Salita delle Battistine 8 (interno 6),
where Nietzsche lived in Genoa.
centro storico (detail, surroundings of
8 Salita delle Battistine, Genova)
o.i.inkt/nietjes op museumkarton 275x500x15cm.
“When I was in Italy last winter and in the high mountains
of Genoa, I studied Gallwitz’s book on Nietzsche;
in the course of my meditations I was seized by the desire
to discover where the solitary thinker had lived
during his stay in that same city in 1882.
So I wrote about this matter to his sister,
Frau Dr. Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, and after some time
received a cordial, satisfactory answer.
However, I was no longer in Italy when the letter arrived,
so that it was impossible for me to personally visit the lady
in whose house Nietzsche had once resided to give her
in person the present which Frau Dr. Förster had intended for her.
Yet although I was far away from the edge of the Ligurian Sea,
through the kind offices in Genoa of Mr. Theodor Blum,
a nephew of the great Robert Blum, I succeeded after
a long search in locating our philosopher’s former landlady
and establishing the (necessary) connection with her.
And now the following thing happened:
Carlotta Bianchi – that is the landlady’s name – still had
a suitcase of her former renter’s from the time
when Nietzsche had lived there.
She had kept it faithfully and not forgotten to save
its contents, namely two not insignificant manuscripts
and a professorial diploma of the philosopher’s.
Now, very understandably she expressed the wish to be allowed to keep the suitcase as a memento of her ‘piccolo santo’, as she called Nietzsche;
and Frau Dr. Förster, who for years has been managing all her brother’s affairs, later gladly granted her this request – just as she also in a most friendly manner offered me the right to keep
the original of the diploma
until my death.
But for the good Italian lady, the other items could hardly
have had any value and so they came
into my possession for the moment.
Because they did not rightfully belong to me either,
I soon informed Frau Dr. Förster of the remarkable discovery.
She was very pleased, asked me to send her the manuscripts
and also invited me to visit her and the Nietzsche Archives.
So I came to Weimar.
Frau Dr. Förster herself met me at the station
and rode with me through the streets of the venerable city
– toward the villa where she has now been living with her brother
for two years, caring for him splendidly and unselfishly
and observing from a high tower with a sharp eye
the waves which Nietzsche’s thoughts have long been
causing in the sea of human life.”
Walter Jesinghaus, Summer 1899
(from: Conversations with Nietzsche.
A Life in the Words of His Contemporaries.
Sander L. Gilman. Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford)
centro storico (detail),
with the Villetta di Negro’s Waterfall,
opposite the Salita delle Battistine, where Nietzsche stayed in 1882.
149-delig 2007 o.i.inkt/nietjes op museumkarton
275 x 500 x 15cm.