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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:01:25
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He stopped at Genoa. The damp winds and the lowering skies of the capricious autumn continued to try him. He bore impatiently with the absence of light. A melancholy of another kind complicated his trouble: The Dawn of Day had had no success. The critics had ignored the work, his friends had read it with difficulty; Jacob Burckhardt had expressed a polite but prudent judgment. "Certain parts of your book," he wrote, "I read like an old man, with a feeling of vertigo." Erwin Rohde, the dearest, the most esteemed, had not acknowledged the receipt of the book. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote to him from Genoa on October 21st:

"The Eternal Return shines like a sun setting on the last catastrophe."

And now to confront bravely waves, storms, reefs.

Overbeck and his wife attended the invalid. They wrote to his sister that she ought to be at his side. She came at once and scarcely recognised the stooping, devastated man, aged in one year by ten years, who thanked her for coming with a gesture of his hand.

Then a document appeared which deeply moved Friedrich Nietzsche. It was the date of the centenary of Beethoven. The Germans, occupied with their war, had neglected to commemorate it. Richard Wagner's voice was raised, it alone was strong enough to recall to the conquerors the memory of another glory: "Germans, you are brave," he cried; "remain brave in peace.... In this marvellous year 1870 nothing is better suited to your pride in being brave than the memory of the great Beethoven.... Let us celebrate that great pioneer and path-hewer, let us celebrate him worthily, not less worthily than the victory of German courage: for he who gives joy to the world is raised higher among men than he who conquers the world."

[5] "Who that hath once been seized by thee can fly, if he hath felt thy grave look turned on him? I shall not save myself, if thou takest me, I shall never believe thou dost naught but destroy. Yea, thou must visit all that liveth upon earth, nothing upon earth can evade thy grip: life without thee—it were beautiful, yet—thou too art worthy to be lived."

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