Black and white photograph of Friedrich Nietzsche with a huge mustache.

Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844 - 1900)

Between 1879 and 1889 Friedrich Nietzsche published almost a dozen books, among them Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, and Ecce Homo—the last of which includes chapters titled “Why I Am So Clever” and “Why I Write Such Good Books.” The philosopher and philologist once defined his concept of “eternal recurrence” as “existence, as it is, without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without any finale of nothingness.” Nietzsche called it a “European form of Buddhism” that was also indebted to Heraclitus and the Stoics. Afflicted with illness for most of his adult life, he died at the age of fifty-five in 1900.

All Writing

The sick man is the parasite of society.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1889


In the winter of 1878, Friedrich Nietzsche diagnosed himself with “Baselophobia.” After slipping on black ice, developing constant headaches and a finger infection, and suffering a nine-day stretch of persistent vomiting, he had become convinced the city of Basel was killing him. His sister, Elisabeth, blamed his illness instead on his attempt “to imitate Diogenes” by practicing dietary asceticism.

Without music life would be a mistake.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1889

The enlightened man says: I am body entirely and nothing beside.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1883

In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad. 

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1878

Our crime against criminals is that we treat them as villains.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1898

Physician, heal yourself: thus you help your patient too. Let his best help be to see with his own eyes the man who makes himself well.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, c. 1884

We possess art lest we perish of the truth.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1887

The belly is the reason why man does not mistake himself for a god.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886

The believer in magic and miracles reflects on how to impose a law on nature—and, in brief, the religious cult is the outcome of this reflection.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1878

Voices In Time

1874 | Basel

Man vs. Animal

Friedrich Nietzsche separates the historical and unhistorical.More

Issues Contributed