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Torna a Surriento

Torna a Surriento

(p.123) Chapter Six Torna a Surriento
Nietzsche's Journey to Sorrento
Paolo D’Iorio
University of Chicago Press

The last chapter stands as an elegy of the Sorrento journey. D'Iorio hypothesizes that Nietzsche was unable to return to Sorrento because of the emotional trauma he had suffered since the 1876-77 stay, including the rupture of his friendship with Paul Rée and the death of the young Albert Brenner, as well as his definitive break with Wagner. We are led through excerpt from Meysenbug's autobiography, where she tells the story of her own return to Sorrento in 1900. She recounts how she sent a branch of laurels from Sorrento to Weimar, where Nietzsche was living his last months with his sister, Elisabeth Förster Nietzsche. Yet we see that she entirely misunderstands his thought, as she reasserts his philosophical investment in the imperishable, the divine. This, combined with the fact that Nietzsche's sister would give him a Christian funeral, sadly predicts, and initiates, the tragic misinterpretation of Nietzsche's thought that continues into our time. D'Iorio offers the suggestion that Nietzsche ought to have been buried in Sorrento, or even on the Isle of Ischia, so that he could have been reconnected with the idea of the Free Spirit, and hence remembered in this light.

Keywords:   poet's laurels, Elisabeth Förster Nietzsche, Malwida von Meysenbug, Southern Italy, symbol, fool's cap, 1900, late Nietzsche

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