Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 28

deeds, with crime--_it actually presupposes the
latter._ ... We do not know half enough about Lord Bacon--the first
realist in all the highest acceptation of this word--to be sure of
everything he did, everything he willed, and everything he experienced
in his inmost soul.... Let the critics go to hell! Suppose I had
christened my _Zarathustra_ with a name not my own,--let us say with
Richard Wagner's name,--the acumen of two thousand years would not have
sufficed to guess that the author of _Human, all-too-Human_ was the
visionary of _Zarathustra._


As I am speaking here of the recreations of my life, I feel I must
express a word or two of gratitude for that which has refreshed me by
far the most heartily and most profoundly. This, without the slightest
doubt, was my intimate relationship with Richard Wagner. All my other
relationships with men I treat quite lightly; but I would not have the
days I spent at Tribschen--those days of confidence, of cheerfulness,
of sublime flashes, and of profound moments--blotted from my life
at any price. I know not what Wagner may have been for others; but
no cloud ever darkened _our_ sky. And this brings me back again to
France,--I have no arguments against Wagnerites, and _hoc genus omne_
who believe that they do honour to Wagner by believing him to be
like themselves; for such people I have only a contemptuous curl of
my lip. With a nature like mine, which is so strange to everything
Teutonic, that even the presence of a German retards my digestion, my
first meeting with Wagner was the first moment in my life in which I
breathed freely: I felt him, I honoured him, as a foreigner, as the
opposite and the incarnate contradiction of all "German virtues." We
who as children breathed the marshy atmosphere of the fifties, are
necessarily pessimists in regard to the concept "German"; we cannot
be anything else than revolutionaries--we can assent to no state of
affairs which allows the canting bigot to be at the top. I care not
a jot whether this canting bigot acts in different colours to-day,
whether he dresses in scarlet or dons the uniform of a hussar.[2] Very
well, then! Wagner was a revolutionary--he fled from the Germans....
As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris; that subtlety
of all the five senses which Wagner's art presupposes, those fingers
that can detect slight gradations, psychological morbidity--all these
things can be found only in Paris. Nowhere else can you meet with
this passion for questions of form, this earnestness in matters of
_mise-en-scène,_ which

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

Page 0
What!? Everything is merely--human--all too human? With this exclamation my writings are gone through, not without a certain dread and mistrust of ethic itself and not without a disposition to ask the exponent of evil things if those things be not simply misrepresented.
Page 2
With a sardonic laugh.
Page 3
A "free spirit"--this refreshing term is grateful in any mood, it almost sets one aglow.
Page 6
Page 8
Accordingly, historical philosophising is henceforth indispensable, and with it honesty of judgment.
Page 11
No presentiment [or intuition] can carry us any further.
Page 17
=--Man, when he is young, prizes metaphysical explanations, because they make him see matters of the highest import in things he found disagreeable or contemptible: and if he is not satisfied with himself, this feeling of dissatisfaction is soothed when he sees the most hidden world-problem or world-pain in that which he finds so displeasing in himself.
Page 20
For metaphysical views inspire the belief that in them is afforded the final sure foundation upon which henceforth the whole future of mankind may rest and be built up: the individual promotes his own salvation; when, for example, he builds a church or a monastery he is of opinion that he is doing something for the salvation of his immortal soul:--Can science, as well, inspire such faith in the efficacy of her.
Page 34
=--That character is unalterable is not, in the strict sense, true; rather is this favorite proposition valid only to the extent that during the brief life period of a man the potent new motives can not, usually, press down hard enough to obliterate the lines imprinted by ages.
Page 35
=--Men who are now inhuman must serve us as surviving specimens of earlier civilizations.
Page 37
--Thus, too, much more happiness is to be found in the world than gloomy eyes discover: that is, if the calculation be just, and all these pleasing moments in which every day, even the meanest human life, is rich, be not forgotten.
Page 42
One must have a strong imagination in order to feel sympathy.
Page 44
=--Someone once had the bad habit of expressing himself upon occasion, and with perfect honesty, on the subject of the motives of his conduct, which were as good or as bad as the motives of all men.
Page 49
Each party makes the other content inasmuch as each receives what it prizes more highly than the other.
Page 54
At first it is but custom, later free obedience and finally almost instinct.
Page 57
The state itself injures from this motive when it hangs criminals.
Page 60
The sun of a new gospel sheds its first ray upon the loftiest height in the souls of those few: but the clouds are massed there, too, thicker than ever, and not far apart are the brightest sunlight and the deepest gloom.
Page 63
For all religions grew out of dread or necessity, and came into existence through an error of the reason.
Page 76
At any rate science, inasmuch as it is the imitation of nature, permits the casting of doubts upon the inexplicable character and the supernal degree of such phenomena.
Page 79
The imaginations of many of the Christian saints were obscene to a degree; and because of the theory that sexual desires were in reality demons that raged within them, the saints did not feel wholly responsible for them.