Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 7

How he longed, in those days, for the ideal friend who would thoroughly
understand him, to whom he would be able to say all, and whom he
imagined he had found at various periods in his life from his earliest
youth onwards. Now, however, that the way he had chosen grew ever more
perilous and steep, he found nobody who could follow him: he therefore
created a perfect friend for himself in the ideal form of a majestic
philosopher, and made this creation the preacher of his gospel to the

Whether my brother would ever have written "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
according to the first plan sketched in the summer of 1881, if he
had not had the disappointments already referred to, is now an idle
question; but perhaps where "Zarathustra" is concerned, we may also say
with Master Eckhardt: "The fleetest beast to bear you to perfection is

My brother writes as follows about the origin of the first part of
"Zarathustra":--"In the winter of 1882-83, I was living on the charming
little Gulf of Rapallo, not far from Genoa, and between Chiavari and
Cape Porto Fino. My health was not very good; the winter was cold and
exceptionally rainy; and the small inn in which I lived was so close
to the water that at night my sleep would be disturbed if the sea were
high. These circumstances were surely the very reverse of favourable;
and yet in spite of it all, and as if in demonstration of my belief that
everything decisive comes to life in spite of every obstacle, it was
precisely during this winter and in the midst of these unfavourable
circumstances that my 'Zarathustra' originated. In the morning I used to
start out in a southerly direction up the glorious road to Zoagli, which
rises aloft through a forest of pines and gives one a view far out into
the sea. In the afternoon, as often as my health permitted, I walked
round the whole bay from Santa Margherita to beyond Porto Fino. This
spot was all the more interesting to me, inasmuch as it was so dearly
loved by the Emperor Frederick III. In the autumn of 1886 I chanced to
be there again when he was revisiting this small, forgotten world
of happiness for the last time. It was on these two roads that all
'Zarathustra' came to me, above all Zarathustra himself as a type;--I
ought rather to say that it was on these walks that these ideas waylaid

The first part of "Zarathustra" was written in about ten days--that is
to say, from the beginning

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