Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 47

time no such thing existed as this translation
of the Dionysian phenomenon into philosophic emotion: tragic wisdom was
lacking; in vain have I sought for signs of it even among the great
Greeks in philosophy--those belonging to the two centuries before
Socrates. I still remained a little doubtful about Heraclitus, in whose
presence, alone, I felt warmer and more at ease than anywhere else.
The yea-saying to the impermanence and annihilation of things, which
is the decisive feature of a Dionysian philosophy; the yea-saying to
contradiction and war, the postulation of Becoming, together with the
radical rejection even of the concept _Being_-- in all these things, at
all events, I must recognise him who has come nearest to me in thought
hither to. The doctrine of the "Eternal Recurrence"--that is to say,
of the absolute and eternal repetition of all things in periodical
cycles--this doctrine of Zarathustra's might, it is true, have been
taught before. In any case, the Stoics, who derived nearly all their
fundamental ideas from Heraclitus, show traces of it.

A tremendous hope finds expression in this work. After all, I have
absolutely no reason to renounce the hope for a Dionysian future of
music. Let us look a century ahead, and let us suppose that my attempt
to destroy two millenniums of hostility to Nature and of the violation
of humanity be crowned with success That new party of life-advocates,
which will undertake the greatest of all tasks, the elevation and
perfection of mankind, as well as the relentless destruction of all
degenerate and parasitical elements, will make that _superabundance
of life_ on earth once more possible, out of which the Dionysian
state will perforce arise again. I promise the advent of a tragic
age: the highest art in the saying of yea to life, "tragedy," will be
born again when mankind has the knowledge of the hardest, but most
necessary of wars, behind it, without, however, suffering from that
knowledge.... A psychologist might add that what I heard in Wagnerian
music in my youth and early manhood had nothing whatsoever to do with
Wagner; that when I described Dionysian music, I described merely
what _I_ personally had heard--that I was compelled instinctively to
translate and transfigure everything into the new spirit which filled
my breast. A proof of this, and as strong a proof as you could have,
is my essay, _Wagner in Bayreuth_: in all its decisive psychological
passages I am the only person concerned--without any hesitation you may
read my name or the word "Zarathustra" wherever the text contains the
name of Wagner. The whole panorama of the _dithyrambic_ artist is

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

Page 2
The great liberation comes suddenly to such prisoners, like an earthquake: the young soul is all at once shaken, torn apart, cast forth--it comprehends not itself what is taking place.
Page 3
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Page 46
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Page 53
--The bad acts.
Page 56
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Page 63
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Page 65
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Page 76
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Page 79
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Page 80
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