Phenomenological Reviews

Journal | Volume | Article


Genius Loci - Lo spazio scolpito e il mistero di Nietzsche, Lou e il Sacro Monte

Babette Babich

pp. 235-262


This essay explores Nietzsche’s visit to Orta, including his visit with Lou von Salomé to Sacro Monte. Yet there are two Sacri Monti, one at Orta and one, some distance away, at Varallo. Lou reports that Nietzsche described this visit as the «most charming dream» [entzückendsten Traum] of his life and scholars have concluded that this dream refers to Nietzsche’s erotic moment – just a kiss – with Lou. This essay argues for a hermeneutico-phenomenological consideration of the locus itself: featuring nearly a dozen (doubled that number at Varallo) architecturally unique oratories and hundreds of brilliantly painted, nearly life-size statues set in landscape designed to recreate the particular atmosphere of the Mediterranean world, both Jerusalem and Athens, transposed to the north of Italy. This “weather” would have captivated the Nietzsche who worked on the intersection between what texts tell us about antiquity and the world, the “barest hem of which”, as he once put it, we cannot begin to touch.

Publication details

Published in:

(2013) Nuove teorie dell'immaginazione. Rivista di estetica 53.

Pages: 235-262

DOI: 10.4000/estetica.1579

Full citation:

Babich Babette (2013) „Genius Loci - Lo spazio scolpito e il mistero di Nietzsche, Lou e il Sacro Monte“. Rivista di estetica 53, 235–262.