28 March 2010

I had the luck to be part of [Nietzsche's] career at the university, when, during the winter semester of 1872-73 I took a three-hour lecture course on the rhetoric of the Greeks and Romans with him. As a citizen of Basel, I am still overcome with shame when I think that such an important faculty member only found two students, one of whom was a student of German, the other a student of law. And this was the only one of his announced courses which was actually held. No wonder that our beloved professor, whose health was already precarious, soon requested that we hear the rest of the lectures in his apartment. Thus we found ourselves three evenings a week in his familiarly elegant home for this lecture course. There we listened to him by lamplight and noted down the bon mots he dictated from his soft, red leather notebook. Here too he often stopped in the midst of a lecture, either to think or to give us time to process what we had heard. He was generous enough to offer us a beer, a Culmbacher, which he would drink out of a silver cup. From the size of my notes - eighty-four cramped quarto pages - one can imagine the rich content of the lectures, perhaps even more so from the following titles of the various subsections: [...]

Even though the professor's lecture during each of the hours concentrated exclusively on the announced theme, there were still occasions, before or after the lectures, where we exchanged many a humourous or serious word with him on all sorts of topics. It is evident that I never once missed these lectures and still more evident was the professor's grade: "Attended with hard work and success, F.N."

Ludwig Wilhelm Kelterborn-Fischer [1853-1910], later a writer

1 comment:

Soren Lorensen said...

later a writer?

I don't think you can be it later

and they are lovely birthday socks from my friendlings