Beyond Real and Fake
March 20, 2009 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I both loved and resented that wealth of warmth which Elisabeth brought to me in those unexpected hours of the night. I was usually in the midst of a sound sleep when she got into my bed, and thrilling as I found the ministrations of her fat little fingers, it also meant my being kept awake for hours and hours. Besides, though in my conscious nature I knew nothing about what was going on, I must have had a feeling that my sister was bringing to my life as accomplished facts sensations whose real value to a boy was in their being discovered as part of the experience of growing up. She was presenting me with triumphs I should by right attain only by my own efforts in a much more restricted world…

My Sister and I was a publication - and possibly, commissioned forgery - of Samuel Roth. He is not included in lists of notable American Jews. But our freedom of expression owes him a considerable debt.
posted by Joe Beese (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I always told my kids to stay away from those Nietzsches...
posted by nosila at 2:27 PM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ben Macintyre's Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche is a pretty interesting book which focuses on the manner in which Elisabeth misunderstood / manipulated her brother's writings for personal gain and prestige in the Nazi era, and also her bizarre attempts to create "Nueva Germania" in a largely uninhabitable part of Paraguay by duping followers and poor Germans into dumping their relative fortunes and dreams into this fiasco. (Though some settlers did survive, and one of the most interesting parts of the book relates Macintyre's trip upriver to find their still quite-Aryan looking descendants, who've acquired heavy yerba mate habits, the habits of indigenous peoples and Spanish as a mother tongue - so much for Aryan superiority!)

The book also talks about My Sister And I at length, and puts it into context very well.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:35 PM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Every link is dead. What gives?
posted by sourwookie at 3:45 PM on March 20, 2009

Ah, yes, Forgotten Fatherland--wasn't there something at the end that there was a high rate of birth defects in the "Nueva Germania" because of in-breeding? I'm trying to recall the book.
posted by etaoin at 3:48 PM on March 20, 2009

Every link is dead. What gives?

God is every link.
posted by yoink at 4:31 PM on March 20, 2009 [9 favorites]

The links all work for me.

I can't recall if the author mentions "high rate of birth defects" per se, but it's made pretty clear than in-breeding occurred, and some of the folks there seem a little bit "off."
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:39 PM on March 20, 2009

Excellent, thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 6:03 PM on March 20, 2009

Nietzsche slash fiction?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:08 PM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

You stay away from that river trouble, son.
posted by zonem at 6:26 PM on March 20, 2009

Urgh! It's happening again! I sense conspiracy!
posted by sourwookie at 11:55 PM on March 20, 2009

Per local legend, Josef Mengele resided in Nueva Germania, comfortably if intermittently, for over two decades. Casa de Mengele remained untouched for years following his death—until one afternoon in the early '90s, when the historic landmark was reduced to some scattered bricks.
posted by Wolof at 12:13 AM on March 21, 2009

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