Izzy apologizes for his long absence. Some months ago, in a foolhardy moment, he answered the following advertisement:
MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS,
CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.
To his surprise, rather an a frozen slog across Antarctica–easy enough to endure–the journey was in fact a trip through the benthic regions of the soul.Â “When you stare into the Abyss, the Abyss stares into you,” said Nietzsche.Â Izzy would like to think that he won a staring contest with the Abyss.Â (This, despite the fact that the Abyss, not playing fair, contorted its face into a ridiculous cockeyed grimace.)
Now safely back in the Shallow, Izzy would like to turn your attention to another achievement of Nietzsche’s, his moustache.
Long before his signature facial hair reached absurd proportions worthy of a machete, one of his students described the philosopher’s appearance:
I had not expected that the professor would come storming into the room . . .Â like Burkhardt.Â I also knew well enough that a challenging tone in a writer does not always echo his behavior as a private man.Â But I was nonetheless surprised by the modesty, even humility, of Nietzsche’s demeanor when he came in.Â In addition he was of small rather than middle stature . . . And the iridescent glasses and deep mustache gave his face that impression of intellectuality which often makes even short men somewhat imposing.
While it is known that Nietzsche devoted great concern to his appearance, the famous photographs of him with with whiskers completely covering his mouth are not indicative of his own taste.Â By the time those photos were taken, Nietzsche was living in a sanitorium under the care of his far-more-insane sister, a proto- and later actual Nazi, who made the eccentric grooming choice for him.
Izzy is going to heed the lesson here, and make sure that his living will includes a clause about appropriate facial hair.