Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 9

which one obtained a general view of Rome and could
hear the fountains plashing far below, the loneliest of all songs
was composed--'The Night-Song'. About this time I was obsessed by an
unspeakably sad melody, the refrain of which I recognised in the words,
'dead through immortality.'"

We remained somewhat too long in Rome that spring, and what with the
effect of the increasing heat and the discouraging circumstances already
described, my brother resolved not to write any more, or in any case,
not to proceed with "Zarathustra", although I offered to relieve him
of all trouble in connection with the proofs and the publisher. When,
however, we returned to Switzerland towards the end of June, and he
found himself once more in the familiar and exhilarating air of the
mountains, all his joyous creative powers revived, and in a note to me
announcing the dispatch of some manuscript, he wrote as follows: "I have
engaged a place here for three months: forsooth, I am the greatest fool
to allow my courage to be sapped from me by the climate of Italy. Now
and again I am troubled by the thought: WHAT NEXT? My 'future' is the
darkest thing in the world to me, but as there still remains a great
deal for me to do, I suppose I ought rather to think of doing this than
of my future, and leave the rest to THEE and the gods."

The second part of "Zarathustra" was written between the 26th of June
and the 6th July. "This summer, finding myself once more in the sacred
place where the first thought of 'Zarathustra' flashed across my mind,
I conceived the second part. Ten days sufficed. Neither for the second,
the first, nor the third part, have I required a day longer."

He often used to speak of the ecstatic mood in which he wrote
"Zarathustra"; how in his walks over hill and dale the ideas would crowd
into his mind, and how he would note them down hastily in a note-book
from which he would transcribe them on his return, sometimes working
till midnight. He says in a letter to me: "You can have no idea of the
vehemence of such composition," and in "Ecce Homo" (autumn 1888) he
describes as follows with passionate enthusiasm the incomparable mood in
which he created Zarathustra:--

"--Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion
of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If
not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition
in one, it would hardly be

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