Returning To Nietzsche • It’s Not Immaterial • Buddhist Recommends Desires • McGavin Rejoins Dennett • Mindful of Tallis • Doubting The Truth
Returning To Nietzsche
Dear Editor: Further to Kathleen O’Dwyer’s thoughts on Nietzsche in the last issue, simple chronology tells us that it is more likely that Rilke was echoing Nietzsche than the other way round. As for the idea of eternal recurrence, Nietzsche is very likely to have Goethe, whom he revered, as one of his sources. For example, Goethe wrote in ‘Selige Sehnsucht’ (‘Blissful Longing’):
Und solang du das nicht hast,
Dieses: Stirb und werde!
Bist du nur ein trueber Gast
Auf der dunklen Erde.
(And until you possess this commandment: ‘Die and become!’, you will be but a dismal guest on the dark earth.)
Some of the links between Goethe, Nietzsche and Rilke are explored in illuminating fashion in Erich Heller’s classic 1952 study of German literature and thought, The Disinherited Mind.