Ecce Homo or: I Await the Devil’s Coming
An evening in two parts, after Friedrich Nietzsche and Mary MacLane
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When Jesus was led before the people, tortured and bleeding, Pilate is said to have declared: Behold the man! Nietzsche, the antichrist, takes on this quotation for his tale about himself: it is “the attempt to spread some light and terror on myself”. Two months after completing »Ecce Homo« (Latin for “Behold the man”), his life as a writer ends in mental breakdown. Ten years later – Nietzsche has just died – a no less self-absorbed diaristic novel is published by nineteen-year-old Mary MacLane on the other side of the Atlantic. In the wilderness of Montana, she unscrupulously writes about her life and her ways of thinking, with a “marvelous capacity for misery and for happiness”. She expects to be saved – in some ways like Nietzsche – by the coming of the devil. Two unrestrained egomaniacs, who are anything but egotists, challenge the world they despair of. They find refuge in the ecstasy of a “revaluation of all values”. The ego-cosmos manoeuvres itself through the society of others. Is it conceivable that egoism and a solidarity-based, empathetic togetherness can get along?
At the beginning of the 19-20 season, »Ecce Homo« had to be postponed to the 20-21 season for casting reasons. In the meantime, the evening has been taken in another direction. Nietzsche’s brilliant thinking is contrasted with MacLane’s virtuosic contemplation of the world, which has been translated into German for the first time since its publication 120 years ago. The first part is based on Nietzsche’s text, the second on MacLane’s book.