I love reading letters written by people I admire like this example written by Friedrich Nietzsche to his good friend Peter Gast; it humanizes these people from who you normally only read the best they can produce and not about their daily lives. This comes out of a book written in 1921 by Oscar Levy, who translated a lot of Nietzsche’s work when it first got known outside Germany. You can read the book on archive.org, this letters starts on on page 139.
NIETZSCHE TO PETER GAST.
Sils-MaIaria, end of August, 1881.
But this is splendid news, my dear friend! Above all that you should have finished! At the thought of· this first great achievement of your life, I feel indescribably happy and solemn ; I shall not fail to remember August 24, 1881 ! How things are progressing ! But as soon as I think of your work I am overcome by a feeling of satisfaction and a sort of emotion which I never experience in connection with my own “works.” There is something in these that always fills me with a sense of shame; they are counterfeits of a suffering, imperfect nature, but inadequately equipped with the most essential organs-to myself, I, as a whole, often seem little more than the scratching upon a piece of paper made by an unknown power with the object of trying a new pen (Our friend Schmeitzner has understood very well how to make me feel this, for in every one of his letters of late he has laid stress on the fact that “my readers do not wish to read any more of my aphorisms.”) As for you, my dear friend, you were not intended to be such a creature of aphorisms; your aim is a lofty one; unlike me you do not feel obliged to let people guess at the interdependence and at the need of interdependence in your work. Your mission it is once more to make known the higher laws of style in your art – those laws the setting aside of which the weakness of modern artists has elevated almost to a principle: your mission it is to reveal your art once more quite complete! This is what I feel when I think of you, and in this prospect I seem to enjoy the fullest bloom of my own nature as in a mirage. You alone have afforded me this joy up to the present, and it is only since I learnt to know your music that this has been so between us…
…So much for to day – It is not at all necessary for you to answer this, dear friend. “When we meet again you will play me some of your music as an answer (during the last few months it has percolated right into my heart, and, honestly, I know nothing I would like to hear better . . . Your friend, Nietzsche