Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 26

in their
origin. The most striking example of this was Madame Cosima Wagner,
by far the most decisive voice in matters of taste that I have ever
heard. If I do not read, but literally love Pascal? as the most
instinctive sacrifice to Christianity, killing himself inch by inch,
first bodily, then spiritually, according to the terrible consistency
of this most appalling form of inhuman cruelty; if I have something
of Montaigne's mischievousness in my soul, and--who knows?--perhaps
also in my body; if my artist's taste endeavours to defend the names
of Molière, Corneille, and Racine, and not without bitterness, against
such a wild genius as Shakespeare--all this does not prevent me from
regarding even the latter-day Frenchmen also as charming companions.
I can think of absolutely no century in history, in which a netful of
more inquisitive and at the same time more subtle psychologists could
be drawn up together than in the Paris of the present day. Let me
mention a few at random--for their number is by no means small--Paul
Bourget, Pierre Loti, Gyp, Meilhac, Anatole France, Jules Lemaitre;
or, to point to one of strong race, a genuine Latin, of whom I am
particularly fond, Guy de Maupassant. Between ourselves, I prefer this
generation even to its masters, all of whom were corrupted by German
philosophy (Taine, for instance, by Hegel, whom he has to thank for
his misunderstanding of great men and great periods). Wherever Germany
extends her sway, she _ruins_ culture. It was the war which first saved
the spirit of France.... Stendhal is one of the happiest accidents of
my life--for everything that marks an epoch in it has been brought
to me by accident and never by means of a recommendation. He is quite
priceless, with his psychologist's eye, quick at forestalling and
anticipating; with his grasp of facts, which is reminiscent of the same
art in the greatest of all masters of facts (_ex ungue Napoleonem_);
and, last but not least, as an honest atheist--a specimen which is
both rare and difficult to discover in France--all honour to Prosper
Mérimée!... Maybe that I am even envious of Stendhal? He robbed
me of the best atheistic joke, which I of all people could have
perpetrated: "God's only excuse is that He does not exist" ... I myself
have said somewhere--What has been the greatest objection to Life
hitherto?--God....



4


It was Heinrich Heine who gave me the most perfect idea of what a
lyrical poet could be. In vain do I search through all the kingdoms of
antiquity or of modern times for anything to resemble his sweet and
passionate music. He

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Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

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_Narrow Souls.
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It is thus that the wise gardener does who puts the tiny streamlet of his garden.
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To be sure,.
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The praise of the unselfish, self-sacrificing, virtuous person--he, consequently, who does not expend his whole energy and reason for _his own_ conservation, development, elevation, furtherance and augmentation of power, but lives as regards himself unassumingly and thoughtlessly, perhaps even indifferently or ironically--this praise has in any case not originated out of the spirit of unselfishness! The "neighbour" praises unselfishness because _he profits by it!_ If the neighbour were "unselfishly" disposed himself, he would reject that destruction of power, that injury for _his_ advantage, he would thwart such inclinations in their origin, and above all he would manifest his unselfishness just by _not giving it a good name!_ The fundamental contradiction in that morality which at present stands in high honour is here indicated: the _motives_ to such a morality are in antithesis to its _principle!_ That with which this morality wishes to prove itself, refutes it out of its criterion of what is moral! The.
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_--Secondly, a society in which corruption takes a hold is blamed for _effeminacy:_ for the appreciation of war, and the delight in war, perceptibly diminish in such a society, and the conveniences of life are now just as eagerly sought after as were military and gymnastic honours formerly.
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48.
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One rightly objects to the dramatic poet when he does not transform everything into reason and speech, but always retains a remnant of _silence:_--just as one is dissatisfied with an operatic musician who cannot find a melody for the highest emotion, but only an emotional, "natural" stammering and crying.
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_--The Greeks were exceedingly logical and plain in all their thinking; they did not get tired of it, at least during their long flourishing period, as is so often the case with the French; who too willingly made a little excursion into the opposite, and in fact endure the spirit of logic only when it betrays its _sociable_ courtesy, its sociable self-renunciation, by a multitude of such little excursions into its opposite.
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There was a still more wonderful idea, and it has perhaps operated most powerfully of all in the originating of poetry.
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_--Artists, glorify continually--they do nothing else,--and indeed they glorify all those conditions and things that have a reputation, so that man may feel himself good or great, or intoxicated, or merry, or pleased and wise by it.
Page 73
Let us allow him his intellectual humours and spasms, let us in fairness rather consider what strange nutriments and necessaries an art like his _is entitled to,_ in order to be able to live and grow! It is of no account that he is often wrong as a thinker; justice and patience are not _his_ affair.
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Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard.
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" Here only could Christ dream of his rainbow and celestial ladder on which God descended to man; everywhere else the clear weather and the sun were considered the rule and the commonplace.
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302.
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_As Interpreters of our Experiences.
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_--Those thinkers in whom all the stars move in cyclic orbits, are not the most profound.
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We understand very well how to pour sweetness on our bitterness, especially on the bitterness of our soul; we find a remedy in our bravery and sublimity, as well as in the nobler delirium of submission and resignation.
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_Better Deaf than Deafened.
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