Virtually all letter writers confessed how their encounter with Nietzsche's philosophy either emboldened or chastened them, liberated them from old falsehoods, or saddled them with new moral responsibilities. Helen Bachmuller of Dayton, Ohio, wrote to let Förster-Nietzsche know that her brother had inspired the belief that human greatness was still possible in the modern world. Though unworthy of his greatness, he nevertheless awakened in her a longing for something deeper in herself. Nietzsche, Bachmuller confessed, had saved her from her 'own inner emptiness.' The 'Ohio country' she called home had become 'tame and commonplace,' filled with lives 'trivial and ... essentially ugly, for they are engrossed with matters of money and motors, not with work or faith or art.' She regarded the Methodist church near her house as 'vulgar, pretentious.' Though disgusted by the offensive mediocrity around her, she was also chagrined by her own limitations: 'It would be, probably, impossible for you to imagine anything more superficial than I am.' But reading presumably the recently released translation of Förster-Nietzsche's The_Nietzsche-Wagner_Correspondence had exposed Bachmuller to 'depths beyond depths, of one great soul striking fire against another great soul, and I became thrilled. I could feel the harmonies and dissonances, the swell and surge of those two glorious beings, and I felt much more that I cannot express.' Reading Nietzsche enlivened her to the possibility 'for a companionship that would stimulate, that would deepen, that would give me Tiefen [depth].' Nietzsche strengthened her resolve that 'all my life I will hold on to my hunger, if I never manage to have a soul, at any rate I will remain, by hook or crook, aware of it and I will desire one all my life, I will not accept substitutes.
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas)