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Letters to Nietzsche single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Letters to Nietzsche
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This essay explores the practice of personal letter writing with reference to autobiographical theory, memory and trauma. It considers the extent to which the process of writing letters can assuage the difficulties of growing up in a family riddled with secrets and trauma. The writer uses her youthful fantasies of the philosopher Nietzsche and her mature understanding of his life, alongside her relationship with an authoritarian and damaged father, to explore some connections between these two seemingly disparate lives and how they link to her own. Letters to self, to family and friends, and in adulthood to other writers, including Drusilla Modjeska, Helen Garner and Gerald Murnane, frame the creative efforts to reorder lived experience. The narrative weaves between letter writing and life experience, at different stages, to explore how the rational abstractions of a philosopher and the idiosyncratic musings of an autobiographer might come together in unexpected ways. The creative element derives from the juxtaposition of such elements and the writer’s attempts to make sense of them.' (Publication summary)


  • Epigraph:

    My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from ‘capsizing’! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other's sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather.

    Friedrich Nietzsche. Letter to Franz Overbeck, Genoa, 14 November 1881

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Last amended 17 Sep 2015 11:00:04 Letters to Nietzschesmall AustLit logo Axon : Creative Explorations