File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1995/nietzsche_Nov9.95, message 16

Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 19:24:17 -0800
Subject: Re: Music, Nietzsche, Rhythm

John Morgan wrote:

>On Thu, 9 Nov 1995, Deborah Hayden wrote:
>> Meanwhile, this discussion reminds of the lurking question of why Nietzsche
>> broke with Wagner. Was it over the nerve-shattering music that destroyed
>> health? Parsifal's sell-out to Christianity? The "malignancy" of Wagner's
>> old age? Or something else?
>> What was "the offense"?
>It was a combination of all of these factors. "The offense" which led to
>the actual break came when Wagner sent a copy of the libretto of "Parsifal"
>to N., bearing the dedication (not exact, but close): "To his good
>friend Professor Nietzsche, from Richard Wagner, Councillor of the Church."
>At the same time, ironically (or so Nietzsche claims), N. sent a copy of
>the newly completed "Human, All-Too-Human" to Wagner, the first book to
>distinctly show N.'s break. You may recall that Nietzsche likened this to
>"two swords crossing."

There is an excellent collection of biographical notes assembled in
the Nietzsche Chronicle at http:/, put
together by Malcolm Brown.  Apparently, it was also Nietzsche's
refusal to give up association with Paul Ree, a Jew, which
particularly irked both Richard and Cosima.  This might to some degree
help explain Nietzsche's strident "anti-anti-semitism," in that he
knew what integrity along these lines had cost him.  Later, his bust-
up with both Paul Ree and Lou Salome, precipitated apparently by his
sister, although not ever fully explained, apparently left him almost
completely isolated socially.  Of course, she later absconded to
Paraguay.  Elizabeth's position and role in all this is an interesting
question--her entre into the Wagner circle was entirely due to her
brother and, I assume, once he was no longer welcome, neither was she.
Did she exact revenge here?

One of the notes for the year 1876 is as follows:

"FN's stay in Sorrent overlaps that of Richard and Cosima Wagner, who had
arrived on 5 October and leave on 7 November. Although the "free spirits"
visit the Wagners at least half a dozen times, an underlying tension is
present. Uncharacteristically (though indicative!), both Cosima and FN are
nearly silent in their writings about these visits. FN claims that during
this visit Wagner warned him about Rée (who is Jewish) and discussed his initial
ideas about Parsifal - both unwelcome to FN's way of thinking. Regarding Rée,
Cosima notes: "...bei n=E4herer Betrachtung finden wir heraus, das er Rée
Israelit sein mu=DF" [upon closer observation we see that he must be Jewish]."

            Steven E. Callihan --

            "Some lies are so well disguised to resemble truth,
      that we should be poor judges of the truth not to believe them"

                           --La Rochefoucauld


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