Two destitute lives. Two sickly bachelors, chaste though without vows, deprived of all daily affection, suffering all the torments of poetic passion, but for the Idea—adventurers of the mind only. Two existences virtually devoid of external vicissitudes. For one, the breaking-off of an engagement, the final attack against the Church, and death at forty-two. For the other, still less: a few years' professorship, a long wandering solitude, madness at forty-four. Each produced in some fifteen years his difficult, seminal work, and attracted only in extremis, by scandal, the attention of a few contemporaries. This external nakedness, contrasting with so much inner pathos, renders these lives exemplary; two pure tensions. In them the action of the mythic powers perfectly reveals its slow movements of approach, of alternating emergence and eclipse. These two chaste men meditated much on love, on women, and on marriage. Nietzsche has certainly written less on these subjects than Kierkegaard, but his work is no less rich in brief, often brazenly contradictory judgments on these three themes. It is remarkable that Nietzsche's contradictions afford a faithful epitome of Kierkegaard's, which in their turn repeat those of St. Paul himself.