"Supermen and Fingers of Destiny would never have existed"
Friedrich Nietzsche drawn by Hans Olde
Public DomainFriedrich Nietzsche drawn by Hans Olde - Credit: Hans Olde

The concept of the 'superman' or 'overman' (ger. übermensch) was created by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) in his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

George Bernard Shaw made use of this  Nietzschian concept in his play Man and Superman.

In Nietzsche's philosophy the 'superman' broadly represents a human being who strives in his personal existence for the enhancement of all mankind (although the precise meaning of the term, as used by Nietzsche, is open to debate).


The meaning of 'Fingers of Destiny' in this context is not clear:

In palmistry, the middle finger, also known as 'Saturn's finger' is sometimes given the name 'the Finger of Destiny';

'Finger of Destiny'  was also the title of  a 1915 film directed by Charles Raymond.

However, neither of these ideas explains Virginia Woolf's use of 'Fingers of Destiny'.

Can anybody help?