Hugging the Horse

Philosophy, Literature, Narcissism and Nonsense

He sank more and more into apathy; little interested him apart from dolls and other children’s toys. He still spoke occasionally, but
mainly to produce stock sentences in the style of a brainwashed schoolboy. Franziska made a record of some of them: ‘I translated much’. ‘I lived in a good place called Naumburg’. ‘I swam in the Saale’. ‘I was very fine because I lived in a fine house’. ‘I love Bismarck’. ‘I don’t like Friedrich Nietzsche’. It would be a mercy to think that he experienced at least a kind of vegetative contentment, but this seems not to have been the case. He suffered from his life-long curse of insomnia, and visitors downstairs were often disturbed by groans and howls coming fromthe upstairs bedroom. Towards the end of Franziska recorded him uttering ‘More light!’ (Goethe’s dying words) and ‘In short, dead!’ suggesting that that is what he wanted to be.

—The most heartbreaking part from Julian Young’s biography of Friedrich Nietzsche

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