Sunday, May 10, 2009

13 Lou Andreas - Salomé

Lou Andreas - Salomé represents a free woman at the end of the nineteenth century. Her life wasn't of course that of the average woman of her time, but it was a woman's life, possible in those days.

If you compare it with the lifes of women like Anne-Maria van Schuurman, Belle van Zuylen it took about three hundred years to get this far. Lou Salome was part of a group of idealistic young women, called the ‘Roman Club', formed by Nietzsche's friend Malwida von Meysenbug.

She was an extremely bright, attractive, and enterprising young Russian woman, who was a student at Zürich University aspiring to be a writer and would later become the confidant and lover of Rainer Maria Rilke and friend of Sigmund Freud. Nietzsche, Rèe and Lou formed an intellectual bond which Lou called the ‘Trinity.’

The attraction of both men to Lou would create tensions in the ‘Trinity,’ and Nietzsche’s desire to live with Lou, to be her teacher and his expectations from her to bring him out of his hermit-like life style, remained unfulfilled.

In December 1883 Nietzsche wrote in a letter to Franz Overbeck: “I am straining every fiber of my self-control, but I have lived alone too long, fed too long on my own fat, so now I am being broken as no one else could be on the wheel of my own passions”

Maybe in this feeling of solitude we may find the spark that lightened Nietzsches eyes when he met Lou Salomé for the first time. "... I lust after this kind of soul", Nietzsche wrote to Rée; actually he needed a young person around him who is intelligent and educated enough to serve as his assistant.

In her later psychological-philosophical writings she is formulates ideas that are so characterisic for feelings of life in those days: the loneliness of man.

Due to the decline of the influence of religion and the growth of empirical sciences, the human being discovered that he was primarily alone in his existence.

According to Lou Salomé, the child is born in narcism, with a love for himself and everything is focused on him. In the first years of his life he learns to say "I" and "me" and thus encounter "the other".

The child and later the adult will try to retrieve this lost feeling of narcisitic completeness. As she wrote herself: "In my opinion it is important to emphasize that narcism accompanies us in all stages of our life; that it is not just an immaturity of life to be overcome, but also a lifelong companion which renews our essence."

This attitude towards life, on the one hand the lonely individual and on the other hand the drive to hold on to the narcism of our youth, the feeling of the Romantic aera, may have appealed to Nietzsche.

Lou Andreas-Salomé wrote 15 novels which all are forgotten now. A cynical Nietzsche biographer, Curt Janz, tries to shovel her under the carpet by qualifying her as a mercyless femme fatale, who rejected Nietzsche's proposals ruthlessly, and who 'came only in the spotlights thanks to Nietzsche."

Unfair and unjust for on the other hand she wrote a number of articles on art, literature and psychlogy. She was an example of one of the first free women thinkers of Europe. From 1913 on she was one of the first respected and qualified female psycho-analytical therapists in Europe.

The Discussion

[13:17] herman Bergson: So much on Lou Andreas - Salome :-)
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: we did talk of her before i remember
[13:17] itsme Frederix: I do not want to use the word for fast & short again.
[13:17] herman Bergson: you already did Itsme.....and made life here a paradox
[13:18] Laila Schuman: nietzche needed her to bounce his ideas off of... rilke did too
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:18] Ze Novikov: I find it interesting she see narcism as a life long companion
[13:18] hope63 Shepherd: independant of janz we still sadly have to acknowledge that a woman is known in her story through male comapnions..
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: it was then
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: and i guess she bounced back :-)
[13:18] itsme Frederix: Lou certainly impressed Friedrich N. , but what was her actual influence on intelligent beings those days
[13:18] hope63 Shepherd: how can you measure that influence its..
[13:18] herman Bergson: Yes in this case definitely Hope, though she accomplished a lot more...
[13:19] Paula Dix: I just finished reading The Day Nietzsche Cried... he paints her as a much nicier person
[13:19] ChatNoir Talon: I dont know if Narcism renews our essence... I think of it more of a constant challenge to best in life
[13:19] Ze Novikov: ummm
[13:19] herman Bergson: I dont think you can speak of an influence in scientific sense Itsme...
[13:19] Ze Novikov: good point
[13:20] Ze Novikov: ChatNoir can you say more?
[13:20] hope63 Shepherd: i think we should put too much emphasis on the word narcissm.. lets understand it as beeing concious of ones own individuality..
[13:20] itsme Frederix: Paula I wrote that book years ago and twice also (themovie is ugly) but you are right - I think it is a better painting (beside the autor is psychoanalyticus too)
[13:20] Paula Dix: yes, i liked the book
[13:21] hope63 Shepherd: you wrote nietzsche cried?
[13:21] ChatNoir Talon: Well of course kids are like that. Me me me, it's all about them. But as an adult one should strive to see the bigger picture and put the wellfare of "The Others" in the same level as ours
[13:21] Laila Schuman: she was a mirror who both reflected the truth (because she was bright enough to understand them) and also able to point them towards their next steps... most of all she gave their ideas/poems the validation that they themselves were not able to glean anywhere else
[13:21] itsme Frederix: almost hope (culd have written ) nope read
[13:21] Paula Dix: lol hope
[13:21] Laila Schuman: thus an inspiration
[13:21] Daruma Boa: i thought that too
[13:21] itsme Frederix: female inspiration
[13:22] ChatNoir Talon: But I think thinking of Lou as a mirror for the other guys is a bit demeaning dont you think? Maybe we should try to se eher in her own light
[13:22] Paula Dix: my psychiatrist friend here says we have 3 stages in life, the me at infance, the them after, and the empathy when we turn mature... most dont go to the third
[13:22] Laila Schuman: which has an element of guidence... they were constantly saying... what do you think of.....
[13:23] herman Bergson: Lou knew Nietzsche in fact only 8 months or so
[13:23] Daruma Boa: really?
[13:23] Laila Schuman: they wrote for a long time
[13:23] herman Bergson: She produced a lot more that only that short event
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes they met in May 1882 and due to among other things Elisabeth, Nietzsches sister, the contact was ended in December 1882
[13:24] ChatNoir Talon: Why?
[13:24] ChatNoir Talon: Nietzche got too gropey?
[13:24] herman Bergson: More important in fact is her work as psycho-analytical therapist...
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes ChatNoir...Nietzsches feelings went a little out of control for the young lady
[13:25] Paula Dix: according to the book it ended with Nietzsche and Ree fighting each other
[13:26] ChatNoir Talon: That's what I meant, of course. But what else do you know about her psych-analytical work, Herman?
[13:26] Ze Novikov: very intense relationship
[13:26] herman Bergson: That she took classes with Freud himself and corresponded with him for many years
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: i think her relationshièp with rilke and jung are far more interesting than the time she spent with nietzsche..
[13:27] herman Bergson: in 1913 she started her own praxis
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: freud?
[13:27] herman Bergson: That might be true indeed Hope..
[13:27] ChatNoir Talon: I bet there weren't a lot of female thereapists back then
[13:28] herman Bergson: she was on of the first admitted to a university in Zurich
[13:28] herman Bergson: as a student
[13:28] ChatNoir Talon: That's quite an accomplishment
[13:28] Corona Anatine: you say as student
[13:28] hope63 Shepherd: my swiss. always forerunners:)
[13:29] herman Bergson: What is so remarkable again is that we meet a brilliant woman who mainly by selfstudy (in het youth) attains a high intellectual level...
[13:29] Corona Anatine: were female student first or female lecterer
[13:29] Anne Charles: I'll grant her intellectual prowess, and her contributions to her male companions, but did she add anything to the body of philosophical knowledge?
[13:29] herman Bergson: I think the female students Corona..
[13:29] Corona Anatine: ty
[13:29] herman Bergson: No Anne not really
[13:29] itsme Frederix: Anne comes up with the striking question - at last
[13:30] hope63 Shepherd: anne.. one day you please tell m e what philosophical KNOWLEDGE is like..
[13:30] herman Bergson: Except that she wrote a three volume book on Nietzsche's ideas
[13:30] itsme Frederix: So why is she on the list then Herman ...
[13:30] ChatNoir Talon: Ah touchè!
[13:30] herman Bergson: which was published in 1894....long after their 'relation'
[13:31] Anne Charles: As soon as I know, hope
[13:31] Laila Schuman: some philosophers ask... what is the good life... what is moral... things like that... in her own way...she dealt with these and was an influence on society around her...
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: could it be that a woman's influence on male thought could be credited in some way as the originator of the thought?
[13:31] herman Bergson: As I said earlier....I should have called the the former one 'thinkers',
[13:31] itsme Frederix: Laila comes up with the answer - its the question that counts
[13:31] herman Bergson: women thinkers....not specifically philosophers
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: smile.. i'll be waiting:).. (am not really joking on that)
[13:31] Corona Anatine: is philisophical knowledge in some way different from philisophical ignorance?
[13:32] Anne Charles: OK hope
[13:33] herman Bergson: I agree with Laila....
[13:33] Laila Schuman: she also wrote essays and books and these ideas were contained in them.... just as other philosophers wrote books to present their philosophies
[13:33] herman Bergson: She published a lot ...on philosophy and literature...
[13:33] herman Bergson: but she wasnt an innovative thinker
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: anne.. as we consider philosophy the questions asked about what and how can we know.. and as we don't .. smile
[13:34] Ze Novikov: I continue to be struck by the criss crossing of psychology and philosophy...
[13:34] Anne Charles: You lost me hope
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes Ze, in her case they were closely related.....
[13:34] Corona Anatine: it was one of the forefronts at the time
[13:34] hope63 Shepherd: ok.. smile.. i'll catch up with you one day so we can catch up:)
[13:34] herman Bergson: But dont forget that you see the same thing with a philosopher as Sartre..
[13:34] ChatNoir Talon: Indeed
[13:35] Anne Charles: OK, sounds good
[13:35] herman Bergson: It depends on the theme....
[13:35] herman Bergson: when you write about the philosophy of life, the meaning of life, you easily come close to psychology too
[13:35] Paula Dix: Could she be seen as somoeone whose work was really her life instead of what she wrote?
[13:35] Corona Anatine: of course
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: good thought paula
[13:36] Laila Schuman: i think it was both paula... and that is a good comment
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: lets not forget that science had its influence on philosophy.. like galileo..
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well...her life and work and work....
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: i think the influence of some of these women is more evident in the past 50 years
[13:36] ChatNoir Talon: All work and no play makes Lou a shrink
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: than in their years
[13:37] Samuel Okelly: are we right to assume science and metaphyical enquiry are in opposing corners?
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: chat.. if she rilke was her lover she was everything but a shrink..
[13:37] itsme Frederix: is the question for philosophy not founded in the psychological state we live?
[13:37] herman Bergson: when she was in het 50s she started her carreer as shrink..
[13:37] herman Bergson: well, Itsme..
[13:37] Corona Anatine: depends how you define science
[13:38] ChatNoir Talon: I used 'shrink' as short for 'psycho-analyst' I apologize
[13:38] herman Bergson: in het work on Nietzsche she points at a close relation between personality and philosophy....
[13:38] Laila Schuman: hope... if you read their letters... she was very much shrink for rilke as well as a lover
[13:38] herman Bergson: an idea with which Nitetzsche himself agreed
[13:38] Corona Anatine: that surely should apply to all close relationships
[13:39] itsme Frederix: if we would not have wondered and were aware of a subject/object - why would we bother about giving it a place in world
[13:39] Corona Anatine: the better quality ones anyway
[13:39] Laila Schuman: agreed Çorona
[13:39] ChatNoir Talon: I don't follow Itsme
[13:40] herman Bergson: Me neither ChatNoir..:-)
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: i hate to leave so soon but rl calls see you thursday ..
[13:40] ChatNoir Talon: Bye Gemma
[13:40] Daruma Boa: bye gemma
[13:40] Corona Anatine: tc Gemma
[13:40] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Bye ! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:40] Samuel Okelly: tc gem
[13:40] herman Bergson: Happy skating Gemma :-)
[13:40] Qwark Allen: ♥゚*:;;:*゚♥゚*:;;:*゚♥ ☜❤☞Gemma☜❤☞ ♥゚*:;;:*゚♥゚*:;;:*゚♥
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: see you gemma:)
[13:40] Ze Novikov: bb gemma
[13:40] Paula Dix: bye
[13:40] itsme Frederix: put it aside or take it up - ?
[13:41] ChatNoir Talon: Take it.. I guess
[13:41] itsme Frederix: language is a problem, but using these characters does not make it better
[13:42] itsme Frederix: Oke, I think reflexion is the basic. Without awareness of space between "what you think you are" and the UmWelt no reflection
[13:42] ChatNoir Talon: The charcaters in the keyboard I'm guessing
[13:43] ChatNoir Talon: If one can argue philosophers are thos epeople with time enough to think about stuff then I see no reason not to chart Miss Lou here in there
[13:43] itsme Frederix: main is disproportions / discrepance?
[13:43] Corona Anatine: that is not a good definition
[13:43] Corona Anatine: cos anyone can 'think about stuff'
[13:44] itsme Frederix: Chat some philosophers did not get enough time I think
[13:44] herman Bergson: I am a little lost on what your point is in relation to Lou Salome Itsme..
[13:44] Corona Anatine: making it productive thought is another matter
[13:44] ChatNoir Talon: I see your point Corona... sorry about my layman's terms :P
[13:44] Paula Dix: lol we all are thinking all the time
[13:44] Paula Dix: i guess :)
[13:44] herman Bergson: Lou Salome was a very productive thinker
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: yes, it does not take a professional or a clerical go between to 'think about stuff'
[13:44] herman Bergson: and published her thoughts
[13:45] Laila Schuman: she had an influence on people's thinking..... affecting the overall timbre of her times...especially in feminist terms... but as humans thnking about God and such also
[13:45] Corona Anatine: this is clearly so if she worte 3 volumes commenting on neitzche
[13:45] itsme Frederix: Herman it was a remark to "what is phil. knowledge" in conjunction with Lou as being on the list as intelectual but also just human being with psychological importance
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes Laila, I agree.....she is a moment in example of the developments of her time
[13:46] Laila Schuman: she was more than a mere historian of Nietzsche... she had personal interactions with him that helped him in his path
[13:46] herman Bergson: Well...Nietzsche's sister wouldnt agree with you here, Laila :-)
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: as all history has had the help of woman
[13:46] Corona Anatine: and presumably his in her path
[[13:46] Laila Schuman: no... she wouldn't ... but i wouldn't agree with her either
[13:47] herman Bergson: She saw the girl as a desctructive influence on Nietzsche
[13:47] itsme Frederix: Herman lets forget the sister - we agreed on that before
[13:47] Corona Anatine: how and why so
[13:47] Corona Anatine: because of his obsession with her
[13:47] herman Bergson: I think so Corona
[13:47] Laila Schuman: she felt that lou was a "loose woman" and would ruin her brother's reputation...
[13:47] Samuel Okelly: In her apparent willingness to approach psychology and philosophy with equal fervour, it is refreshing to read someone who didn’t place science and metaphysics as being diametrically opposed to each other… was she unique in this way?
[13:48] Laila Schuman: she was worried more aobut appearances...
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon: She was afraid the guy who said "God is dead" would get a bad rep?
[13:48] Laila Schuman: no...because when Nietche died... she set about correcting his writings... censoring them etc
[13:48] itsme Frederix: Or got in jail Chat, beause he also told we murderred him
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon: :)
[13:48] ChatNoir Talon: Ahh
[13:48] Corona Anatine: to say that god is dead presuppoes he was at some timew alive
[13:48] herman Bergson: Whether she was unique I dont know, Samual, but you can be certain about the fact that she almost was unique in writing about it and publishing
[13:49] Anne Charles: Hear, hear Corona!
[13:49] itsme Frederix: Corona is a stone dead or alive
[13:49] Corona Anatine: define 'alive ' in the terms oy uo mean
[13:50] Paula Dix: is science opposed to metaphysics? I always think of it opposed to mystical thinking, not metaphysics
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: that is agood question Itsme, what do you think?
[13:50] Corona Anatine: not my words Anne
[13:50] itsme Frederix: ;)
[13:50] herman Bergson: we are drifting away fropm our subject...
[13:50] Corona Anatine: was a lyric by Roy Harper
[13:50] Laila Schuman: also define dead in the terms that neitzxche used... i think we have warped what he said
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: AS ALIVE AS HARRY POTTER..
[13:50] herman Bergson: a subject for the philosophy House I would say
[13:50] ChatNoir Talon: Back in track, then
[13:50] Anne Charles: bon mot, nevertheless,Corona
[13:50] Daruma Boa: right hope^
[13:50] itsme Frederix: Ari obvious in this anti setting of the words
[13:51] Corona Anatine: do you consider harry potter to be alive then ?
[13:51] herman Bergson: I think it is hard to tell in what way Lou Salome influenced her time...that she did was a fact for her publications were well read.
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. you still here?
[13:51] Daruma Boa: in a way everything is alive
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: harry potter is alive
[13:51] Daruma Boa: YES°
[13:51] Daruma Boa: hi rodney
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: I read the books and he lives
[13:51] Daruma Boa: right ari
[13:51] Daruma Boa: thats waht i mean
[13:52] Daruma Boa: it is all in our minds
[13:52] Rodney Handrick: Hi Daruma
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: yes Daruma
[13:52] herman Bergson: We are NOT discussing Harry Potter here.....that is another class....kindergarten maybe...^_^
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. i was just wondering whether you were just shaking your head in disbelief from what you
[13:52] ChatNoir Talon: If a woman in the early 20th century got published I'm guessing she at least influenced a lot of young women who wanted to educate themselves and make an independent life
[13:52] Paula Dix: oh no Ari now you told me the end of the story! :)))
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: that is all there is to each of us, what is in our minds
[13:52] Daruma Boa: LOL
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: well, not exactly Paula
[13:52] herman Bergson: Yes Chatnoir, that is how I think about it too....
[13:53] Daruma Boa: in some more in some less ari
[13:53] Daruma Boa: ^^^
[13:53] Paula Dix: (Ari just joking, ive read them all :))) )
[13:53] herman Bergson: So in that is justifiable that she is on my list...
[13:53] Corona Anatine: very justified i think herman
[13:53] ChatNoir Talon: Agreed
[13:53] Laila Schuman: the books she wrote on rilke and neitzxche were almost psychoanalitical in ways... and she did not let on in them that she was close to either of them
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: I am the ultimate narcisist, as I think we all are , all our lives
[13:54] herman Bergson: Then we conclude our discussion with this issue agreed upon...
[13:54] Laila Schuman: she also had private classes/conversations with freud late at night
[13:54] ChatNoir Talon: All in favor say Aye
[13:54] herman Bergson: I thank you for your participation and interest...:-)
[13:54] ChatNoir Talon: Thank you, Herman
[13:54] Daruma Boa: mh^
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks you , Professor
[13:54] Laila Schuman: they became close enough for him to send his daughter to her for protection when the war came
[13:54] Corona Anatine: oh late night freudian classes - they sound fun
[13:55] herman Bergson: Was every Wednesday evening at Freud's place Corona]
[13:55] Corona Anatine: : )
[13:55] itsme Frederix: "what 's in a's mind"
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: she definitely had to be on the list.. so far amongst the oo we look at them for their impact.. not really for what they said (because completely out of context with our knowledge)

Posted by herman_bergson on 2009-01-20 15:29:34

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