western philosophy, religion, morals, and aesthetics.
Nietzsche’s influence began in the last years of the 19th century and appealed a great magnetism on a lot of artists of the Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Fauvism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism and of the Italian “Pittura Metafisica”
Artists like Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Marc – knew Nietzsche’s ›Zarathustra‹, and they expressed themselves extensively about him in letters, and notes.
Sigmund Freud, Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, André Gide, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Satre, and William Butler Yeats are just a few of the twentieth-century writers, poets and philosophers who openly acknowledged their debt to him.

I think that the secret of Nietzsche’s influence on artists is due to the fact that he wasn’t only a great philosopher but also a musician and a poet himself, an out-and-out artist with soul-stirring thoughts and forever young in the world of his ideas.

Here is one of Nietzsche's poems I like a lot, because it shows us his inmost conviction:

To the Unknown God (1864)

Once more, before I wander on
And turn my glance forward,
I lift up my hands to you in loneliness —
You, to whom I flee,
To whom in the deepest depths of my heart
I have solemnly consecrated altars
So that
Your voice might summon me again.

On them glows, deeply inscribed, the words:
To the unknown god.
I am his, although until this hour
I've remained in the wicked horde:
I am his—and I feel the bonds
That pull me down in my struggle
And, would I flee,
Force me into his service.

I want to know you, Unknown One,
You who have reached deep into my soul,
Into my life like the gust of a storm,
You incomprehensible yet related one!
I want to know you, even serve you.

(Translation by Philip Grundlerhner)

to know more about Nietzsche, here is an interesting link:

The Nietzche Channel


Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

such a great man and once again castor you have presented a giant of humanity and not gone for the obvious.

9:35 nachm.  
Blogger Brad said...

Yes. He was a truly remarkable individual who has grown even wiser with the passage of time.

2:04 vorm.  
Blogger Sujay Sukumar said...

Castor, thank you for this post. It was very informative. Also this post had a personal touch to it because you put it up on request. Great!!! Nietzsche, Gibran and so many giants are honored in your blog, really I'm out of words.

prmod -> I found this very interesting, I can see u smiling already!

7:58 vorm.  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Castor! Thank you so much for such an extensive post! I loved the way you've gone on to describe nietzsche's influence among such varied forms of art encompassing the artistic greats. I think you've rightly spotted the secret of his influence rooting from the music and his poetic inclinations. To me nietzsche represents my sense of expressionism of which i owe to him a major partake! :)

Sujay>> I'm all smiles to such a lovely account.. and the apt title of course :p

11:59 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Cocain Jesus:
---------------- Did you know that he edited his books by his own resources?
His ideas have been too risky, too ventoursome for any German publisher at those days ...

6:14 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Brad:
He died at the age of only 56 years. The last 11 years he passed in mental derangemaent, supposedly caused by an advanced case of syphilis contracted in a brothel. But his ex-friend, Richard Wagner, knew about Nietzsche's secret life as a homosexual and put out the rumour that Nietzsche has got Syphilis being a paederast ...

7:09 nachm.  
Blogger Trudging said...

Some friend!

8:56 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Sujay Sukumar:
:-)The world of Science and Art has always been the only real power and will it also be forever. This world of spirit is stronger than all the negative energies encompassing us too, as you know, Sujay!
My Tuesday-posts should serve the purpose to remind of this silent but very strong power of positve energies inhering in works of art and in everybody of us.

One can kill his brother but not his spirit.

Just at this moment I'm listening to Ravi Shankarr's CD "Homage to Mahatma Gandhi" :-)

9:08 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
:-)The pleasure was mine, Prmod! I think that we have the same access to Nietzsche's world of ideas ... and this make me very happy! In the meanwhile I have somtimes the idea that these Tuesdays-posts-and-comments are like a virtual symposium of all of us ... I like this idea :-) Next Tuesday I'll invite Rabindranath Tagore to visit OUR SUMPOSIUM ...

Still listening to Ravi Shankar's Raga Mohan Kauns ...

9:45 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
:-)The pleasure is mine, Prmod! It's great, that we have the same access to Nietzsche's world of ideas ... this fact makes me very happy!
In the meanwhile I have sometimes the idea that these Tuesday-posts-and-comments have become like a virtual symposium of us all who participate on it ... I like this idea! :-)
Next Tuesday I'll invite Rabindranath Tagore to visit OUR SYMPOSIUM ...

Still listening to Ravi Shankar's Raga Mohan Kaunas! :-)

10:04 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Trudge:
He is it indeed! I hope you will participate next Tuesday on OUR SYMPOSIUM, Trudge!

10:09 nachm.  
Blogger Brad said...

My friend I ask a favor of you, because I have a feeling you would be most suitable to speak about the man. If you have noticed the "religion" series I began last night on my blog... it will continue with a posting I am about to sit down and contruct now. This posting will mention DaVinci. Most people unfortunately know him only as a famous artist and do not realize there was so much more to this clever man. I will mention a couple of things, but am also going to mention that I have asked you to go into more detail on him and his life on YOUR blog... it you can find the time to do so. There was much more to this incredibly talented man than people realize!

1:24 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Brad:
Here is the link to my post, I published a bit about Leonardo:

I'll prepare another one soon due to your request :-)

6:42 vorm.  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Castor, introducing Tagore is a very splendid idea indeed :p and when the introduction comes from you, justification is assured! Ravi shankar is a very fine musician! I always thought of his music as perfect for my early morning sunrise fancies!

11:49 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
Thank you Prmod for your encouragement to publish my personal homage to Tagore, but I think I have a kind of reincarnation connection to the Indian culture, it's like a Karma ... :-)

3:06 nachm.  

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