Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 36

University of Leipzig for an essay,
_De fontibus Diogenis Laertii._ He was successful in gaining the prize,
and the treatise was afterwards published in the _Rheinisches Museum,_
and is still quoted as an authority. It is to this essay, written when
he was twenty-three years of age, that he here refers.--TR.]

[Footnote 2: The favourite uniform of the German Emperor, William

[Footnote 3: In the latter years of his life, Nietzsche practically
made Italy his home.--TR.]

[Footnote 4: See note on page 37.]

[Footnote 5: The German words are, _Einsamkeit_ and _Vielsamkeit._ The
latter was coined by Nietzsche. The English word "multitude" should,
therefore, be understood as signifying multifarious instincts and
gifts, which in Nietzsche strove for ascendancy and caused him more
suffering than any solitude. Complexity of this sort, held in check
by a dominant instinct, as in Nietzsche's case, is of course the only
possible basis of an artistic nature.--TR.]



I am one thing, my creations are another. Here, before I speak of the
books themselves, I shall touch upon the question of the understanding
and misunderstanding with which they have met. I shall proceed to
do this in as perfunctory a manner as the occasion demands; for the
time has by no means come for this question. My time has not yet
come either; some are born posthumously. One s day institutions will
be needed in which men will live and teach, as I understand living
and teaching; maybe, also, that by that time, chairs will be founded
and endowed for the interpretation of _Zarathustra. _ But I should
regard it as a complete contradiction of myself, if I expected to
find ears and eyes for my truths to-day: the fact that no one listens
to me, that no one knows how to receive at my hands to-day, is not
only comprehensible, it seems to me quite the proper thing. I do not
wish to be mistaken for another--and to this end I must not mistake
myself. To repeat what I have already said, I can point to but few
instances of ill-will in my life: and as for literary ill-will, I
could mention scarcely a single example of it. On the other hand, I
have met with far too much _pure foolery_!... It seems to me that to
take up one of my books is one of the rarest honours that a man can
pay himself--even supposing that he put his shoes from off his feet
beforehand, not to mention boots.... When on one occasion Dr. Heinrich
von Stein honestly complained that he could not understand a word

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But to whom should the sacrifice be made? We may already swear that, if ever the constellation of such an idea appeared on the horizon, the knowledge of truth would remain the single but enormous object with which a sacrifice of such a nature would be commensurate--because no sacrifice is too great for it.
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What, for the rest, may be the signification of such a sudden, unreasonable, and irresistible revolution, such a change from the depths of misery into the heights of happiness? (might it be a disguised epilepsy?) This should at all events be considered by alienists, who have frequent opportunities of observing similar "miracles"--for example, the mania of murder or suicide.
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"Let them brood over their treasure: it is well worthy of them!"--It is with this unexpressed thought that we completed our classical education.
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" Whatever they performed henceforth in this sense was no longer a sacrifice, it was as much as to say, "Everything for the sake of our pleasure.
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--How many really individual actions are left undone merely because before performing them we perceive or suspect that they will be misunderstood!--those actions, for example, which have some intrinsic value, both in good and evil.
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It is probable, however, that the need felt by the weary intellect for alleviation is the main source of this belief--it precedes it in time, though appearances may indicate the contrary.
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" If we happen to be Christians, and are seized by such a desire as this, we strive to reach God and to become one with Him; if we are a Shakespeare we shall be glad to perish in images of a passionate life; if we.
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by Descartes and Spinoza.