Poetry in lieu of thinking. Reflections on the genesis of song in the third part of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. The chapter Von der grossen Sehnsucht opens the final section of Nietzscheʼs Also sprach Zarathustra with a speech in which Zarathustra invites his soul to sing and in which he starts to sing himself. Based on Nietzscheʼs own late interpretation in Ecce homo, this article focuses on the narrative coherence and poetic logic of the chapter Von der grossen Sehnsucht. While the address to the soul can be understood as a soliloquy that corresponds to the definition of thinking in Platoʼs Sophistes, the chapter Von der grossen Sehnsucht also allows insight into the relationship between thinking and writing. Von der grossen Sehnsucht, after all, follows the chapter Der Genesende, in which Zarathustraʼs animals talk to him about eternal recurrence. Moreover, the invitation to sing anticipates the Dionysos-Dithyramben:
the address to the soul is followed by Das andere Tanzlied and the Ja-und-Amen-Lied, which Nietzsche describes as a dithyramb. As such, the chapter Von der grossen Sehnsucht introduces dithyrambic poetry.