Nietzsche Before The Breakdown

John Gray at The New Statesman:

Wait for tea to cool before drinking it, avoid all alcohol, crowds, reading, writing letters, wear warm clothes in the evening, eat rhubarb from time to time, have a napkin at breakfast, remember notebook.” These memoranda, as recorded in Lesley Chamberlain’s Nietzsche in Turin, capture the regime Friedrich Nietzsche followed in that city, in the last of his many lodgings during his wanderings across Europe. He loved long walks, but any interruption of routine was as toxic for him as bad food, so he avoided fashionable cafés and promenades. Even a bookshop was off-limits for fear of bumping into an acquaintance who might want to talk about Hegel. He needed, above all, a quiet life.

Nietzsche had cultivated the habits of an invalid for many years. Migraines, myopia, insomnia and nervous exhaustion pursued him from his twenties.

more here.