‎”[I]n my thirty-sixth year of life I arrived at the lowest point of my vitality – I still lived, but without being able to see three paces in front of me. At that time – it was 1879 – I resigned my professorship at Basel, lived through the summer like a shadow in St. Moritz and the following winter, the most sunless of my life, as a shadow in Naumburg. This was my minimum: meanwhile, ‘The Wanderer and His Shadow’ came into existence. Doubtless, I knew about shadows in those days… In the following winter, my first winter in Genoa, that sweetening and spiritualization which is almost inseparable from an extreme poverty of blood and muscle, brought forth ‘The Dawn.’ The perfect brightness and cheerfulness, even exuberance of spirit, that is reflected in the said work, is in my case compatible not only with the most profound physiological weakness, but also with an excess of pain. In the midst of the torments brought on by an uninterrupted three-day headache accompanied by the laborious vomiting of phlegm, – I possessed a dialectician’s clarity par excellence, and in utter cold blood I then thought out things, for which when I am in better health I am not enough of a climber, not refined, not cold enough.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo – How one becomes what one is, Why I am So Wise, 1888


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