Carlo Gentili

Hofmannsthal and Nietzsche. On the Lie of Language

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This paper aims at showing the philosophical background of "The Letter of Lord Chandos", a text published by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in 1902. As the dedication to Francis Bacon points out, the philosophical background is an integral part of the literary text. In this sense, the literary text shares the philosophical problem consisting in the difficult relationship between words and things. In the second part, this contribution deals with Hofmannsthal's all important philosophical source, i.e. Nietzsche's "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense". By stressing the dialogue between the philosopher and the writer, this essay aims finally at reconstructing the theological background explaining the proximity between Nietzsche's thinking and Hofmannsthal's literary output.


  • Nietzsche
  • Hofmannsthal
  • Truth
  • Lie
  • Language


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