Friendship

“I feel the deepest pleasure, dear friend, in a tete-a-tete with you. You can’t imagine how much I have suffered from this squabble I have had with the masses, with the anonymous herd… Pretend for a moment that we are alone together in some remote place, far away from the hurly burly of life and that we are talking like old friends, who know each other’s very soul, and understand each other just by a glance…

“For ten years we have been talking about art and literature…- and often dawn caught us still talking, searching the past, questioning the present, trying to discover truth, and to create for ourselves an infallible and comprehensive religion. We shuffled stacks of terrible ideas, we examined and rejected all ideologies, and after much arduous labour that outside one’s personal life there exists only lies and one’s stupidity.”

— from a letter to Cezanne from Emile Zola, ca. 1866

“We were friends and have become estranged. But this was right, and we do not want to conceal and obscure it from ourselves as if we had reason to feel ashamed. We are two ships each of which has its goal and course; our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did—and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had one goal. But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones, and perhaps we shall never see one another again,—perhaps we shall meet again but fail to recognize each other: our exposure to different seas and suns has changed us! That we have to become estranged is the law above us: by the same token we should also become more venerable for each other! And thus the memory of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path,—let us rise up to this thought! But our life is too short and our power of vision too small for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility.— Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies.” – Nietzsche

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