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FPG. F R E D E R. I C K P H I L I P G R O V E. Felix Paul Greve. Frederick Philip Grove’s “Rousseau als Erzieher” (1914): Nietzsche’s influence on FPG in Munich & on the Prairies. by Gaby Divay for the 2008 LCMND Conference in Winnipeg (hosted by the UM).

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Felix Paul Greve


Frederick Philip Grove’s“Rousseau als Erzieher” (1914):

Nietzsche’s influence onFPGin Munich & on the Prairies

by Gaby Divayfor the 2008 LCMND Conferencein Winnipeg (hosted by the UM)

Grove s first canadian publication
Grove’s First Canadian Publication

  • Frederick Philip Grove’s first Canadian publication was the essay “Rousseau als Erzieher”

  • It was published in four parts from Nov.-Dec. 1914 in the German-Canadian newspaper Der Nordwesten

  • “Fred Grove”, a teacher in Winkler, was the author

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Fred grove was felix paul greve
“Fred Grove” was Felix Paul Greve

  • Fred Grove was born Felix Paul Greve in 1879

  • He had spent a year in Bonn prison for fraud in 1903/4

  • He left Berlin in late July 1909 with a faked suicide [after double-selling his Swift translation]

  • He spent three years in the United States before settling in Manitoba as Grove in 1912

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s rousseau als erzieher
Grove’s “Rousseau als Erzieher”

  • Margaret Stobie found the “Rousseau” essay while preparing her 1973 book on Grove in the “Twayne World Authors series”

  • Also in 1973, D. O. Spettigue published his discovery that Grove had been Greve in his FPG: the European Years

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Greve s first publication 1901
Greve’s First Publication, 1901

  • Like Stobie’s, Spettigue’s research papers are part of the UM Archives’ FPG Collections

  • Among his many documents by or about Greve is a 1901 review of Nietzsche’s Posthumous Works, v. XI +XII, in a Munich newspaper

  • This is FPG’s first known publication

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Fpg s first publications 1901 1914
FPG’s First Publications, 1901 & 1914

  • Neither FPG scholar was aware of the other’s Nietzsche link to Greve & Grove

  • And neither one pursued the interesting implications of their own respective finding

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s canadian essays
Grove’s Canadian Essays

  • The title of Grove’s rambling “Rousseau als Erzieher” is a clear reference to Nietzsche’s 3rd Untimely Meditation (1874)

  • ITS title was “Schopenhauer als Erzieher” (Sch. as Educator)

  • Grove wrote several more essays with titles like “Rebels All”, “Civilization”, “Of Science”, & “Of History”

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s canadian essays1
Grove’s Canadian Essays

  • All imitate the loud cultural criticism of Nietzsche’s Meditations in form & content

  • They were edited in Henry Makow’s unpublished Ph.D. thesis in 1982

  • Makow dates them to ca. 1919

    • That is four years after “Rousseau” & three years before Grove’s first book of nature essays Over Prairie Trails in 1922

  • He fails to appreciate the Nietzsche echoes resounding in them

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Greve s german essays on oscar wilde
Greve’s German Essays on Oscar Wilde

  • Grove’s essays resemble Greve’s on Oscar Wilde & decadence

    • A major source of inspiration for these was Nietzsche's Geburt der Tragödie

  • Axel Knönagel nicely shows how GREVE’s outlook changed before and after his prison term in 1903

    • in his published Thesis, Nietzschean Philosophy in the works of FPG, 1990

  • He does, however, not link his astute observations to GROVE’s Nietzsche-inspired texts

    • The “Rousseau” text & Makow’s essays in the UM Archives were apparently unknown to him

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche s birth of tragedy
Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy

Grove s canadian aphorisms
Grove’s Canadian Aphorisms

  • Among other Grove manuscripts reflecting Nietzsche’s influence stand foremost sixty confessional aphorisms entitled “The Life of Saint Nishivara”

  • The title alone identifies them as the Zarathustra (1883ff) imitation they are

  • They were published in 1987 in A stranger to my time: Essays by and about FPG

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s canadian aphorisms1
Grove’s Canadian Aphorisms

  • The editor, Paul Hjartarson, does NOT see the obvious Nietzsche parallels

  • Nietzsche was famous for his aphoristic style inspired by moralists like Montaigne

  • “Saint Nishivara” is, like Zarathustra, written in aphorisms

  • Hjartarson also misses the biographical pointers FPG couched in his text

  • We shall later return to this fragment

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s six german poems
Grove’s Six German Poems

  • Many of Grove’s poems also have Nietzschean overtones

  • His six German ones emphasize the “special” individual (FPG), unfettered by ordinary rules

  • “Kopfschmerz”, “Das Fieber…”, and “Apokalypse” are typical for applied “Jenseits von Gut & Böse / Beyond Good & Evil” (1886) ethics

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s english poems
Grove’s English Poems

  • Grove’s English poem “Ahasuerus” exploits the motif of Greve’s 1902 poetry title Wanderungen.

  • His long “Legends” continue the narrative vein of “Irrfahrt” & “Sage” in Greve's 1902 collection

  • Both draw on Nietzsche’s “Der Wanderer & sein Schatten” (1880)

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s english poems1
Grove’s English Poems

  • The epic fragment “Konrad the Builder” exploits Goethe's Faust motif

  • It joins Nietzsche's Promethean theme which FPG also uses on more than one occasion

  • Nietzsche was fond of Goethe in general & Faust in particular

  • He also championed Flaubert who became FPG's post-prison model in 1904

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche concepts in both fpgs
Nietzsche CONCEPTS in both FPGs

  • Some Nietzschean key concepts found in both FPGs' poetry & prose are:

  • Heraclitean CHANGE being the nature of all things

    • (Nietzsche, like FPG, was a Classicist educated at Bonn University. His Thesis was on the Skeptic Diogenes Laertius)

  • This view fosters RELATIVITY & propagates SKEPTICISM

    • Skepticism dominates neo-Kantians like Vaihinger (Philosophy of AS-IF) & Dilthey

    • Relativity is evident in physicists likeEinstein, Mach, Schrodinger, Planck, & Heisenberg

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche concepts in both fpgs1
Nietzsche CONCEPTS in both FPGs


    • Nietzsche saw his times in sad decline, especially, when compared to Antiquity


    • This belief attributed to Heraclitus fosters a cyclical world-view, & also dominates artistic form: poetry cycles (Stefan George) & musical ones (Richard Wagner)

  • LIFE …

    • has priority over Art, the noblest art being the Art of Living

    • Greve reverses O. Wilde’s Art/Life poles in prison in favour of Life

  • THE TRAGIC (in Geburt der Tragödie)

    • Nietzsche’s views of rivaling “Dionysian” & “Apollonian” forces are embraced by many, incl. FPG, & Thomas Mann (who sees them at work in Grove's Two Generations in 1939)

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche topics in both fpgs
Nietzsche TOPICS in both FPGs

  • Some of Nietzsche’s pet topics commonly found in both FPGs poetry & prose are:

  • The “GENIUS” being above the law

    • Faust & Prometheus are typical figures

  • MASKS & LYING as approved tools of dissimulation

    • These themes are prominent in O. Wilde

  • Dual SLAVE & MASTER standards

  • An elitist CONTEMPT for the “Herd” or the Masses"

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche topics in both fpgs1
Nietzsche TOPICS in both FPGs

  • A pronounced distrust of PROGRESS,

    • especially, if technology-based

  • A COSMOPOLITAN outlook fostering tolerance

    • (goes together with Skepticism)

  • A belief that WOMEN snare the Genius

    • … and keep him from realizing his mission

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche s pervasive influence
Nietzsche’s pervasive Influence

  • Nietzsche was the foremost philosopher of DECADENCE and LIFE (Lebensphilosophie)

  • His impact on FPG’s entire generation cannot be over-estimated

  • Recently, FPG’s debt to him has come into sharp focus

  • A volume of sixty early manuscript poems by Greve was discovered & acquired by the UMA in March 2008

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Facsimile eed of jahr der wende
Facsimile eEd. of Jahr der Wende

Greve s jahr der wende 1901
Greve’s Jahr der Wende, 1901

Greve s first poetry book nov 1901
Greve’s First Poetry Book, Nov. 1901

  • Completed in Nov. 1901, Das Jahr der Wende opens with four poems about Nietzsche

  • In Greve’s Wanderungen (23 poems, Feb. 1902), Nietzsche, the painter Böcklin, the poet Stefan George, and Beethoven are hailed as “Masters” – in this order!

  • Only Böcklin & Nietzsche then have an entire poem devoted to them

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Contents of jahr der wende
Contents of Jahr der Wende

Vision jahr der wende
"Vision", Jahr der Wende

Greve s first poetry book nov 19011
Greve’s First Poetry Book, Nov. 1901

  • It is interesting that Das Jahr der Wende reflects the unstructured style of Nietzsche's "Dionysos Dithyramben"

  • They concluded the Zarathustra complex in 1888, just before Nietzsche suffered the mental breakdown that ended his career

  • In contrast, Greve’s Wanderungen show the mark of the so-called Stefan George-Mache, a formally rigid way of crafting poetry

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche s dionysos dithyramben
Nietzsche's Dionysos Dithyramben

Grove s indirect nietzsche hints
Grove’s indirect Nietzsche-Hints

  • Greve wrote FIVE poems about Nietzsche

  • In comparison, ALL of Grove's Nietzsche pointers are covert & indirect

  • We saw his sly title reference to Nietzsche in the 1914 "Rousseau" essay

  • Das Jahr der Wende / Year of the Turning Point also echoes a title:

    • Grove chose The Turn of the Year (1923) for his 2nd Canadian book

    • He thus pointed to the poems he had written in Jahr der Wende two decades earlier

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s confessional aphorisms
Grove’s confessional Aphorisms

  • Back to Grove's “Saint Nishivara” aphorisms: they are a confession in the disguise of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra

  • Theycan be datedinternally to 1939:

  • 30 years the hero spent “in the East”, another 30 “in the West”

  • Both times he became entangled in sin …

  • Greve left Berlin when he was 30 in 1909, & at 60 he mused about his life in 1939

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Grove s aphorisms 1939
Grove’s Aphorisms, 1939

  • 1939 marks a period of intense Soul-Searching for Grove

    • Around his birthday in mid-February 1939, he sends two of his books to Thomas Mann at Princeton

    • He revises & expands his “Author’s Note” for the 1939 ed. of ASA with explicit references to Goethe's Dichtung & Wahrheit/Fact & Fiction

    • Gide’s autobiography & fame provides the impetus to start is autobiography ISM

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche s thus spake zarathustra
Nietzsche's Thus spake Zarathustra

More traces of nietzsche in fpg s poetry
More Traces of Nietzsche in FPG's Poetry

  • While preparing the 2007 e-Edition of FPG’s complete poetry, two of Greve’s poems in Wanderungen warranted a link to Nietzsche

  • One was to the moving “Die Sonne sinkt”, the other to “Aus hohen Bergen”

  • Both the day/life & the mountain metaphors were used repeatedly in Grove's poetry

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Nietzsche in grove s autobiography
Nietzsche in Grove’s Autobiography

  • Two years before his death, in In Search of Myself (1946), Grove acknowledged his great admiration for Nietzsche

  • He insists that he preferred the "early" Nietzsche

  • And he obscures the fact that he made lavish use of Nietzsche’s late & most literary Zarathustra

LCMND, Sept 2008 gd

Eed of grove s in search of myself 1946
eEd. of Grove's In Search of Myself(1946)

Nietzsche s ecce homo
Nietzsche's Ecce Homo