Letters: Friedrich Nietzsche to his Sister

15 October 2019


Where are those old friends with whom in years gone by I felt so closely united? Now it seems as if we belonged to different worlds, and no longer spoke the same language! Like a stranger and an outcast, I move among them–not one of their words or looks reaches me any longer. I am dumb for no one understands my speech–ah, but they never did understand me! It is terrible to be condemned to silence when one has so much to say.

Was I made for solitude or for a life in which there was no one to whom I could speak? The inability to communicate one’s thoughts is in very truth the most terrible of all kinds of loneliness. Difference is a mask which is more ironbound than any iron mask.

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