Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 76

the Po,
for which Turin is famous, and of which Nietzsche was particularly
fond.--TR.]




"THE CASE OF WAGNER: A MUSICIAN'S PROBLEM"



1


In order to do justice to this essay a man ought to suffer from the
fate of music as from an open wound.--From what do I suffer when I
suffer from the fate of music? From the fact that music has lost
its world-transfiguring, yea-saying character--that it is decadent
music and no longer the flute of Dionysus. Supposing, however, that
the fate of music be as dear to man as his own life, because joy and
suffering are alike bound up with it; then he will find this pamphlet
comparatively mild and full of consideration. To be cheerful in
such circumstances, and laugh good-naturedly with others at one's
self,--_ridendodicere severum_[1] when the _verum dicere_ would
justify every sort of hardness,--is humanity itself. Who doubts that
I, old artillery-man that I am, would be able if I liked to point my
_heavy_ guns at Wagner?--Everything decisive in this question I kept
to myself--I have loved Wagner.--After all, an attack upon a more than
usually subtle "unknown person" whom another would not have divined
so easily, lies in the meaning and path of my life-task. Oh, I have
still quite a number of other "unknown persons" to unmask besides a
Cagliostro of Music! Above all, I have to direct an attack against
the German people, who, in matters of the spirit, grow every day
more indolent, poorer in instincts, and more _honest_ who, with an
appetite for which they are to be envied, continue to diet themselves
on contradictions, and gulp down "Faith" in company with science,
Christian love together with anti-Semitism, and the will to power (to
the "Empire"), dished up with the gospel of the humble, without showing
the slightest signs of indigestion. Fancy this absence of party-feeling
in the presence of opposites! Fancy this gastric neutrality and
"disinterestedness"! Behold this sense of justice in the German palate,
which can grant equal rights to all,--which finds everything tasteful!
Without a shadow of a doubt the Germans are idealists. When I was last
in Germany, I found German taste striving to grant Wagner and the
_Trumpeter of Sakkingen_[2] equal rights; while I myself witnessed
the attempts of the people of Leipzig to do honour to one of the most
genuine and most German of musicians,--using German here in the old
sense of the word,--a man who was no mere German of the Empire, the
master Heinrich Schütz, by founding a Liszt Society, the object of
which was to cultivate and spread artful (_listige_[3]) Church music.
Without a shadow of doubt

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

Page 2
men, working together in the service of a completely rejuvenated and purified culture, may again become the directors of a system of everyday instruction, calculated to promote that culture; and they will probably be compelled once more to draw up sets of rules: but how remote this time now seems! And what may not happen meanwhile! It is just possible that between now and then all _Gymnasia_--yea, and perhaps all universities, may be destroyed, or have become so utterly transformed that their very regulations may, in the eyes of future generations, seem to be but the relics of the cave-dwellers' age.
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I shall not speak of the noisy journey from the landing-stage, through the excited and expectant little place, nor shall I refer to the esoteric jokes exchanged between ourselves; I also make no mention of a feast which became both wild and noisy, or of an extraordinary musical production in the execution of which, whether as soloists or as chorus, we all ultimately had to share, and which I, as musical adviser of our club, had not only had to rehearse, but was then forced to conduct.
Page 11
Years of exposure to rain and storm had slightly deepened the channels we had cut, and the figure seemed a welcome target for our pistol-practice.
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This expansion belongs to the most beloved of the dogmas of modern political economy.
Page 21
But I do not wish to interrupt your discussion.
Page 24
I shall now proceed to say a few words of consolation.
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The reverse, of course, has been the rule up to the present; those who were terrified ran away filled with embarrassment as you did, my poor friend, while the sober and fearless ones spread their heavy hands over the most delicate technique that has ever existed in art--over the technique of education.
Page 29
Here the pupils learn to speak of our unique _Schiller_ with the superciliousness of prigs; here they are taught to smile at the noblest and most German of his works--at the Marquis of Posa, at Max and Thekla--at these smiles German genius becomes incensed and a worthier posterity will blush.
Page 34
In a very large majority of cases to-day we can observe how sadly our scholars fall short of the standard of culture which the efforts of Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, and Winckelmann established; and this falling short shows itself precisely in the egregious errors which the men we speak of are exposed to, equally among literary historians--whether Gervinus or Julian Schmidt--as in any other company; everywhere, indeed, where men and women converse.
Page 36
If only this respect for language did not hang in the air so, like a theoretical burden which one is pleased to throw off the moment one turns to one's mother-tongue! More often than not, the classical master makes pretty short work of the mother-tongue; from the outset he treats it as a department of knowledge in which one is allowed that indolent ease with which the German treats everything.
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e.
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_ to keep law, order, quietness, and peace among millions of boundlessly egoistical, unjust, unreasonable, dishonourable, envious, malignant, and hence very narrow-minded and perverse human beings; and thus to protect the few things that the State has conquered for itself against covetous neighbours and jealous robbers? Such a hard-pressed State holds out its arms to any associate, grasps at any straw; and when such an associate does introduce himself with flowery eloquence, when he adjudges the State, as Hegel did, to be an 'absolutely complete ethical organism,' the be-all and end-all of every one's education, and goes on to indicate how he himself can best promote the interests of the State--who will.
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(_Delivered on the 5th of March 1872.
Page 58
As when a traveller, walking heedlessly across unknown ground, suddenly puts his foot over the edge of a cliff, so it now seemed to us that we had hastened to meet the great danger rather than run away from it.
Page 61
But now you call these the apexes of the intellectual pyramid: it would, however, seem that between the broad, heavily burdened foundation up to the highest of the free and unencumbered peaks there must be countless intermediate degrees, and that here we must apply the saying _natura non facit saltus_.
Page 63
That is what I am talking about when I speak of lacking educational establishments, and why I think those which at present claim the name in such a pitiful condition.
Page 64
That our philosopher had lost his temper and made use of abusive language helped to bridge over the gulf created between us by our timid respect for him: and for the sake of the reader who feels his indignation rising at this suggestion let it be added that this bridge often leads from distant hero-worship to personal love and pity.
Page 70
Come along, quickly!" We were then standing near the top of the hill, you may remember, and our view of the river was interrupted by a dark, thick wood.
Page 78
Not one of these noble, well-qualified youths has remained a stranger to that restless, tiring, perplexing, and debilitating need of culture: during his university term, when he is apparently the only free man in a crowd of servants and officials, he atones for this huge illusion of freedom by ever-growing inner doubts and convictions.
Page 82
German! Now he learnt to understand his Tacitus; now he grasped the signification of Kant's categorical imperative; now he was enraptured by Weber's "Lyre and Sword" songs.