A minor Nietzsche question – what does the abbreviation ‘W.W.’ refer to?

A minor Nietzsche question – what does the abbreviation W.W. refer to? I’ve asked some of the leading Nietzsche scholars I know, and they are baffled too.

The context is two references to Nietzsche: W. W. XI, p. 268 and W. W. XII, p. 307. It seems it’s to a collected edition of Nietzsche’s writings, and one from the 1950s or before.

I’ve found both references in the Kritische Studienausgabe (they are both to passages from his notebooks), but I’m curious what the ‘W.W.’ refers to. My best guess is the Großoktavausgabe edition of his works –  edited by Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche and others. But if it is to that, why the abbreviation W. W. when GOA is the standard for that work? I guess one ‘W’ is for Werke, and had thought the other was for ‘Weimar’ (where Nietzsche was born and the archive was) but that doesn’t make sense – the Großoktavausgabe was published in Leipzig. Any suggestions appreciated…

Update: The references do check out to the GOA – Leipzig, C.G. Naumann, 1901-12 – thanks to John Russell in comments for a link to an online searchable version. But still no clearer why WW is used to refer to this, though John suggests this is not uncommon.

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6 Responses to A minor Nietzsche question – what does the abbreviation ‘W.W.’ refer to?

  1. Teo Ballvé says:

    In philosophy I think this usually means: Wait, what?

  2. WW comes up in contexts not specific to Nietzsche (e.g., in bibliographies under Hegel and Schliermacher) and may be a German abbreviation related to Werke? This article equates WW with the Leipzig Werke: http://books.google.com/books?id=u1I9AAAAYAAJ&dq=Nietzsche%20WW%20XI&pg=PA6#v=onepage&q=Nietzsche%20WW%20XI&f=false

    Since the Leipzig Werke are in HathiTrust, you can check the references quickly to see if this is right: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011986751

  3. Yes, I think John’s right. WW may here just mean Werke (the extra “W” emphasizing the plural?). It definitely seems that the Heidegger reference to Nietzsche using WW refers to the Leipzig Werke. Is this an old (and German) convention, perhaps?

  4. stuartelden says:

    Thanks Robert. It’s actually Kostas Axelos, not Heidegger. I guess WW does mean simply Werke, but odd he didn’t explain. Anyway, problem solved. Thanks to you and John.

  5. Pingback: Top ten posts on Progressive Geographies this week | Progressive Geographies

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