Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 52

183 of _Schopenhauer as Educator._ Plato made use
of Socrates in the same way--that is to say, as a cipher for Plato.
Now that, from some distance, I can look back upon the conditions of
which these essays are the testimony, I would be loth to deny that they
refer simply to me. The essay _Wagner in Bayreuth_ is a vision of my
own future; on the other hand, my most secret history, my development,
is written down in _Schopenhauer as Educator._ But, above all, the
_vow_ I made I What I am to-day, the place I now hold--at a height from
which I speak no longer with words but with thunderbolts!--oh, how
far I was from all this in those days! But I saw the land--I did not
deceive myself for one moment as to the way, the sea, the danger--_and_
success! The great calm in promising, this happy prospect of a future
which must not remain only a promise!--In this book every word has
been lived, profoundly and intimately; the most painful things are not
lacking in it; it contains words which are positively running with
blood. But a wind of great freedom blows over the whole; even its
wounds do not constitute an objection. As to what I understand by being
a philosopher,--that is to say, a terrible explosive in the presence
of which everything is in danger; as to how I sever my idea of the
philosopher by miles from that other idea of him which includes even a
Kant, not to speak of the academic "ruminators" and other professors of
philosophy,--concerning all these things this essay provides invaluable
information, even granting that at bottom, it is not "Schopenhauer as
Educator" but "Nietzsche as Educator," who speaks his sentiments in
it. Considering that, in those days, my trade was that of a scholar,
and perhaps, also, that I understood my trade, the piece of austere
scholar psychology which suddenly makes its appearance in this essay is
not without importance: it expresses the feeling of distance, and my
profound certainty regarding what was my real life-task, and what were
merely means, intervals, and accessory work to me. My wisdom consists
in my having been many things, and in many places, in order to become
one thing--in order to be able to attain to one thing. It was part of
my fate to be a scholar for a while.

[Footnote 1: The Purists constitute a definite body in Germany, which
is called the _Deutscher Sprach-Verein._ Their object is to banish
every foreign word from the language, and they carry this process of
ostracism even

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

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Kennedy, Translator, 1910] HOMER AND CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY.
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Science has this in common with art, that the most ordinary, everyday thing appears to it as something entirely new and attractive, as if metamorphosed by witchcraft and now seen for the first time.
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From this point onwards we must take notice of a clearly determined and very surprising antagonism which philology has great cause to regret.
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It is a common occurrence for a series of striking signs and wonderful emotions to precede an epoch-making discovery.
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we go still further backwards from Aristotle, the inability to create a personality is seen to increase; more and more poems are attributed to Homer; and every period lets us see its degree of criticism by how much and what it considers as Homeric.
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The first school, on the other.
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All these schools of thought start from the assumption that the problem of the present form of these epics can be solved from the standpoint of an aesthetic judgment--but we must await the decision as to the authorised line of demarcation between the man of genius and the poetical soul of the people.
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genius set upon their empty heads.
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The only path which leads back beyond the time of Pisistratus and helps us to elucidate the meaning of the name Homer, takes its way on the one hand through the reports which have reached us concerning Homer's birthplace: from which we see that, although his name is always associated with heroic epic poems, he is on the other hand no more referred to as the composer of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ than as the author of the _Thebais_ or any other cyclical epic.
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From the time of Pisistratus onwards, however, with the surprisingly rapid development of the Greek feeling for beauty, the differences in the aesthetic value of those epics continued to be felt more and more: the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ arose from the depths of the flood and have remained on the surface ever since.
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It is not only probable that everything which was created in those times with conscious aesthetic insight, was infinitely inferior to the songs that sprang up naturally in the poet's mind and were written down with instinctive power: we can even take a step further.
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And that wonderful genius to whom we owe the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ belongs to this thankful posterity: he, too, sacrificed his name on the altar of the primeval father of the Homeric epic, Homeros.
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Let us hear how a learned man of the first rank writes about Homer even so late as 1783: "Where does the good man live? Why did he remain so long incognito? Apropos, can't you get me a silhouette of him?" We demand _thanks_--not in our own name, for we are but atoms--but in the name of philology itself, which is indeed neither a Muse nor a Grace, but a messenger of the gods: and just as the Muses descended upon the dull and tormented Boeotian peasants, so Philology comes into a world full of gloomy colours and pictures, full of the deepest, most incurable woes; and speaks to men comfortingly of the beautiful and godlike figure of a distant, rosy, and happy fairyland.
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