Letters: Friedrich Nietzsche to Franz Overbeck

12 October 2019

I knew nothing about Dostoevsky, not even his name, until a few weeks ago – uncultivated person that I am, reading no ‘periodicals’! In a bookshop my hand accidentally came to rest on L’esprit souterrain, just recently translated into French (the same kind of chance brought me in acquaintance with Schopenhauer when I was 21, and with Stendhal when I was 35). The instinct of affinity (or what shall I call it?) spoke to me instantaneously – my joy was beyond bounds; not since my first encounter with Stendhal’s Rouge et Noir have I known such joy.

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