Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 105

just a little over
one year to Eva König. A son was born and died the same day, and the
mother's life was despaired of. In a letter to his friend Eschenburg
the poet wrote: "... and I lost him so unwillingly, this son! For he
had so much understanding! so much understanding! Do not suppose that
the few hours of fatherhood have made me an ape of a father! I know
what I say. Was it not understanding, that they had to drag him into
the world with a pair of forceps? that he so soon suspected the evil
of this world? Was it not understanding, that he seized the first
opportunity to get away from it?..."

Eva König died a week later.--TR.

[2] In German _the tree--der Baum_--is masculine.--TR.

[3] In German _the plant--die Pflanze--_-is feminine--TR.

[4] _Cf._ the German _die Schlange_ and _schlingen,_ the English
_serpent_ from the Latin _serpere._--TR.



2


As we saw, it is _language_ which has worked originally at the
construction of ideas; in later times it is _science._ Just as the
bee works at the same time at the cells and fills them with honey,
thus science works irresistibly at that great columbarium of ideas,
the cemetery of perceptions, builds ever newer and higher storeys;
supports, purifies, renews the old cells, and endeavours above all to
fill that gigantic framework and to arrange within it the whole of the
empiric world, _i.e.,_ the anthropomorphic world. And as the man of
action binds his life to reason and its ideas, in order to avoid being
swept away and losing himself, so the seeker after truth builds his hut
close to the towering edifice of science in order to collaborate with
it and to find protection. And he needs protection. For there are awful
powers which continually press upon him, and which hold out against the
"truth" of science "truths" fashioned in quite another way, bearing
devices of the most heterogeneous character.

That impulse towards the formation of metaphors, mat fundamental
impulse of man, which we cannot reason away for one moment--for thereby
we should reason away man himself--is in truth not defeated nor even
subdued by the fact that out of its evaporated products, the ideas, a
regular and rigid new world has been built as a stronghold for it. This
impulse seeks for itself a new realm of action and another river-bed,
and finds it in _Mythos_ and more generally in _Art._ This impulse
constantly confuses the rubrics and cells of the ideas, by putting
up new figures of speech, metaphors, metonymies; it constantly shows
its passionate longing for shaping the existing world

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I David Strauss, the Confessor and the Writer - Richard Wagner in Bayreuth.

Page 5
Sancho Panza may escape a good many sad experiences by knowing his master's weaknesses.
Page 7
The Disraelian Novels are in my opinion the best and only preparation for those amongst you who wish gradually to become acquainted with the Nietzschean spirit.
Page 11
In Friedrich Nietzsche this aristocratic element which may be hidden in a Christian has been brought to light, in him the Christian's eternal claim for freedom of conscience, for his own priesthood, for justification by his own faith, is no longer used for purposes of destruction and rebellion, but for those of command and creation; in him--and this is the key to the character of this extraordinary man, who both on his father's and mother's side was the descendant of a long line of Protestant Parsons--the Christian and Protestant spirit of anarchy became so strong that he rebelled even against his own fellow-Anarchists, and told them that Anarchy was a low and contemptible thing, and that Revolution was an occupation fit only for superior slaves.
Page 54
_This is also his attitude towards culture_.
Page 58
" Well, let us see! Perhaps we may now be allowed to discuss Strauss the stylist and master of language; but in the first place let us inquire whether, as a literary man, he is equal to.
Page 70
He still, however, considers all _really_ productive things to be offensive.
Page 82
In the night of these semi-subterranean convulsions a star appeared and glowed high above him with melancholy vehemence; as soon as he recognised it, he named it _Fidelity--unselfish fidelity_.
Page 87
According to present views, the former seems to have been allotted the duty of giving modern man breathing-time, in the midst of his panting and strenuous scurry towards his goal, so that he may, for a space, imagine he has slipped his leash.
Page 103
Dare to submit to this for your own salvation, and abandon the gloomily lighted corner of life and nature which alone seems familiar to you.
Page 106
In Wagner, too, the world of sounds seeks to manifest itself as a phenomenon for the sight; it seeks, as it were, to incarnate itself.
Page 107
Carried away from himself, he seems to be suspended in a mysterious fiery element; he ceases to understand himself, the standard of everything has fallen from his hands; everything stereotyped and fixed begins to totter; every object seems to acquire a strange colour and to tell us its tale by means of new symbols;--one would need to be a Plato in order to discover, amid this confusion of delight and fear, how he accomplishes the feat, and to say to the dramatist: "Should a man come into our midst who possessed sufficient knowledge to simulate or imitate anything, we would honour him as something wonderful and holy; we would even anoint him and adorn his brow with a sacred diadem; but we would urge him to leave our circle for another, notwithstanding.
Page 110
Wagner's actual life--that is to say, the gradual evolution of the dithyrambic dramatist in him--was at the same time an uninterrupted struggle with himself, a struggle which never ceased until his evolution was complete.
Page 111
Another artist than he knew better how to become master of this calling, and now that it has gradually become known by means of what ingenious artifices of all kinds Meyerbeer succeeded in preparing and achieving every one of his great successes, and how scrupulously the sequence of "effects" was taken into account in the opera itself, people will begin to understand how bitterly Wagner was mortified when his eyes were opened to the tricks of the _métier_ which were indispensable to a great public success.
Page 116
And yet there is something still more wonderful than this work, and that is the artist himself, the man who, shortly after he had accomplished it, was able to create a picture of life so full of clashing colours as the Meistersingers of Nürnberg, and who in both of these compositions seems merely to have refreshed and equipped himself for the task of completing at his ease that gigantic edifice in four parts which he had long ago planned and begun--the ultimate result of all his meditations and poetical flights for over twenty years, his Bayreuth masterpiece, the Ring of the Nibelung! He who marvels at the rapid succession of the two operas, Tristan and the Meistersingers, has failed to understand one important side of the life and nature of all great Germans: he does not know the peculiar soil out of which that essentially German gaiety, which characterised Luther, Beethoven, and Wagner, can grow, the gaiety which other nations quite fail to understand and which even seems to be missing in the Germans of to-day--that clear golden and thoroughly fermented mixture of simplicity, deeply discriminating love, observation, and roguishness which Wagner has dispensed, as the most precious of drinks, to all those who have suffered deeply through life, but who nevertheless return to it with the smile of convalescents.
Page 126
The listener might think that he was hearing the old "mood" music over again, except that he failed to grasp the relation of the various parts to one another, and these no longer conformed with the canon of the law.
Page 127
That is why all Wagner's efforts were concentrated upon the one object of discovering those means which best served the purpose of _distinctness_, and to this end it was above all necessary for him to emancipate himself from all the prejudices and claims of the old "mood" music, and to give his compositions--the musical interpretations of feelings and passion--a perfectly unequivocal mode of expression.
Page 129
Let it suffice if we can appreciate how, in some respects, his music, with a certain cruelty towards itself, determines to subserve the course of the drama, which is as unrelenting as fate, whereas in reality his art was ever thirsting for a free ramble in the open and over the wilderness.
Page 134
Others, more particularly the earlier ones, including "Opera and Drama," excite and agitate one; their rhythm is so uneven that, as prose they are bewildering.
Page 135
If presentiment venture thus into the remote future, the discerning eye of all will recognise the dreadful social insanity of our present age, and will no longer blind itself to the dangers besetting an art which seems to have roots only in the remote and distant future, and which allows its burgeoning branches to spread before our gaze when it has not yet revealed the ground from which it draws its sap.
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