Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 111

are all virtuous, yea every one.
Virtue and fame are ever in accord
So long as time doth run,

The tongues that prate of virtue as reward
Earn fame. For virtue is fame's clever bawd.
* * * *
Amongst these virtuous, I prefer to be
One guilty of all vile and horrid sin!
And when I see fame's importunity
So advertise her shameless harlotry,
Ambition turns to gall. Amidst such kin
One place alone, the lowest, would I win.
* * * *
This fame, which all the wide world loves,
I touch with gloves,
And scorning beat
Beneath my feet.


Hush! I see vastness!--and of vasty things
Shall man be dumb, unless he can enshrine
Them with his words? Then take the might which brings
The heart upon thy tongue, charmed wisdom mine!
* * * *
I look above, there rolls the star-strown sea.
O night, mute silence, voiceless cry of stars!
And lo! A sign! The heaven its verge unbars--
A shining constellation falls towards me.


O loftiest, star-clustered crown of Being!
O carved tablets of Eternity!
And dost thou truly bend thy way to me?
Thy loveliness, to all--obscurity,
What? Fear'st not to unveil before _my_ seeing?
* * * *
O shield of Destiny!
O carven tablets of Eternity!
Yea, verily, thou knowest--what mankind doth hate,

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 0
Page 4
Ritschl often declared, it was an unheard-of occurrence for a student in his third term to prepare such an excellent treatise.
Page 13
Whatever may lie at the bottom of this doubtful book must be a question of the first rank and attractiveness, moreover a deeply personal question,--in proof thereof observe the time in which it originated, _in spite_ of which it originated, the exciting period of the Franco-German war of 1870-71.
Page 14
What I then laid hands on, something terrible and dangerous, a problem with horns, not necessarily a bull itself, but at all events a _new_ problem: I should say to-day it was the _problem of science_ itself--science conceived for the first time as problematic, as questionable.
Page 24
Page 27
On the other hand, we should not have to speak conjecturally, if asked to disclose the immense gap which separated the _Dionysian Greek_ from the Dionysian barbarian.
Page 34
Up to this point we have enlarged upon the observation made at the beginning of this essay: how the Dionysian and the Apollonian, in ever new births succeeding and mutually augmenting one another, controlled the Hellenic genius: how from out the age of "bronze," with its Titan struggles and rigorous folk-philosophy, the Homeric world develops under the fostering sway of the Apollonian impulse to beauty, how this "naïve" splendour is again overwhelmed by the inbursting flood of the Dionysian, and how against this new power the Apollonian rises to the austere majesty of Doric art and the Doric view of things.
Page 37
Page 46
Here, in this extremest danger of the will, _art_ approaches, as a saving and healing enchantress; she alone is able to transform these nauseating reflections on the awfulness or absurdity of existence into representations wherewith it is possible to live: these are the representations of the _sublime_ as the artistic subjugation of the awful, and the _comic_ as the artistic delivery from the nausea of the absurd.
Page 53
The truly Hellenic delight at this dialectical loosening is so great, that a touch of surpassing cheerfulness is thereby communicated to the entire play, which everywhere blunts the edge of the horrible presuppositions of the procedure.
Page 65
_ This is the new antithesis: the Dionysian and the Socratic, and the art-work of Greek tragedy was wrecked on it.
Page 71
Here is the extraordinary hesitancy which always seizes upon us with regard to Socrates, and again and again invites us to ascertain the sense and purpose of this most questionable phenomenon of antiquity.
Page 87
This takes place in the development of the _New Attic Dithyramb,_ the music of which no longer expressed the inner essence, the will itself, but only rendered the phenomenon insufficiently, in an imitation by means of concepts; from which intrinsically degenerate music the truly musical natures turned away with the same repugnance that they felt for the art-destroying tendency of Socrates.
Page 89
It is an eternal phenomenon: the avidious will can always, by means of an illusion spread over things, detain its creatures in life and compel them to live.
Page 108
He sees before him the tragic hero in epic clearness and beauty, and nevertheless delights in his annihilation.
Page 109
At one time fear and pity are supposed to be forced to an alleviating discharge through the serious procedure, at another time we are expected to feel elevated and inspired at the triumph of good and noble principles, at the sacrifice of the hero in the interest of a moral conception of things; and however certainly I believe that for countless men precisely this, and only this, is the effect of tragedy, it as obviously follows therefrom that all these, together with their interpreting æsthetes, have had no experience of tragedy as the highest _art.
Page 111
[24] In the sea of pleasure's Billowing roll, In the ether-waves Knelling and toll, In the world-breath's Wavering whole-- To drown in, go down in-- Lost in swoon--greatest boon! 23.
Page 119
At the same time, just as much of this basis of all existence--the Dionysian substratum of the world--is allowed to enter into the consciousness of human beings, as can be surmounted again by the Apollonian transfiguring power, so that these two art-impulses are constrained to develop their powers in strictly mutual proportion, according to the law of eternal justice.
Page 122
The doctrine of 'eternal recurrence,' that is, of the unconditioned and infinitely repeated cycle of all things--this doctrine of Zarathustra's _might_ after all have been already taught by Heraclitus.
Page 123
Common's translation, pp.