Visions of truth.
Madness & Death
On 3 January 1889 Nietzsche witnessed the flogging of a horse at the other end of the Piazza Carlo Alberto, ran to the horse, threw his arms up around its neck to protect it, and then collapsed to the ground.
In the following few days, Nietzsche sent short writings—known as the Wahnzettel ("Madness Letters")—to a number of friends including Cosima Wagner and Jacob Burckhardt. Most of them were signed "Dionysos", though some were also signed "der Gekreuzigte" meaning "the crucified one". To his former colleague Burckhardt, Nietzsche wrote: "I have had Caiaphas put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. Wilhelm, Bismarck, and all anti-Semites abolished." Additionally, he commanded the German emperor to go to Rome to be shot and summoned the European powers to take military action against Germany, that the pope should be put in jail and that he, Nietzsche, created the world and was in progress of having all anti-Semites shot dead.
In 1893, Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche returned from Nueva Germania in Paraguay following the suicide of her husband. She read and studied Nietzsche's works and, piece by piece, took control of them and their publication. Elisabeth employed Rudolf Steiner as a tutor to help her to understand her brother's philosophy. Steiner abandoned the attempt after only a few months, declaring that it was impossible to teach her anything about philosophy.
On 25 August, 1900 Nietzsche died of a stroke. His friend and secretary Gast gave his funeral oration, proclaiming: "Holy be your name to all future generations!"
His sister Elisabeth compiled The Will to Power from Nietzsche's unpublished notebooks and published it posthumously. Because his sister arranged the book based on her own conflation of several of Nietzsche's early outlines and took great liberties with the material, the scholarly consensus has been that it does not reflect Nietzsche's intent.
All superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind of morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad.
Either through the influence of the narcotic drink, of which the hymns of all aboriginal humans and peoples speak, or with the invigorating springtime’s awakening that fills all nature with passion, these Dionysian impulses find their source, and as they grow in intensity everything subjective vanishes into complete loss of self-recognition. Even in the German Middle Ages singing and dancing crowds, ever increasing in number, moved from place to place under this same Dionysian impulse…. There are people who, from the lack of experience or thick-headedness, turn away from such manifestations as from “folk-diseases,” mocking or with pity derived from their own sense of a superior health. But of course these poor people have no idea how corpse-like and ghostly their so-called “health” looks when the glowing life of the Dionysian swarm buzzes past them.
—Birth of Tragedy