Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 51

dock." ... The after-effects
of this essay of mine proved invaluable to me in my life. No one has
ever tried to meddle with me since. People are silent. In Germany
I am treated with gloomy caution: for years I have rejoiced in the
privilege of such absolute freedom of speech, as no one nowadays,
least of all in the "Empire," has enough liberty to claim. My paradise
is "in the shadow of my sword." At bottom all I had done was to put
one of Stendhal's maxims into practice: he advises one to make one's
entrance into society by means of a duel. And how well I had chosen my
opponent!--the foremost free-thinker of Germany. As a matter of fact,
quite a novel kind of free thought found its expression in this way:
up to the present nothing has been more strange and more foreign to my
blood than the whole of that European and American species known as
_litres penseurs._ Incorrigible blockheads and clowns of "modern ideas"
that they are, I feel much more profoundly at variance with them than
with any one of their adversaries. They also wish to "improve" mankind,
after their own fashion--that is to say, in their own image; against
that which I stand for and desire, they would wage an implacable war,
if only they understood it; the whole gang of them still believe in an
"ideal." ... I am the first _Immoralist_.



3


I should not like to say that the last two essays in the _Thoughts
out of Season,_ associated with the names of Schopenhauer and Wagner
respectively, serve any special purpose in throwing light upon these
two cases, or in formulating their psychological problems. This of
course does not apply to a few details. Thus, for instance, in the
second of the two essays, with a profound certainty of instinct I
already characterised the elementary factor in Wagner's nature as a
theatrical talent which in all his means and inspirations only draws
its final conclusions. At bottom, my desire in this essay was to do
something very different from writing psychology: an unprecedented
educational problem, a new understanding of self-discipline and
self-defence carried to the point of hardness, a road to greatness
and to world-historic duties, yearned to find expression. Roughly
speaking, I seized two famous and, theretofore, completely undefined
types by the forelock, after the manner in which one seizes
opportunities, simply in order to speak my mind on certain questions,
in order to have a few more formulas, signs, and means of expression
at my disposal. Indeed I actually suggest this, with most unearthly
sagacity, on page

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So far it is on Good and Evil that we have meditated least profoundly: this was always too dangerous a subject.
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The inspiration which springs from a feeling is the grandchild of a judgment--often an erroneous judgment!--and certainly not one's own judgment! Trusting in our feelings simply means obeying our grandfather and grandmother more than the gods within _ourselves_: our reason and experience.
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A PROPOSAL.
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The last century was superior to ours precisely because it possessed so many individually educated men, as well as educators in the same proportion, who had made this their life's task, and who with this task were dignified not only in their own eyes but in those of all the remaining "good society.
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The main general tendency of the Germans was directed against enlightenment and against those social revolutions which were stupidly mistaken for the consequences of enlightenment: the piety towards everything that existed tried to become piety towards everything that had ever existed, only in order that heart and mind might be permitted to fill themselves and gush forth again, thus leaving no space for future and novel aims.
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Fie on the dissoluteness and extreme nervousness which must follow upon all this! Fie upon the dreams that such repasts bring! Fie upon the arts and books which must be the desert of such meals! Despite all the efforts of such people their acts will taste of pepper and ill-temper, or general weariness! (The wealthy classes in England stand in great need of their Christianity in order to be able to endure their bad digestions and their headaches.
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--Poverty, cheerfulness, and independence--it is possible to find these three qualities combined in one individual; poverty, cheerfulness, and slavery--this is likewise a possible combination: and I can say nothing better to the workmen who serve as factory slaves; presuming that it does not appear to them altogether to be a shameful thing to be utilised as they are, as the screws of a machine and the stopgaps, as it were, of the human spirit of invention.
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_A.
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This gives rise to no little danger for intelligent minds.
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--When we are confronted with any manifestation which some one has permitted us to see, we may ask: what is it meant to conceal? What is it meant to draw our attention from? What prejudices does it seek to raise? and again, how far does the subtlety of the dissimulation go? and in what respect is the man mistaken? 524.
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It permits of a certain gentle approach, and has no desire to spoil anybody's good humour--nay, it can even smile.
Page 213
--It is only in the Underworld that we catch a glimpse of that gloomy background of all that bliss of adventure which forms an everlasting halo around Ulysses and his like, rivalling the eternal phosphorescence of the sea,--that background which we can never forget: the mother of Ulysses died of grief and yearning for her child.
Page 216
_ shameless, horrible, audacious.