Remarkable similarity between the scene of Nietzsche's madness and Raskolnikov's dream in "Crime and Punishment".

Friedrich Nietzsche Nietzsche and Dostoevsky

Remarkable similarity between the scene of Nietzsche's madness and Raskolnikov's dream in "Crime and Punishment".

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)wikipedia.

In January 1889, Nietzsche's 45th year, he went insane. The episode of his madness is well known, but I knew little about the details.

But reading the reference book I was shocked. That moment of madness was the moment when Dostoevsky's masterpieceCrime and Punishment."It was just like the dream that Raskolnikov, the protagonist of the

Nietzsche first encountered Dostoevsky's works two years before he went mad. Dostoevsky - the great work of his later yearsMinors."andThe Brothers Karamazov.had not read it, though,The Record of the House of Death."andThe Oppressed., ,The Memoirs of a Basement., ,Evil Spirits."He is said to have been greatly impressed by reading such books as

In this article, I would like to consider such Nietzsche's madness and Raskolnikov's dream.

Now let's look at the text written about Nietzsche's moment of madness.

The first reference is to the text of Rüdiger Zafransky's "Nietzsche: A Biography of That Idea".

On January 3, 1889, Nietzsche leaves his room and goes to Carlo Alberto Square, where he sees a coachman beating a horse. Nietzsche clings to the horse's neck in tears, trying to protect it. Overcome with pity, his spirit crumbles. A few days later, Franz Overbeck takes his mentally deranged friend in. Nietzsche would live in the darkness of his psyche for the next ten years.

The history of his thinking ends in January 1889.

Hosei University Press, Rüdiger Zafransky, translated by Yamamoto You, Nietzsche: A Biography of His Thoughts, p. 356

Another reference book, Ben McIntyre - "Elisabeth Nietzsche: The Woman Who Sold Nietzsche to the Nazis" also describes Nietzsche's madness. This one is more detailed. It is a bit long, but I will quote it.

Towards the end of 188, the spirit of Nietzsche, who happened to be living in Turin, wasovertonetempo fortissimoThe disease had finally taken hold of his mind and there was no way to escape. Walking down the street, he felt as if he were 10 years younger and people were staring at him in awe. At night, he would spend hours playing the piano at his lodgings. Most of the time it was Wagner.

On his 44th birthday, he began writing "Behold This Man. It is an autobiography full of rousing, grandiose ideas and self-praise. In the chapter "Why I Am One Destiny," the consequences of God's death, of the world's liberation from the illegal bondage of Christian morality, are presented in horrifyingly blatant terms.

Now that the truth has begun to fight thousands of years of lies, we will experience tremors, seismic convulsions, and the shifting of mountains and valleys that no one could have dreamed of." Nietzsche corresponded with August Strindberg. The old Swede and the still young German philosopher fell into madness at the same time.

By Christmas of that year, his good mood was at its peak. In two months," he wrote, "I shall be the greatest man alive. My health is excellent, my appetite is good, and my reputation is unshaken.

If his book has not yet been read by anyone except a few Scandinavian intellectuals, it is a testament to the stupidity of others (especially Germans) and his own greatness.

Nietzsche suddenly felt he had political power, and anti-German sentiment reached its zenith. 'I have ordered the princes to hold a meeting in Rome,' he wrote to Strindberg. 'It is my desire that the young emperor should be shot by someone.' He then signed it with Nietzsche Caesar. In reply, Strindberg wrote: "I want to go mad, I want to go mad," and concluded. At any rate, it is delightful to be mad."

On January 3, Nietzsche was strolling through the streets of Turin as usual. On a street corner in Carlo Alberto, he came upon a gyojin roughly beating an old horse. Nietzsche clung to the horse's neck and fell to the ground crying. A crowd of people gathered, and the landlord, who was among them, took him back to his lodgings. He eventually regained consciousness, but his mind never returned to normal.

He wrote angry, confused, and insane letters to the King of Italy, the Vatican, and various friends. He signed himself Dionysus, or "the tormented one," and denounced the empire, Germany, and anti-Semitism. I have now taken possession of my kingdom," he wrote. I will now imprison the Pope and put Wilhelm, Bismarck, and Stecker (Förster's friend) to death by firing squad."

In another letter, he finally confessed his love for Cosima Wagner, calling her "Ariadne". When Overbeck received a letter saying that he was just about to have every anti-Semite shot, he rushed to Turin to find his friend and bring her home.
Some line breaks have been made.

Hakusuisha, Ben McIntyre, translated by Yoshiro Fujikawa, Elisabet Nietzsche: The Woman Who Sold Nietzsche to the Nazis, P200-201

This is a more detailed and vivid picture of the situation.

And it was the poor horse that was beaten that triggered his madness. He could no longer bear the sight of a weak being being cruelly beaten. I think it is very important to note that Nietzsche, who had been preaching the "strong man," finally collapsed because of the existence of this poor horse.

Now we will begin to look at the dreams of Raskolnikov, the protagonist of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment".

Just before committing the murder, Raskolnikov has a dream.

In that dream he is a child about seven years old. He was walking outside with his father and there was a crowd of people in front of a tavern.

There was a large wagon, and strangely enough, hitched to it was a small, skinny peasant horse. Normally, such a large cart could only be pulled by a sturdier, stronger horse. But for some reason, an old, poor horse was hitched to the wagon.

People are amused and get on this wagon and try to force this horse to pull the cart.

Naturally, however, the horse did not move at all. All that followed was the empty struggle of the skinny horse, which was in agonizing pain.

The owner of the wagon, Mikolka, became angry and started beating his horse. He began to hit the horse harder and harder, as if he had lost his mind, thinking that if he hit the horse, it would start running.

Get in! Everybody get in!" Micorka shouted back. I'll take you all! I'm gonna take 'em all out, and I'm gonna beat 'em to a pulp!

Then he nipped and nipped and nipped. He was so lightheaded now that he didn't know what to nudge it with.

'Father, father,' he exclaimed to his father. Father, what are those people doing? Father, they beat that poor horse like that!"

Let's go, let's go!" My father said. They're drunk, they're fooling around, they're fooling around. Let's go, don't look! With these words, my father was about to take him away, but he shook off his father's hand and started toward the horse. But the poor horse was no longer up to the task. The horse was gasping for breath, stopping and pulling again. It looked as if it was going to fall over at any moment.

Beat them to death! Micorka ranted. That's all you need to do, you little yakuza horse! Lose him!

Don't you have a cross, demon! one elderly man shouted from the crowd.

Someone sided with the old man, saying, "I ain't never seen such a skinny horse pull such a load."

You're going to smoke me to death!" the other shouted.

I'm not going to tell you what to do! It's mine! What I do with it is my business. Ride more! Everybody get on! I'm going to make it run however I want! ......"

Suddenly, the laughter exploded, and nothing could be heard. Mesma could no longer stand the increasingly harsh whip and began to kick with his hind legs without effort. Even the old man couldn't hold back his laughter. It was indeed a funny scene. He was such an old, skinny horse, but he still remembered to kick!

Two more young men from the crowd grabbed whips and started to lash out at the horses from this side and that side. They were going to strike the horses from both sides.

Give me your nose, your eyes, your eyes!" Mikolka yelled.

Everybody, let's sing!" someone shouted from the top of the carriage. Then the people on the wagon started to sing in unison. A lively, dirty song was heard, drums were beating, and whistles were shouting. The woman was cracking walnuts and giggling.

...... He ran to the horse, ran to the front of the horse, and saw that he had been hit in the eye, the whip had hit him squarely in the eye! He was crying. His chest was full of tears, and they came one after the other. Someone's whip hit him in the face, but he did not feel a thing. He clutched his hands, sobbing, and jumped at a white-haired old man with a white beard. The old man shook his head and looked at the scene with reproachful eyes. A woman took him by the hand and tried to lead him away. But he shook off her hand and started toward the horse again. It was his last gasp, but he still started kicking again.

Oh, fuck you, fuck you!" Micorka yelled in a fit of anger. He threw down his whip, bent over, and plucked a long, thickshafts (attached to the yoke of a cart, plow, etc.)long shaftHe snatched up the horse, grabbed the end of it with his bare hands, and suddenly swung it over the skinny horse.

You're going to break my bones!" shouted Lor and the people around him.

You're killing me!"

I'm on my own!" With that shout, he swung the shaft down with all his might. A muffled sound echoed through the air.

Niggle, niggle! What's going on? some voices called out from the crowd.

He swung once more, and the forceful blow once more landed on the back of the frail, mare. The horse broke its hind legs, but quickly jumped up again and pulled. He struggled to the left and right with all his might, trying to somehow maneuver the car. But six whips caught the horse from all directions, and the shafts, with the wind in their sails, dropped onto the horse's back a third time, and then a fourth, after a precise pause. Mikolka was completely roused by the fact that he had not been beaten by a single blow.

He's still alive!" shouted those around him.

He's going down, he's going down, he's going down!" said a fond man from the crowd.

What are you doing? Kill him at once!" someone shouted.

Yeah, shut up! Get out of the way! He then abandoned the shafts, crouched down again, and this time yanked the bars out of the bottom of the wagon. Watch out! he shouted, raising the iron bar and swinging it down with all his might onto the back of the hapless horse. The horse stumbled and fell to the ground, but then tried to spring back up again. The iron bar again caught the wind and fell onto the horse's back, and the horse fell down with a thud, as if all four legs had been knocked off at once.

Give me some breathing room!" and he jumped down from the wagon with a start. Several red-faced young men, in a full mood, grabbed whips, sticks, shafts, and other objects they could lay their hands on, and started toward the gasping horse. Mikolka stood next to the horse and, although the horse would have died even if he had been left alone, he began to strike the horse's back with the iron bar in a blistering attack. The horse stretched out its snout and drew its last breath in agony.

They finally let him go! was heard from the crowd.

I wonder why I didn't run!"

It's mine! Mikolka gripped the iron bar and shouted with bloodshot eyes. He stood there, looking regretful that he no longer had anyone to hit.

You don't have a cross to bear!" This time, many voices shouted from the crowd.

By the way, the poor boy Raskolnikov could think of nothing else. He waddled through the crowd, weeping, to the side of the barren horse, and, clutching his dead, bloody snout, kissed his face, his eyes, his lips,...... and, springing up unexpectedly, raised his little fist in the air and, as if in a frenzy, leaped upon Mikolka. I was so excited that I jumped up and down and jumped on Micorka like a madman. At that moment, his father, who had been following him for some time, finally grabbed him and led him out of the crowd.

We're going! Hey, you have to go!" My father said to him. Let's go home!

Dad! Why did those people ...... kill ...... that poor horse!" he said with a shriek, but his breath caught and the words burst from his clenched chest as a scream.

The drunks were playing a prank on us,me,,Let's go!" my father said. He clung to his father, but his chest tightened more and more bitterly. He clung to his father, but his chest was squeezing harder and harder. He felt suffocated and was about to scream, when he woke up.

When he awoke, his body was drenched in sweat and even his hair was wet. He sat up fearfully, breathing on his shoulders.

Shinchosha, Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, vol. 1, translated by Seiichiro Kudo, p. 101-105, 57th printing in 2014.

Dostoevsky is still a very cruel matter how many times I read this part, it still makes my heart ache....

But I am sure you were surprised when you read it. This is exactly like Nietzsche's madness.

As I mentioned earlier, Nietzsche first read Dostoevsky two years before his madness. There is no public record of Crime and Punishment being read, so it is unclear whether Nietzsche actually read this passage.

However, whether or not you have read Crime and Punishment, the fact remains that the final trigger leading to insanity was this horse beating.

Nietzsche, who had preached so much about "being strong," jumped on the "poor horse" bandwagon. He collapsed at the last minute at the thought of a "weak being". I think this is very significant.

I was really surprised when I learned about this scene of Nietzsche's madness. And I think my feelings about Nietzsche changed quite a bit after learning this fact.

And W. Schubart's "Dostoevsky and Nietzsche: What Their Lives Represent," which I introduced earlier, explains in detail why Nietzsche went mad.

In this book, we are told why Nietzsche had to reach a dead end and what he was suffering from. Nietzsche is often associated with difficult and aggressive language, but this book made me think about what Nietzsche was trying to accomplish as a human being.

However, some books do not mention the scene of Nietzsche's madness at all. Written by Kanji NishioThe Complete Works of Kanji Nishio, Vol. 5: Light and Cliff - Nietzsche in His Final YearsThe horse is not mentioned in the book of Nietzsche, and the fact that he went mad is mentioned in the Complete Works of Nietzsche, but not whether he jumped on the horse or not. As we have said on this blog, Nietzsche is a man who is viewed in many different ways. Even if it were not true that he jumped on a horse and went mad,The fact that such a legend was createdis also interesting. I am not an expert and do not know the truth to that extent.

However, I personally feel that the close similarity between Nietzsche's madness and Raskolnikov's dream is a very big problem. I am also concerned about the fact that the dream of the whirling worm in the final stages of Crime and Punishment is also very much linked to the state of Nietzsche's later years. If you read Nietzsche's last autobiographical work, "Behold This Man," I am sure you will feel this. This and other such factors have made Nietzsche and "Crime and Punishment" a theme that I would like to continue to think about.

The above is "The site of Nietzsche's madness and the striking resemblance to Raskolnikov's dream in "Crime and Punishment"".

*Addition on October 10, 2021, regarding the theory that syphilis was the cause of Nietzsche's madness.

There is a theory that Nietzsche's madness was caused by progressive paralysis due to syphilis, but this has now been debunked.

On this subject, Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio, eds.The Nietzschean Tale: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World.The article "Nietzsche's Illness and Death" by Yukio Uchinuma, published in the "Nietzsche's Sickness and Death" series, goes into great detail, some of which is presented here for reference.

Nietzsche had suffered from severe headache attacks since he was a young man, and at the end of 188, in Turin, he suffered a sudden confusion and fell into dementia. On January 10 of the following year, he was admitted to a mental hospital in Basel accompanied by his friend Overbeck, and on January 18 of the same year, he was transferred to the psychiatric department of the University of Jena, where he was examined by Professor O. Binswanger, the chief professor. The diagnosis was progressive paralysis. Nietzsche remained there until March 24, 1890, when his mother took him in. After leaving the hospital, he was cared for by his family, but his condition did not seem to deteriorate rapidly, and he died on August 25, 1905, in a prolonged state of dementia. This is, roughly speaking, the clinical course of the disease on which the theory of syphilis was based.

Yuuhikaku (law book publisher)Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio (eds.), The Nietzsche Story: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World, p. 25.
Yuuhikaku (law book publisher)From "Nietzsche's Tale: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World," edited by Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio, p. 25.

The general course of neurosyphilis is shown in the table. The transition from syphilis infection to progressive paralysis, which is syphilis of the brain parenchyma - hence dementia and personality changes as the central axis symptoms - takes many years, and some of the intermediate stages may pass asymptomatically, while others may show a variety of neurological symptoms, thus making the diagnosis of neurosyphilis It is no exaggeration to say that the diagnosis of syphilis is absolutely impossible based on symptoms alone. To confirm the diagnosis, positive blood and spinal fluid reactions for syphilis must be demonstrated as a minimum requirement.

Yuuhikaku (law book publisher)Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio (eds.), The Nietzsche Story: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World, p. 25.

Whether Nietzsche had syphilis or not needs to be verified by scientific evidence. In this regard, the author of the paper goes on to say This is very important.

What about "Nietzsche's case"? In order to critically examine this point, it is most important to understand the reality of psychiatry around 1889, when Nietzsche was hospitalized. At that time, the second and third editions of Kravelin's textbook on psychiatry were being published, and the system of psychiatric diseases was undergoing rapid changes. Although syphilis was the most popular theory for progressive paralysis, it had not yet been established as a unit of disease and was frequently misdiagnosed. The detailed histopathological study of progressive paralysis by Alzheimer and Nissle was conducted in 1900 after Nietzsche's death, the discovery of syphilis serology by Wassermann in 1906, the identification of syphilis spirochetes in the brain by Hideyo Noguchi in 1913, and the discovery of fever therapy for malaria by Wagner and Joreg in 1912. Wagner Joregg's discovery of the fever cure for malaria in 1912. Incidentally, it is said that before the use of the Wassermann reaction, Kraepelin's diagnosis of progressive paralysis was 30 percent of hospitalized patients, and after the use of the reaction, the diagnosis dropped to 30 to 90 percent. This was the rate of misdiagnosis by the world's best clinical psychiatrist at the time. Given this state of medical science, it is common knowledge in modern psychiatry that the diagnosis of Nietzsche as a progressive paralytic is not a definitive diagnosis.

Yuuhikaku (law book publisher)Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio (eds.), The Nietzsche Story: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World, p. 25-26.

You can see the medical situation at the time. Nietzsche was diagnosed with syphilis in a situation where the diagnosis of syphilis was hardly established, and that leaves us with a big question. In the earlier quote, "It is no exaggeration to say that diagnosis of neurosyphilis is absolutely impossible based on symptoms alone.As stated, "The credibility of the doctor who diagnosed Nietzsche is considered doubtful in modern times.

Moreover, if Nietzsche went insane in 1889 due to syphilis, he did not die until 1900. It is considered medically highly unlikely that Nietzsche would survive for 11 years after the onset of encephalopathy caused by syphilis. Moreover, the symptoms before and after his insanity were also said to be unlikely to have been caused by syphilis.

This paper will look at this issue in much greater detail from here. I would like to introduce it all here, but it would be quite long, so I would encourage anyone interested to read the book. Here I would like to introduce one part that particularly impressed me.

If the diagnosis was made as definitively as Lange-Eichbaum's, down to the details of the course of the disease, it can only be assumed that there was an impure intention hidden there, unrelated to medicine. This point notwithstanding, it was the diagnoses in Basel and Jena that provided the decisive basis for the syphilis theory. In general, it is only natural that the person who directly examines a patient in the course of medical diagnosis should take the decisive leadership. Therefore, it was only natural that subsequent histopathological research would be based on this diagnosis, and would seek to elucidate in greater detail the course of the disease and its effects on the work. Such was the nature of the work of Moebius, Benda, and Lange-Eichbaum in their syphilis theory. It was this premise that made their work possible, and it was this premise that made speculation based on weak evidence seem like a definitive diagnosis. If this premise were to falter, the value of their work would be lost. As I have already suggested, the premise itself was also uncertain.

Yuuhikaku (law book publisher)Jiro Watanabe and Kanji Nishio (eds.), The Nietzsche Story: Its Abyss and Multifaceted World, p. 26.

As we have discussed, Nietzsche was diagnosed with progressive paralysis by a physician in our area, but there is considerable doubt as to the veracity of this diagnosis. However, as this quote states, there were people with "impure intentions unrelated to medicine" who wanted to spread the word that Nietzsche had syphilis based on that diagnosis.

As we have seen on this blog, Nietzsche has been used and interpreted by a wide variety of groups.

And on the other hand, there were those who turned to Nietzsche's overly radical ideas, saying, "That's just the delusions of a madman. On the other hand, there were also those who criticized Nietzsche's radical ideas, saying that they were merely the delusions of a madman and not truly worthwhile ideas. It may be said that syphilis was used as a tool for such people to criticize Nietzsche.

Yes, it is sensational that Nietzsche went mad with syphilis. It is even gossipy. It may be a good story to talk about Nietzsche in an amusing way. It is possible that they intended to discredit Nietzsche in this way.

But again, this theory has been debunked. Unfortunately, this is still a gossipy theory to introduce Nietzsche, but I thought that it is one of the aspects of Nietzsche that such a theory is still prevalent.

If I say, "There is a theory that Nietzsche went mad because he contracted syphilis in a brothel," the reader will say, "Oh, really? That's right!" I'm sure you would think, "Really?

Moreover, it is this way of saying "there is a theory that...". With this, even if the theory is proven to be wrong, it does not matter.

It should have been said up to the point that "there was such a theory, but it is now denied," but this would mean that something completely different from the facts would be spread as fact. Of course, readers who do not have the expertise cannot even question this.

Thus completely malicious gossip and gossip."A funny story."will be disseminated.

Gossip attracts people. Yes, it is sensational, and it stands out. It also sells goods. However, I am saddened by the fact that great people and masterpieces are being consumed as commodities for the fun of it.

But I am sure there are many such things in the world. We may be living surrounded by such gossip without even realizing it. We can only hope that such gossip will decrease even a little.

The above is a lengthy postscript on the theory that syphilis was the cause of Nietzsche's insanity.

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