Nietzsche's women : beyond the whip by Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm; Diethe, Carol; Nietzsche,

By Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm; Diethe, Carol; Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm

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The published letters to Nietzsche show a woman desperate to claim his friendship, but the sub-text is one of virtual infatuation. For example, Marie reveals, in her letter of 1 September 1879, that she has travelled into Basle and walked under Nietzsche's windows without daring to knock on his door; later, she speaks of avoiding Basle altogether because Nietzsche had left: For the initial period after you left, I did not write to you on purpose; because I did not want to depress you even further, and I only had miserable things to say to myself.

21. The Young Nietzche, p. 337. Goch, p. 141. Nietzsche und die Frauen seiner Zeit, p. 46. The type of comment Nietzsche makes is that "a good marriage always rests on the talent for friendship" (HH, I: 378). See also n. 19 above. 28 Chapter One: Family and Friends potential this had for him, as early as 1863. Realizing Elisabeth's jealousy over his brief infatuation with Anna Redtel, the sister of a friend, he wrote to Elisabeth sarcastically to complain that all she wanted to hear about was the state of his linen: So, y o u were thoroughly horrified because I did not write, as usual, about dirty socks and m y various requirements for f o o d and cash and such like, which always make m y letters so endearing to y o u .

Although Nietzsche supported the mothering role of woman tout court, as we shall see, there is much evidence that he saw through the shroud of sexual hypocrisy which determined courtship. It often forced women to project themselves as helpless butterflies; acquiring a husband was the respectable young unmarried woman's priority. Unmarried, she had little status in society beyond that afforded to Nietzsche's aunts. Nietzsche steadfastly refused to see that the remedy for such thwarted lives would lie in providing women with opportunities outside the home.

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