D.A. Barry at 3:AM Magazine:
In order to provoke a re-examination of a wide spectrum of assumptions with regard to Nietzsche’s philosophy and how that philosophy played out in his life, I’d like to revisit the ideas in a much maligned biography of Nietzsche, that was written by Lou Andreas-Salomé:Friedrich Nietzsche, The Man in His Works (1894).
The first time that I encountered Lou Salomé by name and image was in a cinema in Rome in 1984. I’d been invited to see the movie by a woman-friend who was an admirer of Liliana Cavani. Cavani’s film Al di lá del Bene e del Male (Beyond Good and Evil) is a fictional depiction of Salomé’s relationship with Friedrich Nietzsche and the Positivist philosopher Paul Rée. The story is loosely based on the time that the threesome spent together over eight months in 1882. It was easy for my friend and I to fall in love with the ‘idea’ of Lou Salomé: a liberated intellectual woman, a feminist of sorts — although she wouldn’t have claimed so — who lived across the cusp of previous centuries, who intrigued both of these men so much that they proposed to her. Salomé was a novelist and a poet. Nietzsche set one of her poems to music. She was a literary critic. Her first published work in 1892 was called Henrik Ibsen’s Female Characters. She was a theorist of the erotic; and finally she became a psychologist after studying with Sigmund Freud. Her biography of Nietzsche is really a psychological portrait though it reveals a deep engagement with his philosophical writings.