Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 131

discoverer, are disguised in
their creations until they are unrecognizable; the "work" of the artist,
of the philosopher, only invents him who has created it, is REPUTED
to have created it; the "great men," as they are reverenced, are poor
little fictions composed afterwards; in the world of historical values
spurious coinage PREVAILS. Those great poets, for example, such as
Byron, Musset, Poe, Leopardi, Kleist, Gogol (I do not venture to mention
much greater names, but I have them in my mind), as they now appear, and
were perhaps obliged to be: men of the moment, enthusiastic, sensuous,
and childish, light-minded and impulsive in their trust and distrust;
with souls in which usually some flaw has to be concealed; often taking
revenge with their works for an internal defilement, often seeking
forgetfulness in their soaring from a too true memory, often lost in
the mud and almost in love with it, until they become like the
Will-o'-the-Wisps around the swamps, and PRETEND TO BE stars--the people
then call them idealists,--often struggling with protracted disgust,
with an ever-reappearing phantom of disbelief, which makes them cold,
and obliges them to languish for GLORIA and devour "faith as it is"
out of the hands of intoxicated adulators:--what a TORMENT these great
artists are and the so-called higher men in general, to him who has once
found them out! It is thus conceivable that it is just from woman--who
is clairvoyant in the world of suffering, and also unfortunately eager
to help and save to an extent far beyond her powers--that THEY have
learnt so readily those outbreaks of boundless devoted SYMPATHY, which
the multitude, above all the reverent multitude, do not understand,
and overwhelm with prying and self-gratifying interpretations. This
sympathizing invariably deceives itself as to its power; woman would
like to believe that love can do EVERYTHING--it is the SUPERSTITION
peculiar to her. Alas, he who knows the heart finds out how poor,
helpless, pretentious, and blundering even the best and deepest love
is--he finds that it rather DESTROYS than saves!--It is possible that
under the holy fable and travesty of the life of Jesus there is hidden
one of the most painful cases of the martyrdom of KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LOVE:
the martyrdom of the most innocent and most craving heart, that
never had enough of any human love, that DEMANDED love, that demanded
inexorably and frantically to be loved and nothing else, with terrible
outbursts against those who refused him their love; the story of a poor
soul insatiated and insatiable in love, that had to invent hell to send
thither those who WOULD NOT love him--and that at

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