Someone has said: ““The hardest battle you will ever have to fight is between who you are now and who you want to be.”

IF one is to fight any battles, this one, indeed, will be the hardest one.

Why fight?

Why be someone else?

Why fight to be someone else?



In Turin on January 3rd 1889,
Friedrich Nietzsche steps out
of number 6, Via Carlo Alberto,
perhaps to take a stroll,
perhaps to go by the post office,
perhaps to collect his mail.

Not far from him,
or indeed
very far removed from him,
a cabman is having trouble
with his stubborn horse.

Despite all his urging,
the horse refuses to move.

The horse is the being,
The cabman is the intention.

The cabman – Giuseppe? Carlo? Ettore? –
loses his patience
with the horse being
and takes his whip to it.

Nietzsche comes up,
witnessing the fight
of the free whip
with the circumstances.

and that puts an end
to the brutal scene of the cabman,
who by this time
is foaming with rage.

The solidly built
and full-mustached
suddenly jumps up to the cab…
and throws his arms
around the horse’s neck…

His neighbor takes him home,
where he lies for two days,
still and silent, on a divan…
until at last he mutters…
the obligatory last words:
“Mutter, ich bin dumm.” (“Mother, I’m foolish.”)

He lives for another ten years,
gentle and demented,
in the care of his mother and sisters.

Of the horse…
we know nothing.

Dementia, craziness, and refusal to move…
…as an act of free will.

Obedience to coercion…

Compliance of a living being
to a superimposed order.

Compliance of a living being
to the forces of nature.


A film by Bela Tarr.