On the private affairs of public figures

Wisdom from the grave:

goethe-100x117“Friedrich Nietzsche’s grandmother had some private letters in her possession from the circle surrounding Goethe. These letters came into the possession of Nietzsche’s aunt and uncle—who destroyed them. The uncle’s reason was this: ‘The brutal revelation of private relations upset him deeply. He did not grant the public any right to them as a national property … . The ideological philistines quibble shamelessly and shortsightedly enough over the well-reflected statements of the few great men of a century; why allow them to take a look into the intimate sphere, which evokes misunderstandings from the very first?'”

(From Conversations with Nietzsche, p. 204.)

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