Lou Andreas-Salomé

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Lou Andreas-Salomé c. 1897

Lou Andreas-Salomé (born either Louise von Salomé or Luíza Gustavovna Salomé or Lioulia von Salomé; 12 February 1861 – 5 February 1937) was a Russian-born psychoanalyst and a well-traveled author, narrator, and essayist from a Russian-German family. Her diverse intellectual interests led to friendships with a broad array of distinguished thinkers, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Paul Rée, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Quotes[edit]

  • As truly as I'd love a friend,
    I have always loved you, riddling life,
    whether I've laughed with you or wept,
    whether you've brought me pleasure or strife.

    Even when you hurt I love you,
    and, when you must scatter me through space,
    I will tear myself from your arms
    as I would from a dear friend's embrace.

    With all my strength I cling to you;
    let all your fire enkindle me.
    Even in the heat of battle
    let me unravel your mysteries.

    A thousand years to live and think!
    Deep in your arms I long to remain.
    And, when you have no more joy to give--
    very well--you still have your pain.

    • "A Prayer to Life" (Lebensgebet), 1880; translation by Frank Beck, 2015
  • I can neither live according to models, nor shall I ever be able to provide a model for anyone else. On the contrary, what I shall quite certainly do is to shape my own life according to myself, whatever may come of it. In this I have no principle to put forth, but something much more wonderful -- something that is within oneself and is hot with sheer life, and rejoices and wants to come out.
    • Letter to her former teacher, Hendrik Gillot, March 26, 1882; translation by Frank Beck, 2022
  • You also write: you had always thought that such complete devotion to purely intellectual goals was only meant to be a "transition" for me. What do you mean by "transition"? If other goals stand behind it, for which I must give up the most glorious and difficult thing on Earth, namely freedom, then I want to stay in this transition, because I won't give that up.
    • Letter to her former teacher, Hendrik Gillot, March 26, 1882; translation by Frank Beck, 2022
  • Let us see whether the vast majority of the so-called "insurmountable barriers" that the world draws are not harmless chalk lines!
    • Letter to her former teacher, Hendrik Gillot, March 26, 1882; cited in Lou Andreas-Salome's Anneliese's House (Boydell and Brewer, 2021) p. 216, translation by Frank Beck and Raleigh Whitinger
  • Conversing with Nietzsche is uncommonly lovely . . . The content of a conversation of ours really exists in what is not quite spoken but emerges from our each approaching the other half way. He gave me his hand and said earnestly and with feeling, "Never forget that it would be a calamity if you did not carve a memorial to your full innermost mind in the time left to you."
    • Diary entry, August 14, 1882; cited in Rudolph Binion's Frau Lou (Princeton University Press, 1968) p. 79, translation by Rudolph Binion
  • The optimistic nature finds joy in the very feeling for life; the pessimistic nature finds a feeling for life only in joy.
    • Notebook entry, Summer 1882; cited in Rudolph Binion's Frau Lou (Princeton University Press, 1968) p. 91, translation by Rudolph Binion
  • What does not engage our feeling does not long engage our thoughts either.
    • Notebook entry, Summer 1882; cited in Rudolph Binion's Frau Lou (Princeton University Press, 1968) p. 91, translation by Rudolph Binion

In the Fight for God (Im Kampf um Gott), 1885[edit]

  • "The grave is not the end. From the graves of those we love most and where, with those we love most, are buried all our selfish drives and desires, we must draw the strength to dedicate outselves wholly and unreservedly to the great purpose of our life: Behold: this is my religion." -- Kuno, p. 308
    • Quoted in H.P. Peters, My Sister, My Spouse (W.W. Norton, 1962); p. 163; translation by H.F. Peters

Ibsen's Heroines (Henrik Ibsens Frauen-Gestalten), 1892[edit]

Translation by Siegfried Mandel (Limelight Editions, 1988)

  • Once upon a time, everything was based on trust, free from worry or care; now everything stands in doubt. One upon a time, the wondrous was taken for granted; now everything that had been taught her -- even the most obvious and certain -- appears gnarled and incomprehensible. In such a moment, a child helplessly gropes for the hand of the adult in order to find guidance and direction; but another type of childlikeness, intimately related to the ideals of life, can rapidly gather strength and masculine force. Far from subduing Nora or attuning her to compromise, the first decisive conflict acts upon her like a battle cry . . . Resistance and bravery harden into armor. She has grasped that the peaks of wonder in life do not appear as readily as the fairies who awaken Sleeping Beauty; in life peaks must be conquered. That insight she is willing to put to the test . . .
    • On Nora in A Doll's House, p. 54

Nietzsche (Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken), 1894[edit]

Translation by Siegfried Mandel (University of Illinois Press, 2001)

  • A genuine Nietzsche study would require the psychology of religion that would spotlight the meaning of his being, his suffering, and his self-induced bliss. His entire development, as it were, derived from his loss of belief and therefore from his emotions that attend the death of God. These tremendous emotions reverberate in his writings up to the final work, the fourth part of Also Sprach Zarathustra, which was composed on the threshold of madness. The possibility of finding some substitutions for the lost God by means of the most varied forms of self-idolization constituted the story of his mind, his works, and his illness. (p. 26)

Ruth. A Story (Ruth. Erzählung), 1895[edit]

  • Slowly Ruth got up; an expression of utter surprise appeared on her face. Doubt, disbelief, even horror were mirrored in it. She felt as though she should call a distant friend, Erik, to come to her aid against this unknown assailant. But then she realized that it was he, it was Erik, who stood before her. (p. 326)
    • Quoted in H.P. Peters, My Sister, My Spouse (W.W. Norton, 1962); p. 68; translation by H.F. Peters

Fenitschka and Deviations (Fenitschka.Eine Ausschweifung), 1898[edit]

Translation by Dorothee Einstein Krahn (University Press of America, 1990)

  • It was in September, the quietest time of year in Paris. The world of rank and fashion hid in the seaside resorts; visitors were being scared away in droves by the stifling heat. Nevertheless, the crowds that flooded the boulevards in the close evening air were so large and checkered that it would have looked like high season in any other city. (p. 3)
  • "For we women who have only recently been allowed to study, it is not at all as you say," she countered, totally convinced of her position. "For us it is not an ascetic kind of life or a retreat behind a desk. How could it be -- when it now enables us to join the battle for our freedom and our rights and to enter into the fullness of life? Those of us who elect to study so not do it with our heads or our intelligence only; no -- we do wit with all our will-power and our total humanity. Our gain is not just knowledge but a new hold on life with all its emotions. What you describe as science sounds like an activity for very old men, who have finished with life as such. Perhaps it is you who are old and senile. Among us women, it is the young, the strong, and the cheerful who become inspired." -- Fenitschka, p. 9
  • "How do I imagine love? This is quite uncomplicated -- very simple and wholesome. I would compare it with things that are least demonic or romantic, like the daily bread that is blessed and stills our hunger, like the stream of air that comes into our home to refresh us. In one word, with that which is most important, most beautiful, and most natural, on which we most depend and about which we do not need to engage in empty rhetoric." -- Fenitschka, p. 19
  • Why did he have such a rough picture of her? It was strange that he found it so difficult to comprehend women in the manifold ways of their humanity and not just schematic way, as representations of their gender. Whether he idealized them, or regarded them as diabolic, a man always interpreted women's behavior too simply and personally, based on some chance reaction to himself. Maybe the notion that woman was sphinx-like stemmed from the sole fact that her full humanity, in no way inferior to man's, could not be grasped with such artificial simplifications. p. 25
  • "Listen to me," she exclaimed resolutely, "why are you putting on this farce? Why are you treating me like a breakable doll with whom you can play all kinds of games, as long as you pack her safely in cotton? I know very well that you know the whole story. Well then, you know it all. I cam here because I had forgotten something here in my room the other day. Because I do have a room here. And last night -- last night it was I who was getting into a sleigh with a man whom I love." -- Fenitschka, p. 30
  • "There was no way in which I could have intended that [to get married]!" she interrupted him. "Tell me, would one of you [men] want that perhaps, a young man for instance, who had spent his entire youth in order to become free and self-reliant, and who was just on the threshold -- about to reach his goal -- who had learned to love life because of it, because of his professional opportunities, his responsibilities, his independence? No, I cannot envision this as my aim in life: home, family, housewife, children -- it is alien to me, alien. Perhaps only at this moment, at this time in my life, how do I know? Or maybe I would never be good at all that. Love and marriage are simply not the same thing. -- Fenitschka, p. 39

The Human Family (Menschenkinder), 1899[edit]

Translation by Raleigh Whitinger (University of Nebraska Press, 2005)

  • Perhaps life's earnestness might often come to destroy the lovers' play, as it had today, perhaps the little song of love might often die out unheard amid the painful, confused tones that assail his heart [as a physician], as it had today. -- But with a happy face she will from this day forward raise up her arms to him, in gratitude that he does not merely caress her and forget life's seriousness when he is with her, but that he struggles with life for himself and for her. And in her lap he shall rest his head when he is suffering. Perhaps then a tender dream will always rise up anew -- in a night like this one -- and, ever again, secretly weave, in the dark, new love around their life. -- -- -- ("One Night", p. 74)
  • His gaze lit upon a lovely girl who was just crossing the street diagonally, carefully lifting her skirt as she did so as to reveal a pair of charming little ankle boots. He had to smile about the about childish impatience of his desire to deck Marfa out like this until she too was a lovely girl -- bring her out of her dour shell. But Marfa was not coming. -- ("A Reunion"), p. 103
  • Hildegard sensed darkly that she would now at once have to spread two light gray wings and let them lift her up -- high, high, as in her dream. But she also sensed darkly how it is in feverish dreams: as though something in her were helplessly, powerlessly beating its wings -- and suddenly she didn't know whether she was flying -- or falling --. Then Dietrich drew the playing child to him. He looked at Hildegard, almost a bit timidly -- and at the same time gently kissed the child on his blond hair. And Hildegard slowly laid her hand in his. Reaching out over a paradise. -- ("Paradise"), p. 132
  • "Oh, the mountains!" she said in her soft voice, and the indeterminate color of her eyes seemed to grow darker. "I used to love the plains, that's where I'm from. And it is beautiful there, too, where it is boundless, or at least appears to be so. But when people come to the plains, they immediately become human themselves, serving people, and they're no longer untouched and unapproachable. It occurs to me now that's why the mountains have the effect they do. As if one were seeing nature itself as it rises above all that's human and looks down upon it. No matter how many small settlements might grow among them, they still retain something so primeval." -- Anjuta ("Incognito"), p. 135
  • "Don't you think that a great yearning is like the birds' heading south -- a sight that somewhere life is in bloom --?" -- Georg ("A Death"), p. 173

The Erotic (Die Erotik), 1910[edit]

Included in Dalia Nassar and Kristin Gjesdal's Women Philosophers in the Long Nineteenth Century: The German Tradition, translation by Anna C. Ezekiel (Oxford University Press, 2021)

  • You can tackle the problem of the erotic however you want, but you will always feel that you have done so very one-sidedly, especially if you tackle it by means of logic -- that is, from the outside. (p. 184)
  • The problem of the erotic is characterized by two things: for a start, it must be regarded as a special case within physical, psychic and social relations in general, and not, as often happens, as autocratically isolated. Rather, it relates all three of these kinds of problems to each other, and thus merges them into a single problem -- its problem. (p. 188)
  • In the fusion of single cells . . . the two cells' nuclei totally merge with each other, forming the new creature, and only what is inessential, at the periphery of the old cell, disintegrates, dying off. It may well stem from such influence that . . . the total fusion of single-cell organisms corresponds allegorically to what, in the highest dreams of love, the mind imagines as the full joy of love. That is arguably why love is so easily associated with longing and trepidation about death, which are not even clearly differentiated from each other; with something like a primal dream in which oneself, one's lover, and their child could still be one, and just three names for the same immortality. (p. 191-92)

Anneliese's House (Das Haus), 1921[edit]

Translation by Frank Beck and Raleigh Whitinger (Boydell and Brewer, 2021)

  • The house stood on a hillside, overlooking the town in the valley and the long stretch of mountains beyond. From the country road that climbed through the hill's woods in a wide curve, you stepped right into the middle story, as if it were at ground level -- so deeply was the little, white house nestled into the slope. But perched up there it had a freer view out over the terraced garden and the broad expanse below, gazing down with many bright window-eyes and with boldly protruding bays -- extensions of original rooms that had been found too confining. This undeniably made for whimsical architecture, but it gave the house an impression of grace and lightness -- almost as if it were just resting there. (p. 1)
  • Branhardt set aside the book he had come for. Her face, which was not beautiful and, through all those years, could have faded into banality if it hadn't borne the intimate inscription of her soul, spoke eloquently to him. He loved it as strongly and deeply as he had in his youth. But differently now, because he too bore, perhaps in harsher letters, what was also written there: the signature of life itself. (p. 17)
  • "Conflicted creatures, that’s what we [parents] are — we give birth, without knowing to what; we educate, without knowing whom; we must answer for it, without knowing how; and we can give up neither our power nor our fear." -- Anneliese, p. 52
  • "Theory and practice, philosophy and religion, and heaven knows what, how little all that means compared to this one simple thing: the desire for life of a completely healthy, physically harmonious person — and I’m not one of them. — Only such a person knows what life really is. Life can be trusted — if Liese trusts it." -- Renate, p.52
  • "No! No! Not one! Never just one! Even the wisest judgment can become unjust, willful, arrogant, when measured against life. And the worst -- you see -- the worst thing under the sun -- is the violation of one person by another." -- Anneliese, p. 117
  • "But this danger you mention?" he went on. "Tell me, where is there beauty that isn't at the same time in danger? -- and when wasn't the greatest beauty also the greatest danger! -- And mind you: this know-it-all attitude and drive to control, the 'firm hand' you were talking about -- all that arrogance, especially of the usual, masculine kind, will go to pieces trying to deal with this! That approach is only best right from the start and with women who are no threat to anyone. But -- please tell me -- what's so great about a manly stance that has to look out for itself, that's so anxiously self-defensive?" -- Marcus, p. 180

The Dual Orientation of Narcissism, (Narzissmus als Doppelrichtung), 1921[edit]

Imago, VII: 4:1, 1920-21; translation by Stanley A. Leavy, Psychoanalytic Quarterly 31, no. 1 (1962)

  • Bear in mind that the Narcissus of legend gazed, not at a man-made mirror, but at the mirror of Nature [a pool of water]. Perhaps it was not just himself that he beheld in the mirror, but himself as if he were still All: would he not otherwise have fled, instead of lingering before it? And does not melancholy dwell next to enchantment upon his face? Only the poet can make a whole picture of this unity of joy and sorrow, departure from self and absorption in self, devotion and self-assertion.
  • Objectivity is mankind's glorious goal, summoning narcissism, Eros masked, from the dreams of childhood to the service of research, progress, art, and culture. When it stays behind in childish dreaming, and when its leap falls short, it slips without a blow into the bottomless deeps of disease.
  • In truth, our narcissism is nothing other than that mysterious knowledge rooted in the emotional life, which posits the ultimate in subjectivity as the keystone of objective existence. When any metaphysical position attempt to harmonize 'Being' with 'God', as the principle of absolute value, it is not only engaged in a narcissistic mode of thought but is itself the very image, philosophically elaborated, of the union of narcissism and objectivity.

You Alone Are Real to Me: Remembering Rainer Maria Rilke, (Rainer Maria Rilke), 1928[edit]

Translation by Angela von der Lippe (Amazon Kindle, 2021)

  • Mourning is not as singular a state of emotional preoccupation as is commonly thought: it is, more precisely, an incessant discourse with the departed one, in order to draw him nearer. For death entails not merely a disappearance but rather a transformation into a new realm of visibility. Something is not just taken away but is gained, in a way never before experienced. In the moment when the flowing lines of a figure’s constant change and effect become paralyzed for us, we are imbued for the first time with its essence: something which is never captured or fully realized in the normal course of lived existence. -- Kindle p. 26
  • [Russia's God] cannot prevent or improve all things; he can only represent closeness and intimacy for all time . . . This all-pervasive sense of security, this omnipresence, leads to a confidence in the surroundings, whatever they may be, and it presupposes an untorn integration with one’s childhood, within the unity of the womb. It was exactly that childlike purity and the primitiveness in basic outlook on life (so characteristic of the Russian spirit) that captured the imagination of the poet and was released in his language. It made possible the return to a kind of familiar divinity in mankind, as if Rilke were suddenly presented with the gift of the primal home and childhood he had been deprived of. Kindle pp. 33-4.
  • For the angels [of the Duino Elegies] are not intermediaries, and that is important. For him there were no mediating saints or redeemers, although the name of the angels may have come from his Catholic childhood. For him God remained for all time the designation for the all-embracing unity. If in The Book of Hours God is addressed only as a “neighbor,” it is because the slightest removal from him would pose an absolute and hopelessly insurmountable distance. What is presented here, instead, before the dominion of the heavens over the earth, is the horizon of angels, an optically unifying illusion. -- Kindle p. 85
  • [Speaking of Rilke] Abandoning himself in everything, and thereby making himself superfluous, the benefactor becomes at once the petitioner, the recipients become donors, and he hides in their secure existence. And were this loner, who was isolated in death, still with us, I believe he would feel most immediately at home in the deepest anonymity of his work’s effects— there in the no longer audible processes of man’s union with the cosmos, where his form is allowed to fade and no longer requires visibility or the boundaries of self. Restored to a stronger presence: standing there, in deep peace, he too a nameless one among the nameless. -- Kindle p. 96

My Thanks to Freud, (Mein Dank an Freud), 1931[edit]

  • The more fully we enter into the 'challenge of the hour', into the present factual moment, into the conditions that hold from one case to another, instead of being trammeled by prescriptions and directives (written by human beings!), the more connectedly do we act in accord with the whole . . . If anyone thinks that is immorally presumptuous and high-handed, then it would be truer to call the childish-slavish obedience to prescriptions, which make everything easy, a convenient moral slovenliness! . . . Yes, the most audacious thing we have invented for ourselves is our condition of being human: and thus -- the evaluating human being, the sublimest adventurousness of life.
    • Cited in Angela Livingstone's Salomé: Her Life and Work; translation by Angela Livingstone, pp. 192-3

Life Review: Sketches of Some Memories of Life (Lebensrückblick: Grundriß einiger Lebenserinnerungen), ed. Ernst Pfeiffer (1951)[edit]

  • Human life -- ah! life in general -- is poetry. Unconscious of ourselves, we live it -- day but day and piece by piece -- but in its inviolable wholeness it lives, it composes, us. Far from the old phrase, "to turn life into a work of art"; we are not our art work.
    • Opening epigraph; translation by Frank Beck, 2015
  • Our first experience is, remarkably, a disappearance. A moment ago we were everything, undivided; any being was indivisible from us - then we were urged into being born -- became a residual part of it, which from then on would have to strive against even further diminution, to assert itself against a contrary world rising ever wider before it, into which it had fallen out of its fullness, as if into an -- at first depriving -- emptiness.
    • Page 9; translation by Frank Beck, 2022
  • If for years I was your wife, it was because in you I encountered what is real for the first time: body and person indistinguishably one, an undeniable fact of life itself. Word for word, I could have confessed what you had said in your declaration of love: ‘You alone are real.’ With that, we became spouses, even before we were friends, and we became friends hardly by choice, but rather from an unseen but already consummated marriage. Not two halves searching for one another: a startled wholeness that recognized, with a shudder, its own incomprehensible unity. And so, we were siblings – but as in previous times, before incest became a sacrilege.
    • Pages 173-74; translation by Frank Beck, 2022
  • The man that we love, regardless of the exalted state of both his spirit and his soul, remains a priest in his robes who only vaguely guesses what he is celebrating.
    • Pages 270-71; translation by Frank Beck, 2022
  • Whatever happens to me -- I never lose the certainty that behind me arms are open to receive me.
    • Said to Ernst Pfeiffer in her old age and cited in his Afterward to Life Review; see below; translation by Angela Livingstone

Rilke and Andreas-Salomé: A Love Story in Letters (Briefwechsel, ed. Ernst Pfeiffer) (1952)[edit]

Translation by Edward Snow and Michael Winkler (W.W.Norton, 2006)

  • [On receiving the newly completed Sixth, Eighth and Tenth Duino Elegies] Ah слава Богу [Russian for thank God] dear Rainer, how rich his gift to you -- and yours to me! I sat and read and cried from joy, and it was not just joy at all but something much more powerful, as if a curtain were being parted, rent, and everything were growing quiet and certain and present and good. I remember as if it were today how much the beginning of the last Elegy plagued you, and when it had shaken me so severely, how even that plagued you; it has been on your lips for such long years; a word which one cannot make conscious and which is there all the same; in the beginning was this word. And then the Creature Elegy [the Eighth]! -- It is the poem of my most secret heart, oh so sayably glorious; and said, the inexpressible made present and actual. And that, finally is the message of this poetry: that we are surrounded, ringed by things of mute presence that are being rescued, redeemed into existence for us only thus, and yet it is these things alone by which we live. (p. 332-33)
    • Letter to Rainer Maria Rilke, February 16, 1922

Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé Letters (Briefwechsel, ed. Ernst Pfeiffer) (1980)[edit]

Translation by William and Elaine Robson-Scott (W.W. Norton, 1985)

  • It delights me to note from year to year how long it takes for much that happens to one to become inner experience. It is only in old age that this process is completed, and for this reason it is right and proper to grow truly old, despite the less pleasant reverse side in the shape of infirmity. It seems to be that this is true even in matters of the intellect, not only in the emotional life. (p. 201)
    • Letter to Sigmund Freud, May 3, 1934

Quotes about Lou Andreas-Salomé (alphabetical by writer's last name)[edit]

  • Outwardly and inwardly both, Lou Salomé's life is among the richest on record. She kept company -- uncannily stimulating, uncannily receptive -- with the cultural elite of her times, as judged from ours. She wrote in the widest variety of literary genres, including a couple of her own devising, happy and unhappy respectively: the diary essayist and the achronological memoir. And by and large she wrote well: her peers among essayists at all odds are numbered.
    • Rudolph Binion, Frau Lou (Princeton University Press, 1968) p. 491
  • In my talks with Lou, things became clear to me that I might not have found by myself. Like a catalyst, she activated my thought processes. [...] Intellectually, she was nurturing and creative. Not only encouraging – but enthralling. One felt the spark of genius in her. One grew in her presence.
    • Poul Bjerre, letter to H.F. Peters, Andreas-Salomé's first biographer, cited in Michaela Wiesner-Bangard and Ursula Welsch's Lou Andreas-Salomé: Wie ich Dich liebe, Rätselleben (Reclam, 2017), translation by Raleigh Whitinger, p. 276
  • Andreas-Salomé’s work raises questions that are still urgent today: How are the binaries of Western thought [e.g., thinking of woman as the "other" of man) effectively negotiated and transformed into difference and diversity? How do language and narrative contribute to an upsetting of conventional and fixed points of view? And, finally, how does thinking with images open processes of experience and recognition that create diversity and open-endedness?
    • Gisela Brinkler-Gabler, Image in Outline: Reading Lou Andreas-Salomé (Continuum, 2012) ebook loc. 353
  • Published in a traditional women's genre, Das Haus had the potential to reach far beyond limited groups of female intellectuals into the homes and lives of women who might be alienated or threatened by the political articulations of champions of the German's women's movement but could still be influenced by feminist notions of emancipation in popular fiction.
    • Muriel Cormican, Women in the Works of Lou Andreas-Salome: Negotiating Identity (Camden House, 2009), p. 46
  • Can a woman be the subject of the gaze, even if she is also its object? . . . Revealing both women's and men's subjection to prevailing categorizations of gendered sexuality and identity, the novellas in Menschenkinder do not merely illuminate the problems of female identity but also touch on corresponding difficulties for men.
    • Muriel Cormican, Women in the Works of Lou Andreas-Salome: Negotiating Identity (Camden House, 2009), p. 107
  • I am delighted to observe that nothing has altered in our respective ways of approaching a theme, whatever it may be. I strike up a -- mostly very simple melody; you supply the higher octaves for it; I separate the one from the other; and you blend what has been separated into a higher unity.
    • Sigmund Freud, Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé: Letters, ed. Ernst Pfeiffer Translation by William and Elaine Robson-Scott, p. 185
  • I am not saying too much when I acknowledge that we all felt it as an honor when she entered the ranks of our co-workers and co-fighters, and simultaneously as a new weapon for the truth of analytical teachings . . . She was of an unusual modesty and discretion. She never spoke of her own poetic and literary productions. She obviously knew where the real values of life are to be sought. Whoever came close to her received the strongest impression of the genuineness and the harmony of her being and could see, to his astonishment, that all feminine, perhaps most human, weaknesses were foreign to her or had been overcome by her in the course of her life.
    • Sigmund Freud Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXV, S.E. XXIII; (1937)' cited in Angela Livingstone's Salomé: Her Life and Work (Moyer Bell, 1984); translation by Angela Livingstone, p. 236
  • Salomé's construction of femininity did not challenge the ultimate fact of sexual difference or the presumption of heterosexuality head on. What Salomé did do, however, was figure woman's masculine will and strength as the mark of her completeness in herself. The double directionality of "masculinity" and "femininity" within woman only made her more woman; it differentiated her from modern man, who had renounced his own basis in what Salomé called the primal ground of life or, later, narcissism.
    • Biddy Martin, Woman and Modernity: The Life(Styles) of Lou Andreas-Salomé (Cornell University Press, 1991), p. 5
  • My most useful activity this summer was talking with Lou. There is a deep affinity between us in intellect and taste -- and there are in other ways so many differences that we are the most instructive objects and subjects of observation for each other. I have never met anyone who could derive so many objective insights from experience, who knows how to deduce so much from all she has learned.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, letter to Franz Overbeck, September 1882. Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche, ed. and trans. by Christopher Middleton (Hackett, 1996), p. 194
  • Of all acquaintances I have made, the most full and valuable is the one with Fräulein Salomé. Only since knowing her was I ripe for my Zarathustra . . . Lou is the most gifted, thoughtful creature one can imagine -- naturally she also has some dubious qualities. I have some, too . . . You can't sense what consolation Dr, Rée was to me for years -- faute de mieux ["for want of anything better"], it goes with saying, and what an incredible benefit the communion with Fräulein Salomé was to me!
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, letter to his sister Elisabeth, Spring 1884, cited in Angela Livingstone's Salomé: Her Life and Work (Moyer Bell, 1984); translation by Angela Livingstone, p. 54
  • Here then is the record of long and turbulent life, a gallery of pictures that extend from her birth in Czarist Russia to her death in Nazi Germany. An unusual life, whatever judgement we pass on it. Voila, un homme, said Napoleon when he met Goethe. By way of introducing Lou Salomé, I can only say, Voila une femme.
    • H.P. Peters, in his preface to the first biography of the author, My Sister, My Spouse (W.W. Norton, 1962); p. 17
  • As is well known, happiness and harmony are much more difficult to portray than strife and suffering. [In her novel Das Haus] Frau Andreas-Salomé has succeeded in creating a beautiful, German image of the family without becoming cloying. It is very feminine, but this philosopher was always surprisingly feminine -- in the best sense. One thinks of the novellas in her collection, Im Zwischenland (In the Country Between). How she traces the germinating emotions of a fourteen-year-old girl; with what tenderness they are parsed. The same fine fingertips are at work here.
    • Gabriele Reuter c. 1921, cited in Lou Andreas-Salomé's Das Haus: Familiengeschichte von Ende vorigen Jahrhunderts, ed. Brigitte Spreitzer, 2021; translation by Frank Beck
  • What a great revolutionary you are. -- You didn't overthrow thrones inside me. But the one throne that waited there: you strode past it gently smiling. Ever upward. And my desire, which before had crowded and become tangled around the vacant throne like wild roses, now rise as white columns around the space from whose temple friezes you smile down into my soul and bless my longing.
    • Rainer Maria Rilke, letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé, June 1897. Rilke and Andreas-Salome: A Love Story in Letters; translation by Edward Snow, p. 10
  • She moves fearlessly among the most burning mysteries, which do nothing to her . . . I know no one else with life so much on their side.
    • Rainer Maria Rilke, letter to Princess M. von Thurn und Taxis, July 19, 1913; cited in Angela Livingstone's Salomé: Her Life and Work; translation by Angela Livingstone, p. 11
  • As well as foregrounding the title heroine's growth in articulating her independent resolve and her awareness of its demands and costs, Andreas-Salomé's story also weaves into the background line of its critical dialogue with male traditions intimations of possible male growth and insight.
    • Raleigh Whitinger, "Fenitschka and the Tradition of the Bildungsroman," Monatshefte, Winter 1999, Vol. 91, No. 4 (pp. 464-80)
  • She had a very quiet way of speaking and a great gift of inspiring confidence. I am still a little surprised today how much I told her then. But I had always the feeling that she not only understood everything but forgave everything. I have never again experienced such a feeling of conciliatory kindness, or, if you like, compassion, as I did with her.
    • An anonymous physician at the veterans' hospital in Königsberg whom Andreas-Salome analyzed about 1919, cited in H.F. Peters' My Sister, My Spouse: A Biography of Lou Andreas-Salomé; translation by H.F. Peters, p. 282

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