Zarathustra's Children

Zarathustra's Children

A Study of a Lost Generation of German Writers

Raymond Furness


Camden House



A study of the enormous influence of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche on turn-of-the-century German literature.
The aim of this book is to explore "that post-Nietzschean archipelago of German literature which no one mind can hope to map, let alone inhabit" (Michael Hamburger) and to introduce it to the English-speaking reader for the first time, in accessible form. The study starts from the assumption that the daring imagery and cosmic sweep of Thus Spake Zarathustra provided the impetus for the creation of visionary epics and cosmological poetic universes. The book is original in that it presents for the first time a selection of writers hitherto regarded as impossible of access and reduces their epic scope to manageable proportions while preserving their essential meaning. Among the writers treated are Alfred Mombert, Theodor Däubler, Rudolf Pannwitz, Ludwig Derleth, Alfred Schuler, Ludwig Klages, Christian Morgenstern, and the members of the Friedrichshagen Circle. Furness draws on the most recent scholarship and provides a fascinating account of a 'lost generation.' The book will be of interest to Nietzsche scholars, to students of Lebensphilosophie, and to those interested in German literature around the turn of the century. It will be of special interest to those drawn to the creation of myths and to radical religious thought.

Raymond Furness is professor and former chair of German at St.Andrews University, Scotland. He has published widely on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German literature.


June 2000
7 black and white illustrations
230 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571130570
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, PHI006000
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Table of Contents

Rudolf Pannwitz
Alfred Mombert
Alfred Schuler
Ludwig Klages
Ludwig Derleth
Theodor Däubler
Christian Morgenstern
Works Consulted


As a result of his exceptional research, Furness has filled a lacuna in modern Nietzschean studies. PHILOSOPHY NOW

Expertly sketches Nietzsche's thought in its immediate literary-cultural impact. MONATSHEFTE

...careful, thoughtful analysis attends the readings of largely ignored writers; this study is well informed. JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY

Furness's study is intended to act as a spur to further research into these figures, and (is) a kind of Baedeker to the terrain of "Nordlicht and Orion, Charon and Sfaira, cosmos, sunworship, Lebensrausch and a quickening of transcendental longing in a world, ostensibly, without transcendence." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

Furness does not aim to establish these epigones of Nietzsche as candidates for inclusion in a German literary canon. However, his book considerably deepens our knowledge of the turbulent intellectual atmosphere in which they lived and which their complex and sometimes brilliant writings tremendously enhanced... An important seminal contribution.... SEMINAR

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