chapter  Chapter Ten
9 Pages

Munich Interlude and Naturalist Reaction

WithS. S. Prawer

In the first essay of his Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen—an essay entitled David Friedrich Strauss als Bekenner und Schriftseller—Friedrich Nietzsche analysed the state of German cultural life in the early years of the Second Empire. He found prevalent the belief that German civilization had conquered French civilization in the Franco-Prussian war. The majority of his countrymen were satisfied with the cultural status quo, convinced ‘that the best seeds of culture had either been sown or were already luxuriantly in bloom’. This, declared Nietzsche, accounted for the self-confidence of certain German poets and writers, journalists and fabricators of novels, tragedies, songs and histories’, who felt 183themselves sacrosanct, spoke in magisterial tones, issued their ‘Collected Works’ and had themselves proclaimed as writers of classic status.