Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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the organs
of observation. To look upon healthier concepts and values from the
standpoint of the sick, and conversely to look down upon the secret
work of the instincts of decadence from the standpoint of him who is
laden and self-reliant with the richness of life--this has been my
longest exercise, my principal experience. If in anything at all, it
was in this that I became a master. To-day my hand knows the trick, I
now have the knack of reversing perspectives: the first reason perhaps
why a _Transvaluation of all Values_ has been possible to me alone.


For, apart from the fact that I am a decadent, I am also the reverse of
such a creature. Among other things my proof of this is, that I always
instinctively select the proper remedy when my spiritual or bodily
health is low; whereas the decadent, as such, invariably chooses those
remedies which are bad for him. As a whole I was sound, but in certain
details I was a decadent. That energy with which I sentenced myself
to absolute solitude, and to a severance from all those conditions in
life to which I had grown accustomed; my discipline of myself, and my
refusal to allow myself to be pampered, to be tended hand and foot, and
to be doctored--all this betrays the absolute certainty of my instincts
respecting what at that time was most needful to me. I placed myself
in my own hands, I restored myself to health: the first condition of
success in such an undertaking, as every physiologist will admit, is
that at bottom a man should be sound. An intrinsically morbid nature
cannot become healthy. On the other hand, to an intrinsically sound
nature, illness may even constitute a powerful stimulus to life, to
a surplus of life. It is in this light that I now regard the long
period of illness that I endured: it seemed as if I had discovered
life afresh, my own self included. I tasted all good things and even
trifles in a way in which it was not easy for others to taste them--out
of my Will to Health and to Life I made my philosophy.... For this
should be thoroughly understood; it was during those years in which my
vitality reached its lowest point that I ceased from being a pessimist:
the instinct of self-recovery forbade my holding to a philosophy of
poverty and desperation. Now, by what signs are Nature's lucky strokes
recognised among men? They are recognised by the fact that any such
lucky stroke gladdens our senses; that he is carved from

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

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88), in the section dealing with the.
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But let them not be too sanguine.
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For how can harmony, order, symmetry, mastery, proceed from uncontrolled discord, disorder, disintegration, and chaos? The fact that an art which springs from such a marshy soil may, like certain paludal plants, be "wonderful," "gorgeous," and "overwhelming," cannot be denied; but true art it is not.
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" With it one bids farewell to the _damp_ north and to all the fog of the Wagnerian ideal.
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She must first versify the fourth book of "The World as Will and Idea.
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Above all, no thoughts! Nothing is more compromising than a thought! But the state of mind which _precedes_ thought, the labour of the thought still unborn, the promise of future thought, the world as it was before God created it--a recrudescence of chaos.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} (See Wagner's essay, "Religion and Art.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} --"But the substance of Wagner's texts! their mythical substance, their eternal substance"--Question: how is this substance, this eternal substance tested? The chemical analyst replies: Translate Wagner into the real, into the modern,--let us be even more cruel, and say into the bourgeois! And what will then become of him?--Between ourselves, I have tried the experiment.
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These three propositions are the quintessence of Wagner's writings;--the rest is merely--"literature".
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He stultifies, he befouls the stomach.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Ah, this old robber! He robs our young men: he even robs our women as well, and drags them to his cell.
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--The female Wagnerite is a more definite, a more interesting, and above all, a more attractive type.
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In the theatre no one brings the finest senses of his art with him, and least of all the artist who works for the theatre,--for here loneliness is lacking; everything perfect does not suffer a.
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It was no longer a matter of walking or dancing,--we must swim, we must hover.
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" {~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} "Disinterestedness"--principle of decadence, the will to nonentity in art as well as in morality.
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Wagner has not the power to unlock and liberate the soul of those he frequents.
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Moreover his is a difficult language which also requires to be explained.
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