Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 139

as that great mysterious one possesses
it, the tempter-god and born rat-catcher of consciences, whose voice can
descend into the nether-world of every soul, who neither speaks a word
nor casts a glance in which there may not be some motive or touch
of allurement, to whose perfection it pertains that he knows how to
appear,--not as he is, but in a guise which acts as an ADDITIONAL
constraint on his followers to press ever closer to him, to follow him
more cordially and thoroughly;--the genius of the heart, which imposes
silence and attention on everything loud and self-conceited, which
smoothes rough souls and makes them taste a new longing--to lie placid
as a mirror, that the deep heavens may be reflected in them;--the genius
of the heart, which teaches the clumsy and too hasty hand to hesitate,
and to grasp more delicately; which scents the hidden and forgotten
treasure, the drop of goodness and sweet spirituality under thick dark
ice, and is a divining-rod for every grain of gold, long buried and
imprisoned in mud and sand; the genius of the heart, from contact with
which every one goes away richer; not favoured or surprised, not as
though gratified and oppressed by the good things of others; but richer
in himself, newer than before, broken up, blown upon, and sounded by a
thawing wind; more uncertain, perhaps, more delicate, more fragile, more
bruised, but full of hopes which as yet lack names, full of a new will
and current, full of a new ill-will and counter-current... but what am I
doing, my friends? Of whom am I talking to you? Have I forgotten myself
so far that I have not even told you his name? Unless it be that you
have already divined of your own accord who this questionable God
and spirit is, that wishes to be PRAISED in such a manner? For, as it
happens to every one who from childhood onward has always been on his
legs, and in foreign lands, I have also encountered on my path many
strange and dangerous spirits; above all, however, and again and again,
the one of whom I have just spoken: in fact, no less a personage than
the God DIONYSUS, the great equivocator and tempter, to whom, as you
know, I once offered in all secrecy and reverence my first-fruits--the
last, as it seems to me, who has offered a SACRIFICE to him, for I
have found no one who could understand what I was then doing. In
the meantime, however, I have learned much, far too much, about the
philosophy of this

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
We are conscious of this in the circles of the learned just as much as among the followers of that science itself.
Page 1
Life is worth living, says art, the beautiful temptress; life is worth knowing, says science.
Page 2
When, however, even the friends of antiquity, possessed of such doubts and hesitations, point to our present classical philology as something questionable, what influence may we not ascribe to the outbursts of the "realists" and the claptrap of the heroes of the passing hour? To answer the latter on this occasion, especially when we consider the nature of the present assembly, would be highly injudicious; at any rate, if I do not wish to meet with the fate of that sophist who, when in Sparta, publicly undertook to praise and defend Herakles, when he was interrupted with the query: "But who then has found fault with him?".
Page 3
I cannot help thinking, however, that some of these scruples are still sounding in the ears of not a few in this gathering; for they may still be frequently heard from the lips of noble and artistically gifted men--as even an upright philologist must feel them, and feel them most painfully, at moments when his spirits are downcast.
Page 4
Even the experiment I have just referred to has its own attractive history; but it goes back to a surprisingly ancient era.
Page 5
, in the naive concession he made to the public opinion that considered Homer as the author of the original of all comic epics, the _Margites_.
Page 6
Poetical works, which cause the hearts of even the greatest geniuses to fail when they endeavour to vie with them, and in which unsurpassable images are held up for the admiration of posterity--and yet the poet who wrote them with only a hollow, shaky name, whenever we do lay hold on him; nowhere the solid kernel of a powerful personality.
Page 7
Could it be possible that that same Nature who so sparingly distributed her rarest and most precious production--genius--should suddenly take the notion of lavishing her gifts in one sole direction? And here the thorny question again made its appearance: Could we not get along with one genius only, and explain the present existence of that unattainable excellence? And now eyes were keenly on the lookout for whatever that excellence and singularity might consist of.
Page 8
But the newly-lighted flame also cast its shadow: and this shadow was none other than that superstition already referred to, which popular poetry set up in opposition to individual poetry, and thus enlarged the comprehension of the people's soul to that of the people's mind.
Page 9
We are thus confronted with the task of distinguishing that which can have originated only in a single poetical mind from that which is, so to speak, swept up by the tide of oral tradition, and which is a highly important constituent part of.
Page 10
Since literary history first ceased to be a mere collection of names, people have attempted to grasp and formulate the individualities of the poets.
Page 11
Where, however, a poet is unable to observe artistically with a single glance,.
Page 12
As many pictures as possible are crowded on one canvas; but the man who placed them there was indifferent as to whether the grouping of the collected pictures was invariably suitable and rhythmically beautiful.
Page 13
We believe in a great poet as the author of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey--but not that Homer was this poet_.
Page 14
And there is a second fact which I should like to recall to the memory of those friends of antiquity who turn their dissatisfied backs on classical philology.
Page 15
great homogeneous views alone remain.