Portrait of the man who murdered God

December 6th, 2011
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“My wife felt sorry for Herr Nietzsche. ‘That man needs a good woman!’, she always said, and she told him, too, whenever he came to stay with us.

“He used to laugh and say, ‘Then perhaps you’d better find me one Madame Croissettes!’ or ‘Ah but Madame, I had my heart set on you, but you gave yourself to another!’ In this way he indulged my beloved wife who took great pains to make Herr Nietzsche comfortable, which was not easy, I hasten to say because he was a man of idiosyncratic habits.

“He would take breakfast in his room at 6.30 every morning, which was a trial for my wife who loved to lie in.

“Except, of course, for the times he suffered all the terrible headaches. Then he would lock his door against the world for days on end. My wife would leave some soup outside the door, and more often than not collect it again untouched. – ‘That man is being punished’, she used to say. ‘He is a good man, Herr Nietzsche: one of the kindest I have known, but he does not fear God, and so he is being punished for the sin of pride.’ – Of course, being a woman, she told him this to his face on different occasions. But again he laughed her off, saying God had better things to do than waste his time punishing an unknown German invalid philosopher, and if he did not, then he must be a very small-minded kind of a God!

In this way he good-heartedly toyed with my beloved’s equally good-hearted accusations. It made him very merry actually, this banter with my beloved wife, and truth to tell I did not find Herr Nietzsche to be the melancholy man the learned professors speak of today. No, not at all! He showed much good humour in conversation in the dining room. – Only sometimes, sitting on his own, when the other guests had gone, I saw a look on his face, a disquieted look in his eyes that made me think him very lonely, this man who they say has killed God…’

Pierre Croissettes, Nice, 1912.

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Nietzsche murders God