Cover for SALOMÉ: Nietzsche


A rare, first-hand portrait of Nietzsche the man and an insightful and accessible study of the poetic, psychological, religious, and mystical aspects of his thought

This English translation of Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken offers a rare, intimate view of the philosopher by Lou Salomé, a free-thinking, Russian-born intellectual to whom Nietzsche proposed marriage at only their second meeting.

Published in 1894 as its subject languished in madness, Salomé's book rode the crest of a surge of interest in Nietzsche's iconoclastic philosophy. She discusses his writings and such biographical events as his break with Wagner, attempting to ferret out the man in the midst of his works.

Salomé's provocative conclusion -- that Nietzsche's madness was the inevitable result of his philosophical views -- generated considerable controversy. Nietzsche's sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, dismissed the book as a work of fantasy. Yet the philosopher's longtime acquaintance Erwin Rohde wrote, "Nothing better or more deeply experienced or perceived has ever been written about Nietzsche."

Siegfried Mandel's extensive introduction examines the circumstances that brought Lou Salomé and Nietzsche together and the ideological conflicts that drove them apart.

"This translation of Salome's early portrait of Nietzsche the man and her insightful study of the poetic, psychological, religious, and mystical aspects of his thought is long overdue. . . . Salome's account of the life, feelings, and thoughts of the man whose proposal of marriage she rejected is dramatic. . . . [It] skirts the more technical aspects of his thought but faithfully presents his psychological observations and his poetic-mystical way of thinking and writing."--Choice

Lou Salome (1861-1937) was the author of Ibsen's Heroines, Freud, Rilke, and other books. Siegfried Mandel was a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and the author of Nietzsche and the Jews: Exaltation and Denigration, Rainer Maria Rilker: The Poetic Instinct, and other books.

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