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Nietzsche & The Cabhorse

After the incident with the cabhorse
he sat - so his sister said - hour after hour
vegetating - eyes open – staring at nothing

‘This,’   the astonished landlord declared, ‘is exactly
what happened:
I observed a crowd in the street
(there was a great deal of shouting)
& behold! a member of my household - Friedrich Nietzsche
stood in the midst of them.’

What was the fuss about? What was he doing?
‘He was weeping. With his arms encircling
the neck of a terrified cabhorse
he rested his face on its face. ..
He turned & glared at the amazed owner
who instantly ceased beating the creature.

The crowd were screaming & laughing
I hurried him into the house,
put him to bed & sent for his sister.’

‘From that moment,’ she declared,
‘he was a child again
- theories, hopes, ideals lost & forgotten!’

***

BINSWANGER (personal physician) STATES:
‘The syphilitic infection has followed its customary pattern.’
FRIEDRICH’S SISTER ADDS:
‘Sometimes on entering a room he bows loftily
to everyone present.’
BINSWANGER EXPLAINS:
‘The intensity of the dementia begins to control
his thoughts & movements,
& the world he loved
- like a flower crushed by frost -
will inevitably vanish.’

Note

Friedrich Nietzsche, mentally isolated & dreaming feverishly of the perfect creature in a perfect world, suddenly deteriorates.

The incident of the cabhorse finally brings the dementia to a conclusion & his world dissolves & vanishes.