Let’s Talk Philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche

NietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche was born in October 1844 in Rocken, located near Leipzig in Germany. He is the subject for next week’s two discussion groups in my local U3A Group. In preparing my research I came across the following advice from Nietzsche on how to write a novel! Was he serious? I will fill you in on our discussions after the classes next Wednesday!

This is how hard one should try to write a novel: The recipe for becoming a good novelist … is easy to give, but to carry it out presupposes qualities one is accustomed to overlook when one says ‘I do not have enough talent.’ One has only to make a hundred or so sketches for novels, none longer than two pages but of such distinctness that every word in them is necessary; one should write down anecdotes every day until one has learnt how to give them the most pregnant and effective form; one should be tireless in collecting and describing human types and characters; one should above all relate things to others and listen to others relate, keeping one’s eyes and ears open for the effect produced on those present, one should travel like a landscape painter or costume designer … one should, finally, reflect on the motives of human actions, disdain no signpost for instruction about them and be a collector of these things by day and night. One should continue in this many-sided exercise for some ten years; what is then created in the workshop … will be fit to go out into the world.

de Botton, Alain. The Consolations of Philosophy (pp. 216-217). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche

  1. That’s terrific advice for a novelist. But here’s a shortened form of that advice:

    There is only one trait that marks the writer. He is always watching. It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it. ~ Morley Callahan

  2. Mmmm… I think he was trying to say one needs to live first… then write stories. After all… how can you make a character or event credible if you have no experience of anything?
    But then… maybe that’s why we have so much YA fantasy going these days… imagination also counts for something! 😉

    • Thanks for your thoughts there Vossey! I agree with you on imagination. I think he may have written that with tongue in cheek – not sure if he had much success in writing novels 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s