Lou Salomé

Posted by M ws On Friday, March 8, 2013 0 comments
Lou Andreas-Salomé (born Louise von Salomé or Luíza Gustavovna Salomé, 12 February 1861 – 5 February 1937) was a Russian-born psychoanalyst and author. Her diverse intellectual interests led to friendships with a broad array of distinguished western luminaries, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Rilke.


Early years
Lou Salomé was born in St. Petersburg to an army general and his wife. Salomé was their only daughter; she had five brothers. Although she would later be attacked by the Nazis as a "Finnish Jewess," her parents were actually of French Huguenot and Northern German descent.

Seeking an education when she was seventeen Salomé persuaded the Dutch preacher Hendrik Gillot, twenty-five years her senior, to teach her theology, philosophy, world religions, and French and German literature. Gillot became so smitten with Salomé that he planned to divorce his wife and marry her. Salomé and her mother fled to Zurich, so she could acquire a university education. The journey was also intended to be beneficial for Salomé's physical health; she was coughing up blood at this time.

Nietzsche and later life
Salomé's mother took her to Rome, Italy when she was 21. At a literary salon in the city, Salomé became acquainted with Paul Rée, an author and compulsive gambler with whom she proposed living in an academic commune. After two months, the two became partners. On 13 May 1882, Rée's friend Friedrich Nietzsche joined the duo. Salomé would later (1894) write a study, Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken, of Nietzsche's personality and philosophy.[3] The three travelled with Salomé's mother through Italy and considered where they would set up their "Winterplan" commune. Arriving in Leipzig, Germany in October, Salomé and Rée separated from Nietzsche after a falling-out between Nietzsche and Salomé, in which Salomé believed that Nietzsche was desperately in love with her. In 1884 Salomé became acquainted with Helene von Druskowitz, the second woman to receive a philosophy doctorate in Zurich.

A fictional account of Salomé's relationship with Nietzsche is described in Irvin Yalom's novel, When Nietzsche Wept. A biography in Swedish on Lou Salomé, which also covers her relationship with Paul Rée, Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud was edited in 2008 on Mita bokförlag by the Swedish author Mirjam Tapper. The title of the book is "Den blonda besten hos Nietzsche - Lou Salomé".

Marriage and relationships
Salomé and Rée moved to Berlin and lived together until a few years before her celibate marriage to linguistics scholar Friedrich Carl Andreas. Despite her opposition to marriage and her open relationships with other men, Salomé and Andreas remained married from 1887 until his death in 1930. The distress caused by Salomé's co-habitation with Andreas caused the morose Rée to fade from Salomé's life despite her assurances. Throughout her married life, she engaged in affairs or/and correspondence with the German journalist Georg Lebedour, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, on whom she wrote an analytical memoir,the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Viktor Tausk, among others. Accounts of many of these are given in her volume Lebensrückblick.

Her relationship with Rilke was particularly close. Salomé was fifteen years his senior. They met when he was 21, were lovers for several years and correspondents until Rilke's death; it was Salome who began calling him Rainer rather than René. She taught him Russian, in order to read Tolstoy (whom he would later meet) and Pushkin. She also introduced him to patrons and other people in the arts, remaining his advisor, confidante and muse throughout his adult life.

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