There, there . . .

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister.

. . . in Leipzig . . .

Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus.

. . . Wagner first . . .

George Bernard Shaw, The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Nibelung’s Ring.

. . . met young Nietzsche, who was enchanted by . . .

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and

His Music.

. . . the older man’s . . .

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.

. . . wit, awed by his greatness and overjoyed to hear him discuss his debt to Schopenhauer. The brilliant boy, less than a year older than Ludwig of Bavaria—Nietzsche’s dead father and Wagner had been born in the same year—in turn made an extraordinary impression on the composer, who encouraged him to visit Triebschen . . .

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and

His Music.

Tribschen, a villa standing just outside Lucerne on a wooded tongue of land projecting into the Vierwaldstaetter Lake—

Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (translator’s introduction).

. . . to continue their discussion of music and philosophy.

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and

His Music.

Nietzsche later observed, . . .

Tom Tyler, Snakes, Skins and the Sphinx: Nietzsche’s Ecdysis.

I knew that the idea of somebody saying “Tell me everything” and meaning it was an unbearably exciting, heady thing for me. That somebody would first allow me to say everything that was in my mind, and then would understand it, promised a kind of intellectual and emotional utopia. It was the connection with another human soul that I was after.

J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst.

[N]o clouds shaded those early bewitching and refreshing days at the lake, where Nietzsche, submissively lost in adoration, passed golden hours stolen from his . . .

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and

His Music.

. . . professorial . . .

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.

. . . duties at Basel.

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and

His Music.

For the rest of his life he would remember . . .

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

. . . one summer morning . . .

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.

. . . on the lake.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.

The sky was cloudless and azure colored, and on the far side of the lake the mountains . . . glowed in bright sunlight.
Russell Banks, The Reserve.

They were seated in the boat, . . .

Ernest Hemingway, Indian Camp.

. . . facing each other like two mirrors, . . .

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

. . . Nietzsche . . .

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.

. . . in the stern, . . .

Ernest Hemingway, Indian Camp.

. . . Wagner . . .

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.

. . . rowing. The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass jumped, making a circle in the water.

Ernest Hemingway, Indian Camp.

Nietzsche . . .

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.

. . . trailed his hand in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning.

In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with . . .

Ernest Hemingway, Indian Camp.

. . . his mentor . . .

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

. . . rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die.

Ernest Hemingway, Indian Camp.

They spent many hours together, wonderful hours of endless talk, so free and full that it combed the universe and bound the two of them together in bonds of closest friendship. It was a friendship founded on many common tastes and interests, on mutual like and admiration of each for what the other was, and on an attitude of respect which allowed unhampered expression of opinion even on those rare subjects which aroused differences of views and of belief. It was, therefore, the kind of friendship that can exist only between two men. 

Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again.

Years after his break with Wagner, he observed, “I pass over my other relationships lightly; but at no price would I have my life bereft of those days at Triebschen, days of confidence, of serenity, of sublime flashes, of profound moments.”

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.

(I had no idea at the time how large this house would loom in my subsequent life)

J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst.

Wagner liked him enormously. But completely disinterested friendship was a luxury he permitted himself infrequently. He sensed Nietzsche’s abilities as a writer and wished to yoke them to his cause.

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.

Certainly he was impressed by the professor’s eminently articulate style.

Elmer Bendiner, A Time For Angels: The Tragicomic History of the League of Nations.

The relationship between the two men grew increasingly close, and during the war year of 1870—the high tide of their intimacy—each labored at a work reflecting this happiest time of their friendship, a brief period Richard Strauss considered one of the century’s most significant moments.

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.

The older man was not merely friend but father to the younger.   

Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again.

Nietzsche . . .

W.D. Williams, Nietzsche and the French.

. . . painted an idyllic picture . . .

Deborah E. Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial.

. . . of his free time at the house by the lake, listening to the Master, conversing with him and Cosima about the Greeks, about music, about the great task of cultivating the genius. Both Christmas 1869 and 1870 were spent at Tribschen, and Nietzsche took charge of the proof-correcting of Wagner’s autobiography, which was about to appear.

W.D.Williams, Nietzsche and the French.

Wagner’s home was . . .
Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Richard Wagner.
(figuratively speaking)
Charles Dickens,
Martin Chuzzlewit.
. . . a staircase of enchantment.
Elizabeth W. Champney, Romance of Roman Villas.
For me they were steps, . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols.
. . . steps in the process of . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . self enlightenment and self emancipation—
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All-Too-Human.
I have climbed up upon them — therefore I had to pass over them. But they thought I wanted to settle down on them . . .
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols.
Well, they were wrong then, weren’t they?
Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein.
Humanly speaking, . . .
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Wagner and Nietzsche
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wagner and Nietzsche.

. . . were worlds apart. On the one hand, an ebullient artist and man of the theatrical world who would gladly—health and wealth permitting—have been an epicurian, a go-getter whose life flowed past like a dream, a sensualist involved in the everlasting drama of existence, laughing and weeping as his emotions dictated. On the other, a brilliant but austere pedant who procured experiences and exaggerated what life had not granted him—a capacity for fun and enjoyment.

Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.